Mr. Moore is a history teacher at my son and daughter’s Junior High School – Academy of Tucson. He’s also a passionate motorcycle rider. Few things in this world can bring him the joy that he gets from his Harley Davidson.

He’s probably best known for his parting words to his class everyday when they leave. Every day tells them to “Be good, Be Smart, Be Gone”.

He exemplifies the very best of what you want from a teacher. He’s passionate about his subject, he cares for the kids in his class, he’s firm and puts down clear boundaries but he’s willing to go beyond the call of duty when needed to help them. The kids know this and you can see it in how they respond to him. He’s doing something right because he’s won several awards for teaching.

Beyond all of this, he’s just an interesting guy. I don’t know the whole story but he had a career in marketing, lost his first wife to cancer, spent some period time homeless before going back to school and earning his degree and teaching school. I think this wealth of experience really helps to influence his approach to teaching and all of these things made me want to take his portrait.

We tried scheduling it several times but it just never worked out with schedules etc. Then came the day we were informed that Mr. Moore had had an accident on his way to Phoenix on his motorcycle. He was airlifted to a hospital there. They were able to save his leg but he spent the next year or so in rehab, in a wheelchair and learning to walk again. Clearly a portrait was the last thing on his mind but as he recovered we approached the subject again.

Finally late spring on a Sat. afternoon we met at the school and I spent the better part of the next hour trying to keep him focused on me as motorcycles would drive by. This was much harder than it seemed. Still we laughed and joked our way through the shoot and it was not lost on me the significance of his ability to throw his leg over his beloved bike and let me photograph him on it. A year of hard work culminated in his ability to do this and make it look both natural and easy.

This was the result. For you camera geeks there was a large Octabox camera left with a strip box camera right. I turned the headlight “on” in post production and editing.