Goodbye, Doug

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I received sad news about my friend Doug Barnette. After months of health struggles, he died yesterday.

Doug was a commercial photographer who had a super interesting and exciting career. When you went into his studio, you saw pictures of him hang gliding over Stonehenge, meeting with the Dalai Lama, and back when I worked for him, he had his Ducati motorcycle parked in his studio as well.

He gave me the opportunity to work on pretty incredible photo jobs with him; commercial shoots bigger than anything I had ever done before. We spent a good bit of time driving around and eating lunch together and moved a lot of heavy lighting equipment all over Chattanooga and the surrounding area. I quickly learned that being a commercial or freelance photographer, no matter how rewarding, is not as glamorous as it looks. It's manual labor, and most of your time is spent setting up a shot in order to get it as perfect in-camera as possible, to minimize the amount of editing later (which sounds somewhat old school now that I mention it, but Doug was an old school dude). Doug was the real deal and he was incredible at what he did.

Doug was a crazy guy, and he could be a pain, but he was always generous with his time and was always open to teaching me whatever he knew. I worked for him on various jobs for a few years, and we've always seen each other around until I moved at the end of last year.

I dug up these pictures of Doug from when I worked with him fairly regularly that I shot while taking a film photo journalism class at college. He thought I was crazy for still shooting film (something he abandoned for digital years ago), so he'd always give me a hard time for it.

I was so nervous to even be shooting photos of another photographer back then, but I'm glad I did. Doug, you will be missed.

Will Malone