Earlier this year we ran a “Then and Now” series, highlighting photographers who have made jumps from different careers to pursue photography full-time. So, when Wisconsin-based advertising, lifestyle, music industry, and editorial photographer Jackson & Co. contacted us to share a recent promotional shoot he did for the SWAT team in Green Bay, it caught my attention. Not only because of the brilliant photos but because David spent 14 years on the force before transitioning to photography. Not your average career change.
Since leaving the force because of family and personal health reasons, David has worked with various law enforcement agencies locally, shooting photos for promotional and personal projects. When he was contacted to shoot the Green Bay SWAT team, it fits right in with his style of shooting conceptual work.
His previous profession has been advantageous for David, as he explained:
“It has helped me feel more connected with the profession I spent 14 years serving. I have nothing but respect for the officers that serve the community and am able to connect/identify with them easily.”
The shoot days took place in 95+ degree temperatures inside an abandoned Brown County mental health facility during a regular training day. As one would imagine, the heat was very uncomfortable for everyone involved. David and the SWAT team moved extremely fast through the scenarios, making sure to hydrate often. As David put it, “You work through it, whether it’s 100 degrees, raining, snowing or tornado sirens going off, you’ve got a job to do.”
The most challenging part for David was getting the shots as quickly as possible because the guys were in the middle of training. They rotated groups and found locations on the go. David shot with a 2-3 light set-up, adding textures and color grading to enhance drama in post-production.
David and the crew are very happy with how the images came out, and they are getting a positive reaction from the general public, including the Sheriff’s Department. The images will be used for fundraising efforts. David’s favorite part? Holding a badass Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle.