A few months back, I was hired by a local intermodal trucking company, Gulf Intermodal Services, to photograph a couple of their tractors inside the Port of Houston and create large prints to hang in their new La Porte headquarters. Sounds easy right? Not so easy in reality, for a couple of reasons… First since 9/11, the ports are under tight lockdown on top of the otherwise tight security to prevent accidents/injuries and custom violations. Second, posing an 18-wheeler with a container attached is not an easy feat especially when you have to relay your instructions through a police officer and the tractor has to maneuver around all the other activity taking place during the unloading of a container ship. Oh, yeah and you have to stay away from the U.S. Customs area near the ship – they mean serious business.
I was notified just a few hours before we were given the ok to photograph inside the port. We drove to the Port office and met up with a port police officer who was in a great mood (that is very important!). He put me and my assistant into his police truck and headed inside the port near one the unloading a container ship. The sun was shining with no clouds and comfortably warm for February – after all this is Houston. One of the tractor trailers was waiting for us near the ship. There is no loitering by trucks nor walking around on foot by pedestrians as you can easily be run over by the large cranes and yard hostlers moving quickly to unload the ship. I had several scenarios to shoot and had to do so quickly. The police officer was super easy to work with and very accommodating which helped to get us finished in just under two hours.