Upon my move back to Michigan, I set a goal of acquiring clients that were Detroit specific. If you haven't noticed, Detroit is going through a rough patch right now, but thats when you get in at the ground level, and build the infrastructure and creative resources a city will need. 

Pashon has a similar idea thats even more involved. Detroit Dirt is a food waste management/recycling business that turns your leftovers into someone else's garden patch. Bringing in food from office buildings, hotels, entertainment venues and even the Detroit Zoo, Pashon composts the waste downtown as a service, then sells compost to consumers. 

I met Pashon while photographing for one of her clients at the Cadillac Urban Garden downtown, sponsored by Ideal Group. We set up to do an environmental portrait that could be used for a number of things-versatile imagery. I had already conceptualized this shot before even knowing how the compost yard would look. 

This is how it looked. But bigger. This is the tip of one pile out of dozens that ran about 30 yards long, and over 7 feet high. Sometimes I have to roll around on the ground to get my favorite low angle shots. Not this time, not even an option. It had also just rained the day before, and while the weather had cleared up beautifully, the ground had not. 

Shooting with a single Profoto head into a PCB Parabolic (that took a tumble, snapped, but has since been repaired), I filled in Pashon's front with the light while letting the sun behind her create a nice front rim. Typically, I'd cross light and have the sources from two opposite directions, but this was a bit more natural of a shot and didn't need to have fancy rims and the like.
Dirt (and or the cleverly coined zoo-poo) was obviously the theme for our shots, even though the message of Detroit Dirt is rejuvenating and rebuilding downtown. In the early stages, I like the idea of brushing the dirt off and just getting started. Detroit has a long way to go, and Pashon is here making it happen. I just take the pictures. 

You can find out more about Detroit Dirt and the mission at their site here.



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