(click the picture above for the high definition video - but also click YouTube for me!)
12:36 PM, Saturday, July 19th, 2008:
I literally teared up when I got his email. Chad got the cover of Time Magazine. Not the online edition, the worldwide cover of Time Magazine. Mind-blowing. And what a story...
He was in talks with them on Tuesday and he was in the running with 15 other peeps for several shots within the article and the cover. They were actually interested in his portraits of the soldiers (from an i-photo book he gave 'em) and on a whim he uploaded a couple more of his favorites. Of course one from that group became the pic... but he had no idea! He never heard from them again! Last he had heard was that he was in the running and days passed and nothin'. Then yesterday he gets an email from his wife with a link: and voila - the freaking cover. He's still in absolute shock about it. I'm bouncing off the walls and it has barely hit him.

The man has so many unbelieveably gorgeous shots it is mind-boggling. However as you all know from this site, it's a game. It absolutely is not based on talent. Talent is a pre-requisite to even play the game and truth be told you can get a lot further on connections than you can on talent.

200 entries ago I wrote a little piece in an entry trying to encourage him to hang in there. He's been so close to literally throwing his cameras out the freaking window because the game is so completely ridiculous. But so is his talent...
Chad Hunt Photography.com

I wrote:
"Chad, you've believed this long...keep believin. My GOD, look at these shots. You not only have the talent, you have the balls. You paid your own way to Afghanistan just to "get the shot". Your perserverence will win respect and you just have to keep playin' their game. You, are, amazing."
And today I'm absolutely beeeeeeeeeeeaming. Although it certainly could, it probably wont change his life - but that's not the point. The point is, you cannot take this away from him. Ever. He can have a thousand more editors bitch slap him, he can never get another job... they cannot take this. It's why "The Price is Right" was so special to me. At the end of the day, I somehow made the right choices to have the Egos do 5 minutes on the set of "Price is Right". The real set. It's mine forever. You can't ever take that from me. Things will come and go but I know people far more successful than me who would have loved to have that opportunity. This is the same deal with Chad - there are ridiculously famous photographers, incredibly successful... who never got the cover of Time. It's something that 20 years later you can point to in your own heart and say: "I did it."
And truth be told, it actually wallops my Price is Right analogy because all that meant at the time for me was that it helped my "sit-com" push have more credibility. Which of course it still does, but for Chad? There's no legitimate reason this doesn't keep him busy for as long as he wants. Seriously, this one moment could parlay into so many jobs that he can't keep up. However if it doesn't? It's his forever. His risk paid off. He paid his way to Afghanistan to be part of something he believed in, and for years he has been fighting to get seen.
Well Chad, you're being seen now. The absolute biggest magazine cover you could have ever dreamed for your shots in Afghanistan. It's the top of the top. Now he gets to email all of those editors that wouldn't give him the time of day, that would pull the rug out from under him at the last moment (seriously the parallels in our careers are uncanny - it's the exact same shit, just a different field) are now gonna open their emails to the cover of Time Magazine and his credibility will be through the roof.

What's great is he said his 5 year goal was to be published in a national magazine... It's his 5 year anniversary, and I think it's safe to say he pulled that off and then some. Don't ya think?

Chad, you absolutely made my month brother. I'm not sure I've ever been so happy for someone in my entire life. I finally know how so many of you reading must feel when good shit happens in The Journey. Incredibly, it's the same feeling! I've been calling everyone I know, am making an extra trip to pick up the magazine today... I'm on top of the world. How inspirational! Talent wins! The risk pays off! The good guy finally gets it! YAHOO!!!
PS - For the video I had to use the one from 2005 that shows what to date I think is my favorite picture he's ever taken:
And of course, it never got published, never picked up - but it's the defninition of excellence.
We went to Coney Island to see stuff (actually a very cool entry if you have a moment) and amazingly there was this big rescue operation goin' on. It was also the day that there was a big subway scare in NY so it was just a crazy day all around. Made this cool little video and I gotta say - that's probably why I love the shot so much, because I watched it all come together as chaos was ensuing - but it's just a testament to how talented he is. That photo couldn't look more staged, couldn't look more photoshopped - but I watched him run up behind the guy and snap 10 off as he watched it all come together. His eye is extraordinary and again - today he won! Inspiration is a wonderful thing.