Saturday, January 10, 2009

Photographer Profile: Nina Zhito

Over the years of being married to a fireman, I’ve had the great opportunity to know the woman who sees a different side of my husband than I do. His on-duty side, which she often captures in her amazing photographs.

Nina Zhito, a North Bay press, portrait and event photographer has captured some of Marin and Sonoma counties’ most amazing moments.

This black and white shot of Captain Rick King of the Petaluma Fire Department, taken during a feed mill silo fire, is one of my favorites. My other favorites are over on my JSIM blog.

Nina is represented by Zuma Press, a well-known international agency for photojournalism.

She also offers stock photos, specializing in first responders, lifestyle, and animal images.

These are just a few of her incredible photographs. Nina has covered so many tragic incidents as they occur, but she has also been there to capture more than her share of local service members’ processions and funerals. She would be quick to note that these are hard and stressful days.

To check out more of Nina Zhito’s photography- CLICK HERE.

I’d like to note that the last photograph is of the infamous Kentucky Street Fire in Petaluma. My husband was an off-duty Captain this day and eventually ended up working on that roof during the fire. I witnessed the entire thing from the second story window of a bank next door. It has all been documented in “The Fireman’s Wife”, a Memoir by Susan Farren, who’s husband was seriously injured when hit by a high-powered stream of water from a laddertruck while cutting a vent hole in the roof in the foreground. GREAT shot, Nina!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Working With Fire Departments

You may or may not know that I am married to a fireman. Which, as a graphic designer, puts me into a natural position of designing for the fire department. 2007 was the Petaluma Fire Department’s 150th anniversary. I was asked to design a new patch for the uniforms, with the same design to be used for fire apparatus decals, flags, badges, t-shirts and more.

This same year the department held a firefighters ball. It was a wonderful affair and I was also proud to have designed the poster and program cover.

Word of mouth has led to other fire department projects such as the Healdsburg Fire Department’s new patch as they also celebrate 150 years of service. Healdsburg is about 45 minutes from here. I was very happy with how it translated from artwork to embroidery.

Naturally, firefighters have a wacky sense of humor. Here’s a t-shirt design I did a the request of a friend who is with the Sonoma Fire Dept. Apparently, station 2 is pretty laid back! These shirts are not the actual duty shirts, just novelty shirts sold for fundraising.

Most recently I did a re-design for Cloverdale, CA Fire Department. The illustration of the fireman carrying a child to safety is a historical image of the department and they wanted it to be carried over into the new design with a cleaner style than the previous patch.

The new patch, shown here worn by Firefighter/Engineer Anthony Michalek, shows the simplified illustration I created to translate well to embroidery.

One thing I’ll say for sure, I have never had a bad experience working with any fire department, they are the best clients you could ask for.