Trip Across the Nation


This year I’ve held off doing a lot of major photo shoots because I’ve been focused on loosing weight (Down 60lbs from this post). Sometimes it’s crazy how small events add up to an epic event.

If you have been reading these posts, then you know last year I did a major stock photo shot in St. John, USVI with Jacom Stephens and Dan Bachman. We did a Model Mayhem search and found 4 great models. I ended up shooting with one of the models, Phil Hoffman, in Scottsdale, AZ. Phil and I have become friends and he has been involved in my weight loss. He’s a fitness guru!

From my last post, when I was looking for models for the iStockphoto SnSLypse, one of Phil’s friends was coming to Nashville to visit her daughter and Phil had suggested to her to do a shoot with me. When Chris Usher called me to do I shoot, I told her about the SnSLypse shoot and asked if she could be involved, she was fantastic, oh yeah, fit too. After the SnSLypse, she and I got to do a fitness shoot. During the shoot I got to meet her husband, Bruce Usher. Little did I know I had just met one of the most generous couple on the planet!

A week later I got a request on Facebook from Scottsdale Imagery, and a request from Bruce that if I hosted another event could he be involved. A few days later I see a post from Bruce asking for some photographers to come to Sandpoint, ID, to do a few days shoot. Seeing the pics he posted from the location, it got my attention quickly ( See above image ) I quickly responded that I might be interested, which was promptly replied with, “If you want to come, then you will be the only photographer.” Wow, Cool! Phil had also told Chris and Bruce about Jacom, so in the course of our planning Jacom indicated that he was interested too. Bruce said all we would have to do is get there and he would provide the shoot locations, Boat, Jet Skies, Paddle Boards, Kayaks, House to stay at, Food to eat, WOW,  really, crazy, a no brainer! After seeing where Sandpoint, ID was located, I decided to drive across the nation to see a lot of the places that I had been wanting to see as an adult. Mt. Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, Badlands, Deadwood, Sturgis, Yellowstone to name a few. After studying the map, it was over 2k miles one way, that a lot driving. Donna and I packed up the van and made our way there.

It’s a challenge to drive and need to make up 2500 miles and want to shoot images and get good shots. Looking for cool things, sun location all at 80 mph makes it a challenge. Here are a few picks from the trip.


Well, we finally made it to Sandpoint, ID. WOW, that’s all I’ll say. The house, Amazing, The lake, Amazing, The food, Amazing ( went off diet for a few days ) The big toys, Amazing. I instantly knew, Chris and Bruce, had put together fantastic days of shooting. Over the few days we really got to know Chris and Bruce and all I can say is that rarely do you find people who are giving, genuine and don’t have an agenda. They truly were giving us an amazing event beyond shooting pics and they were happy to do it. THANK YOU! Here are some pics from the shoot.


I’ve highlighted this image, because what it took to get the shot made me feel like a National Discovery photographer. We had to take the boat to a remote part of the lake, find an old silver mine entrance on the side of a cliff, transfer our gear and models from the boat to the cliff and then wade thru ice cold water into the mine. I’m proud of this series and it features Bruce and Chris Usher!

Dieter Spears is a Nashville Photographer, He shoots Stock images for and Getty Images. He is an iStockphoto Inspector.


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