As it was left on Tuesday, I had undertaken a monster EAS shoot that had more complexities that I have sanity. It was a three day shoot that would produce over 90 images, a 15, 30 and 60 second commercials, and grey hair.
The life of an advertising photographer is on par with the metaphorical tightrope walk. It is beyond the balancing act almost to a point of daredevil attribute from the inherent risk. There are many great photographers that gravitate towards different avenues of this medium because, let’s face it, advertising is a very complex dance.
As a freelance artist, I have found that my loyalties to any particular team need to be minimized on set, the only person I work for is the client. This is often easier said than done, but is a must in order to maintain a certain quality level of work over a broad portfolio. In order to stay objective, I intentionally try to stay uniformed about the sports or athletes that I am photographing. It is important that I know only what I need to know in order to be respectful and safe with the athlete on set. From there I have found that most of my subjects have fun talking about what they do to someone that doesn’t try to know too much about their sport. On a recent photoshoot that I did for the University of Maryland, I let one of the football players walk me through what he visualized as “intensity.” It was speed, it was fluid motion and I was captivated. I began thinking about how to show my viewers the mental imagery he created. I had him walk me through the action that he sees on the field, both in common plays and highlight reels. […]
First of all, Happy Halloween! Go out and have a good ole time dressed as a naughty nurse, naughty secretary, naughty doctor, naughty librarian, naughty paleoclimatologist, naughty executive assistant, yadda yadda yadda (a naughty yadda that is). But be safe. For those who have not joined my Movember team, GET ON IT ALREADY! For those already on my team and growing the mo, tomorrow is Shave the Date, so get your best razor out and start clean. Also, it would be a good idea to take your significant other on a date before than mustache gets too big and she starts recommending that you cook at home a little more often. A random blog? Yes. So periodically I get photos of my work on display that friends send over, and for that I am grateful. The most recent one comes from a photoshoot I did with Chicago Bears player Matt Forte. Perhaps the easiest going guy on set ever. We photographed him in New York at Milk Studios during a day that saw multiple athletes in and out of the studio. What made Matt so cool was that he was the first athlete of the day and one of the […]
Before the main thesis of this blog, let me give you an update… As you may have noticed, I have rather fallen off the face of the Earth lately. I believe the more affable term would be, “bitten off more than I could chew.” Somewhere in my mind I thought that shooting a production, flying to Chicago, shooting another campaign, flying to the Caribbean, flying to DC to shoot another campaign, buying a house, moving and shooting another campaign would all fit into September… As it turns out, this is indeed possible, but comes at the price of sanity. The moment at which I knew that I was in over my head came when I was on set in DC and my wife called me. She informed me that the movers needed to either do the move the next day or three weeks later in October. Where I would normally stress out about never returning to the house that I had called home for the previous five years, instead I just laughed, finished the shoot and flew back that night. My entire concept of “home” has been has been explored lately. Often called Sheldon, because of my dislike of change, this […]
As mentioned in one of my previous blogs, Arizona State University is my longest standing client, more specifically the football program. It is where I found my passion for photographing athletes and it is also where I developed a confidence for doing so. They are a client I never deserved, never earned, and one I am eternally grateful to have. This is why it was heartbreaking weighing the decision not to shoot their campaign this year. As much as I want to say I am able to separate this job from my emotions, I can’t. Many of the clients that I have worked for, I now consider close friends. I celebrate successes of agencies I work with like I celebrate my sports teams winning. On multiple occasions I have sat down with an agency, that I was bidding for, to ask if I was really the best photographer for their campaign. The motivation was not because of the budget, but because I genuinely want to see them get the best person for their job, even if I am not that person. Which brings me to the ASU football campaign… One lunch changed everything… I had gone into said lunch with […]
Being so close to the release of the 2013 Arizona State University Football campaign, I wanted to take an opportunity on to talk about an image that I created many years ago while still a student at ASU. When many people ask me where I believe I crossed the line from hobbyist to professional, I tell them of this campaign, and actually place the beginning on a single image. The fact that the image still lives on my website is a testament to how much I enjoy it and how much it means to me. It is the photo that opened many doors in my career, yet very few people know the background behind its creation. It is my image of Rudy Burgess. The shoot was the most intimidating thing I had done in my life up to that point, it was the first time that I was able to actually answer the question, “could I do that?”. The question exists as more than just a statement in its own right, it exists as a judgement of experience and often a boasting of knowledge by the unknowing. When I was being taught by my mentor, I would often look at […]