Bb shoots… Fashion???

Like many, if not all, other photographers, I enjoy the the vast amount of avenues in our medium. Be it photojournalism, table top, macro, etc., I really appreciate what so many other photographers do, and celebrate their successes as much as my own. Unfortunately, I don’t get called to shoot these types of photography, because I haven’t shot them. Let’s be honest, it’s best to stick with someone who has a background in creating an image for the needed situation. But what happens when a client gives you carte blanche on a campaign…. and then asks you to star in it?

This was the case for the LowePro Echelon photoshoot.

LowePro Echelon

So what does a photographer, who is actually quite shy, do when faced with a campaign about himself? … I hired a model that was much better looking than me. No need for me to create beautiful images only to screw them up with my nerdy face in all the shots. From there I started to really think about what appealed to me for the campaign, at least from a stylistic standpoint. While I could shoot it with all the lights in the world (what I am more commonly known for), I felt this was an opportunity to pay homage to a style of photography I love… fashion. More specifically the hard lit Italian type usually seen in black & white.

LowePro Echelon

I love the simplicity of fashion along with the freedom derived from its philosophy. It is the essence of expression’s hand being lent completely to art. It is beauty.

Enough waxing poetic… let’s talk approach.

I decided that I would approach this campaign in two directions. One would see me in front of the camera in a lifestyle feeling image. I felt that this would satisfy the needs of LowePro to have their spokesman’s face on a few images to promote with. The second part would be the fashion shots.

LowePro Echelon

For the fashion images, I decided a tribute to the late 80’s black & white fashion would be cool, but wanted to add my own approach in making them a split color and kicking a couple more lights in than was normal. I wanted the emotion to be confident, but not cocky, and the styling to feel accomplished, but subdued to match the bag line.

I gave my good friends at Maurice Lacroix a phone call, and a day later we had their entire line on hand to grace the model’s wrists. Not to mention, it gave me a chance to wear the Gravity, a watch that I tried to buy and was not even able to get my hands on before it sold out!!!

LowePro Echelon

Next up I talked to Nikon to get some extra camera gear for the shoot, not only to shoot with, but to use in the images. We felt that when it came to true style, the Df fit the roll perfectly. Along with that, they sent me the D4s and the 58 f/1.4 (both of which I ended up buying after using on this shoot).

 

This campaign really means a lot to me, not only for the images, but for the experience. It was a celebration of what I am fortunate enough to do for a living, and along side me stood the friends that I stand next to in the biggest of shoots. I hope that you enjoy the images as much as I enjoyed creating them for you.

Thank you.

Read more.. Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Echelon

Sometimes the phone rings and the conversation that awaits you is not one that you could have ever expected… This was the case for me last May.

On the other end was the marketing director for LowePro. While I have talked with him many times, the conversation that awaited me was quite surreal. He said plane and simple, “we have made you a bag line.”

Now if he would have said that they made me a bag, I would have lost my mind at how cool that was, but a bag line!?!?!?  I think my only response was, “thank you, but I just don’t deserve this.” I feel that things like this, and some other endorsements, are at a constant battle in my mind telling me that I am much cooler than I am. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for it all, but damn, I have long since passed the point where thank you can say enough. No amount of gratitude that I can type about or express in person will ever describe how much you (my friends and family) and my sponsors mean to me…. A genuine and heartfelt THANK YOU.

Now onto the bag….. LINE (yes, even I chuckle inside when I think about it)

Now when I first thought of a bag line, I thought okay, maybe they have a couple of backpacks or roller bags that I need to take some photos with. This was not the case, far far far from it. On a conference call with the marketing and design teams, they described the ultimate bag. Now when I say ultimate, I mean, “hey, we spared NO expense and made a bag to show what a company can do when they want to show off.” For the car guys out there, here is the analogy that best describes it… Many car makers made a one of a kind car for the Geneva Auto Show as an example of what is possible. It is a car that will likely never be sold or driven on the road, but rather an exercise in art and design at its finest.

The phone call continued… the bag (which I already thought was the greatest photo bag ever) had some friends it wanted to bring to the party. One called the Attache and the other the Laptop, both of which were top of the line in ever single detail. Throughout the presentation one word was used more than any other… Luxury.

It was very obvious that what they were describing to me was a collection of bags that showed the essence of what a large company like LowePro could do if they so desired. The pieces were the strongest, most beautiful bags I had ever seen, and more importantly, they were understated. Even the logos on the outside of them had all color removed, as to not draw unwanted attention. After all, the truest form of luxury and accomplishment is not having to boast about it.

In the early stages it was questioned if the bags could even be produced en mass. We knew that the costs would put them very much at the all time top for camera bags, but that was less the issue, it was actually making them that would be tough. With hand stitched leather and a single piece tub, these bags would stretch the resources of even a company like LowePro.

Fast forward a couple months and the phone rang again. It was LowePro calling to tell me that my bag line had been produced. Due to the sheer costs and the level of the bags, only 400 had been made. To me, this was the rare chance to purchase the unicorn of the camera bag market. I was ecstatic when they told me that they were giving me a set. However, when it arrived last week, I immediately called them and purchased a second set, because damn are they incredible. I thought that in production there would be small little details lost from the prototypes I had, but this was not the case, they were and are the pinnacle of design for a camera bag.

So without further adieu, I present to you the greatest camera bags I have ever seen….. ECHELON

LowePro Echelon

Read more.. Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Movember is Near

For all you men and a couple of women I guess, the time to grow that stache is quickly approaching us. Yes, I am talking about Movember.

Last year many of us grew staches and raised money for friends, family members and strangers alike with the goal of raising awareness of men’s health. Whether you are raising money or just talking about the cause, you are helping us as a society move forward. It means a ton to every person that has gone through the battle or may in the future.

I am proud to announce that for the second year in a row I will be captaining the Maurice Lacroix US (Mo’Rice Lacroix to be cheeky) team in our quest to raise awareness and money for men’s health. Like last year, we will also be awarding a limited edition Maurice Lacroix timepiece to the guy or gal that raises the most on our team (look for a blog and details on that in the future).

So head on over to Movember’s site and join us. Also, stay tuned to this blog as I will be making some posts about the causes we are fighting for throughout the month.

Read more.. Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Bb: LowePro Ambassador

I will admit right now, every time I write a title like this or the Nikon, or Maurice Lacroix ambassador one, I sit back and think…. “you know, people are going to stop asking me to grab a beer with them if I keep this stuff up.”

Please know that, like the other endorsements, it means the world to me to have a company that I know and trust show such support. I can’t say much, but will say this… there are some VERY exciting things that will come out of this relationship. When LowePro approached me about becoming a LoweProfessional, one aspect that was discussed at length was, “how can we use this partnership to help people out?” From raising money for charities to helping educate photographers on how I go about my work, I wanted to make sure it was a contract that helped me give back to the community above all. Blair_Bunting_Bio_main

It’s an odd reality to be a part of and I find myself honored to experience it, but also missing what things were like before. To be honest, some of my favorite shoots I have ever done were the small editorial gigs where I didn’t make all that much and came home tired. Unfortunately, the calls for those go away when photo editors fear that they are wasting my time calling, and so such sponsorships have an averse affect.

It’s a part of this career that I never saw coming. I used to sit on the internet looking at who was with what company and think, “damn it would be awesome to be in his or her place.” However, it was impossible to see that said achievement would make people hesitate to reach out and ask for advice like, how I lit a specific photo or what gear I used.

To have fun and try to pay it back to you (my readers/friends) I have started calling random Twitter and Facebook followers every week to say “hi” and ask if they had any questions… (on a side note, the calls have been freaking awesome and I plan to keep on doing them when I have breaks in my schedule).

You guys are the reason great companies like LowePro have reached out to me, and I want to say not only thank you, but please don’t ever feel that I am in a different league and therefore am inaccessible… I am one of you and always will be. So whether it be Facebook, Twitter or Smoke Signal (the OG social media), please feel free to ask advice on cameras, watches, bags… heck, ask what I had for dinner, I really don’t mind.

Read more.. Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

The ML Tradition: A new class of Retro

I sat at a bar in Las Vegas with Sandro Reginelli, lead designer of Maurice Lacroix. We had just had the watch conversation to end all watch conversations, and decided to celebrate it over a glass of scotch. As is the case with every modern meeting about watches, we immediately started going through watch pics on our phones of timepieces we either owned or admired. One image that he showed stayed with me, and to this day I haven’t been able to source it. The watch was of a very early Panerai that was probably one of the companies’ first. What struck me about the image wasn’t the design or the complication, it was the weathered look that it existed in. The watch was obviously worn quite a bit and was in no way the “safe queen” that many expensive timepieces live their lives as. It’s leather strap barely held the body of the watch any more, it’s case was so worn that the brushing marks on it had begun to resemble a modern day matte finish. It was a beautiful watch for what it was and what it meant. It was the past that still lived in the current.

For those that know my affinity of watches, you most likely know my love of modern watches that respect the designs of their predecessors. From the remake of the McQueen Monaco to the Sapphire Sandwich Speedmaster, I crave living in the past with the protection of the modern. Being able to wear a modern retro-styled watch is the embodiment of Ferris Bueller taking out the Ferrari and not worrying about chucking it through the window. While I don’t condone abuse of a watch, I do support wearing one with confidence and not worry. If you are going to invest in a cool watch, why only wear it to nice dinner?

Enter the Maurice Lacroix Pontos Chrono Retro

ML Pontos Retro 1

The first time that I saw this watch I was in love. It looked so good on the internet that I was worried there was no chance it could hold up to such appeal in real life. Fortunately, this was not the case. If anything, the watch was even better looking in person as small details revealed themselves. At certain angles the blue chrono second hand shines, while at others it goes flush to dial. The texture of the black subdials exists at some angles but disappears at others. It has so much hidden detail that I am finding this blog getting tough to write while looking at the watches… distracted by my own muse

ML Pontos Retro 2

Being very fortunate to have a relationship with Maurice Lacroix, I had the luxury of getting both versions of the watch sent to me to spend some time with. I can say that if there were ever watches that would get “lost” on their way back to ML, these are them. From the first outing with the Chrono Retro, I got comments from friends and strangers alike (especially on the white dial model). They are very catchy pieces and had me smitten.

ML Pontos Retro 3

I guess that is the appeal of their retro styling to me. It takes me back to a time when I first discovered my passion for watches. Just the act of keeping time felt like an historic event was happening on my wrist. Wearing a watch was a document of the history it kept on its dial, and you function as both participant and observer. The interaction of the textures became a study of light itself, and watching the second hand could silence even the busiest of worlds around. Wearing a watch that inspires quiet confidence is a journey into self realization where pride and humility coexist.

ML Pontos Retro 4

 

Read more.. Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Bb: Maurice Lacroix Ambassador

I have to admit, after writing the title for this blog, I am still in disbelief. The emotion of it falls somewhere between shaking my head and giggling with excitement.

maurice-lacroix-ambassadorWhen I wrote my first blog piece about my first watch, never did it cross my mind that someday I might be associated with the maker of it. The words were genuine appreciation for the timepiece and level of regard in which I held the brand was authentic. The watch was the Maurice Lacroix Pontos Petite Seconde, and it is and will always be my favorite watch.

Over the years, there have been many additions to my watch collection, as well as many subtractions. There have been great watches that I have owned for only weeks because once removed from the flashy environment of the watch store, they failed to inspire me. However, my Maurice Lacroix pieces will never leave. You see, watches bought for luxury or acquired persona will fade, but timepieces that mean something to their owner will not. Call it odd, but the way I judge how much a timepiece means to me is not based off  its movement, what shape it is or how many jewels it has; I judge it based on how much the day I purchased it meant to me. Every watch I have can keep time, but I buy Maurice Lacroix to celebrate the time.

Recently I was doing an interview with Maurice Lacroix and they went through a gauntlet of questions about watches, life, and photography. However, there was one question that captivated me…

“What does Maurice Lacroix mean to you?”

I can’t even remember what answer I gave during the interview, but the question has been running through my mind a lot lately, so I will attempt to answer it now. The issue is that Maurice Lacroix exists in realm beyond the easy flattering words like “perfection,” “timeless” and “excellence.” Maurice Lacroix exists in at a level where coatent similes can’t be found and where language fails me. When I pick up an ML timepiece, I don’t rattle off opinions or even try it on. I just stop and look at it and let the world around just fall away.

While I was writing that, it struck me how I can describe this…. As kids, my brother and I would bug my dad ruthlessly on the weekends to see if he would take us to the local Ferrari shop. Sometimes, he would. I can fondly remember spending hours looking at a single car. There wasn’t a chance of owning it as a kid, there wasn’t any ego or self-importance attached to it, and if given the opportunity, I wouldn’t have even have known how to drive it. I spent hours looking at the car because of one thing…. I admired it.

blairbunting-maurice-lacroix

Watches are much the same. There are many watches I own that have historical significance to other people, the Speedmaster to the astronauts that used it on the moon, the Monaco that was used by McQueen at Le Mans. While captivating to imagine, the significance of the watch is to another person. A Maurice Lacroix timepiece is that car I spent hours looking at as a child, for it is significant to me.

It is with much pride and honor that I can announce that I have partnered with Maurice Lacroix as an ambassador to the brand. Over the last eight months I have been privileged to meet the family that is Maurice Lacroix’s US team as well as some of the Swiss team from their headquarters. Every person has been incredible, and the conversations that have been had about watches are amongst those I hold most dearest. They are watchmaker with a very bright future, and I am grateful to be apart of it.

Read more.. Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Video: An Interview for Movember

Today’s blog is a bit different that the others, mostly because I am in front of the camera on this one.

The background behind the video came from the photoshoot with Adam Garone, the founder and CEO of Movember. In between takes, he and I spent time talking about everything from the cause that is Movember to watches to general mustachery. The client asked if we would be interested in having a conversation in front of the camera and, as should always be the answer to client, we said “yes.”

So if you have a few minutes, watch it, have a laugh at me in front of the camera, go check out Movember.com and join our team to help fight for men’s health.

Read more.. Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Adam Garone – Mr. Movember

This job has been a door that continually opens to opportunities that I don’t deserve, but will always be grateful for. One such opportunity presented itself when I showed interest in Movember.

I was talking with the marketing team at Maurice Lacroix, and they told me that they were thinking of partnering with Movember this year, and if they did, wondered if I had interest in photographing the CEO of Movember, Adam Garone.

movember-blog

… Now this is a situation that scares me sometimes. You see, Adam is, by all research I had done, a cool guy that down to his core is a damn good person. I often worry about this because photoshoots often show me the real person that is my subject and sometimes they are product of great PR, and not so much character. However, I can proudly say that Adam is the real deal, a legit guy that everyone should have a beer with… especially the thousands of men who’s lives have benefited by his cause, Movember.

Beyond the photoshoot, he and I did video interviews (of which you will see soon) to talk about both Maurice Lacroix watches and what Movember meant to us. On camera we kept things serious, but I have to admit, there are more outtakes of us laughing and joking than there is usable footage from the interviews. This probably should not come as a surprise though, for watching the first couple minutes of his Ted Talk will show you that his company began when he and his friends had too many beers.

no images were found

Nonetheless, he is the example of someone that had talent, an idea and a beer, and with that made the world better.

: Public Service Announcement :

Go sign up for my Movember team at Movember.com and help us raise awareness for men’s health!

Read more.. Thursday, November 7th, 2013

The Maurice Lacroix Pontos Movember

When Maurice Lacroix asked me to captain their Movember team I was esthetic, after all they make the watch I would wear if I could only wear one. However, they then told me that as a part of their Movember team they were going to give away a watch to the person that raised the most money on my team… suddenly I realized that as team captain I am excluded. ….. But it’s for a good cause, right?

So here is the watch in all her glory:

movember-s

It is a Maurice Lacroix Pontos S in orange and special editioned with the Movember logo and limited number on the side (our’s is 7 of 11). I could go on and on about how many moving parts it has inside and what functions it has, but just look at this thing…. damn sexy.

Also should be noted that I am holding the watch for the month of Movember to give to the winner, so if there is a photo or two of me wearing it, I know nothing about it (but I do promise to clean the saliva from it before delivery).

Ok, so how do you make this one yours?… Go to Movember Mo’Rice Lacroix US and sign up. Raise the most money and it’s yours (currently the highest person is $200).

Read more.. Friday, November 1st, 2013

Matt Forte of Da Bears

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.

Matt Forte

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 last to leave. He was so easy going that he just hung out with the crew and friends on set and was very much one of us. No ego, just a cool humble guy with the world’s coolest iPhone case.

One moment of humor, from the shoot stands out more than anything else. As is customary for athletes, I put on the Pandora station “Rap Strength Training” while we do the active portion of the shoot. With Matt we were shooting a continuos series of running shots (like the one seen here and on my site). Suddenly he stops and looks at me. I asked if everything was alright and he points to the speaker and says, “wait for it….”. A couple seconds later the song playing has the line, “Matt Forte got the bitch running back”… Everyone from the crew, clients, and friends just lost it… it turned the set into a damn near party and was almost ten minutes until we resumed shooting.

In the meantime, head to the website to see the shot and go sign up for my Movember team already…

Read more.. Thursday, October 31st, 2013