Crown & Caliber Headshots

I was commissioned to make some headshots for a luxury watch reseller, Crown & Caliber, who was in the process of a rebranding. The client specifically wanted to integrate the watches into the headshots, to create a unique look.The goal was to make two images per employee, one as a business casual portrait and the other as if the subject was modeling their favorite watch in a relaxed manner. I used a very simple lighting setup for these portraits as shown to the right. The main light was a five foot octabank attached to a Profoto B1 Air and was placed fairly closely to the subject. Since this modifier produces a soft light that wraps nicely around the subject, I only needed a minimal amount of fill on the subject's left side and on the background. To accomplish this, I used a Profoto B2 head, bouncing into a white reflector. This left some definition provided by the main light on the subject's features, while minimizing any shadows on the backdrop. Note that I wasn't able to light the background separately since the backdrop chosen by the client was relatively small, though it got the job done. I shot this project tethered so that it would be easier to get feedback from the art director. The camera used was a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 100mm 2.8 macro on a tripod. For post production, I only applied some very minor contouring, retouching, and sharpening. Below are some of the images.

Life Floor - Winter 2015

Earlier this year I did a few shoots for an awesome client of mine, Life Floor, in Ohio and Minnesota. During every shoot I do with them, I always look to build on the work we've already made and bring something new and a little different to the table. Something that we've worked hard on is producing images that are very light and airy, with an atmospherically clean quality without feeling sterile.

So in that pursuit I decided to employ a new technique that I had first seen on Fstoppers. It is similar to light painting with a long exposure, but instead you use a flash to selectively light an area you want to accent and then combine the images in Photoshop. This technique creates something that would be almost impossible to make with just one exposure and multiple lights or with HDR. In the end each one of these photos contains anywhere from 10-75 individual photos. This whole process is expertly explained and demonstrated in a class by Make Kelley which I highly recommend if you're interested in trying this out for yourself.

We made many other types of photos during this assignment, but I wanted to feature these since they're something new I haven't posted about before. You can see other photos from this shoot on Life Floors web site and this excellent catalog of their products they produced.

Shot with a Canon 5D III and TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II

Tedashii's "Nothing I Can't Do" Music Video BTS Preview

Last month I got a text from Kyle Dettman asking, if I wasn't already doing anything, would I like to come to the filming of part of Tedashii's next music video, Nothing I Can't Do, featuring Trip Lee and Lecrae. I said, eh, yes. During set changes, I pulled the artists aside and grabbed a few shots until the film crew was ready again. Kyle and Chris Fenner did an amazing job shaping this superb lighting, making my job nearly foolproof. Tedashii and Lecrae were very patient and kind as always. They're super talented and a pleasure to work with. Trip Lee was filmed at a separate location and wasn't present for this shoot. The video will be out soon, and I'll update this post with a link when it is released. I've had a chance to see it, and Kyle and the whole team blew it out of the water. It's stunning--a perfect paring with the song and the incredible album as a whole. The feeling and heart that Tedashii put into every track comes though. The album, Below Paradise, came out today, and it's definitely worth checking out. 

Update: I've added the video below!

Shot with the Fuji X100S & Canon 5D Mark III. Processed with VSCOfilm.

KB Promo Shoot

Last month I was approached by Kyle Dettmen, video director at Reach Records, to help him with a small video project and to photograph rap artist KB. The goal of this shoot was to create some images for promotional use and hopefully an album cover. The shoot went flawlessly and I couldn't be happier with the images. It was awesome to work with KB. He was very patient and had some great ideas to add to the shoot. The first half of the shoot was at RITE studio in Atlanta, and we shot on their CYC wall.

I used a Canon 5D Mark III and a Fuji X100S, Westcott Apollo Orb, Yongnu YN560-II speed light, and some constant lights that were first used for the video shoot. For me this shoot was the final nail in the Canon coffin. Ever since I bought my X100S I have been reaching for it over my 5D3 whenever possible. I'm now seriously considering ditching my Canon gear for an all Fuji system especially after the reveal of the X-T1 and the amazing lenses they are producing. The image quality, especially the colors and sharpness, never cease to amaze me. This was my first chance to test it out in a studio environment, and I wasn't sure just how well the X100S would be able to keep up with the 5D3. But it did, in a big way. Just like when shooting the X100S with flash in daylight, the most noticeable feature is the high flash sync speed which really added another dimension to the images and allowed me to shoot in a more "natural light" frame of mind. I triggered the flash with a pair of PocketWizard Plus III, and I haven't had any trouble with the units keeping up with the X100S. The drama that you can create with one small flash and 1/1000 at 2.8 is stunning.

The final half of the shoot was at an abandoned prison which had to be one of the most haunting places I've ever been. I went there armed only with the X100S.

Finally I processed the images in Lightroom 5 using VSCO film packs. These presets that VSCO has created have become a stable to my editing workflow. Their ability to infuse depth to shadows and tweak color bring out character in images unlike anything I've seen. They're also an awesome company that supports the creative community with artist spotlights and other great products like VSCOcam.

Here's the cover for KB's newest EP 100 which can be found on iTunes here. It's definitely worth checking out. I can't stop listening to it and it's backed by a great message. Some of KB's best work. Props to Clark Orr for the cover design.

Huge thanks to Kyle for thinking of me for this shoot and for assisting me with lights and ideas. He's been a great friend for many years. Also thanks to KB for putting up with me and being so willing to do whatever I asked of him. I'm thrilled and humbled to report that he loved the photos. And for everyone at Reach Records, they're a great team and anyone would be lucky to work with them. Hope we can collaborate on another project soon.