Saturday, August 30, 2008

Shooting For Yourself 2

After I had finished shooting Greg, we went surfing. While we were getting ready on the sand I saw a dude getting out of the water with his huge surfboard. The unique thing was he was getting into a wheelchair that was submerged in waist high water. Holy crap! This guy got onto his chair and rolled out of the water, over the rocks, and with his new Infinity surfboard in tow. That studs name is John Davis. John pioneered off-road wheelchair racing and discovered adaptive skiing. Today, John is a two-time Paralympic gold medalist, and is now surfing.

John Davis

I was so impressed with his determination and drive that I went over and started chatting with him. What a cool individual. I said I was totally inspired by him and I wanted to take his picture. You know what he said? "Ya dude, that would be sweet".
The next week I went back to San Onofre to take John's picture (what a perfect excuse to go surfing. My wife can't believe I call this work). He's a great person and the shots turned out beautiful. It was cold and stormy right before we started, then the sun burned through. What kick ass luck.
Some shots put me in chest high water with the old 1DS MKIII. When we were finished it was covered in salt spay and crust. It never failed, not once.

John Davis

Back to my original point. John works for The Hartford, a gigantic insurance company. He was showing the prints I gave him around and it turns out his friend just happens to be a creative at The Hartford's internal ad agency. It turns out that he wanted to do a little story on John in one of their national sales brochures. What do you think happened next?

John DavisJohn Davis

The moral of my little story is "shoot for yourself". I did and all I got out of it was a renewal of my passion for photography, some great images, a new surf buddy, and a huge national client.

John Davis

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Sony Pictures

I am going to start off with the last job I shot. It was for Sony Pictures Animation recruitment. I got a call from John Blas, who owns NCS Creative about an idea to shoot popcorn tubs. Yup popcorn tubs. His idea was to find some tubs and print out some sheets from some of Sony's movies and glue them onto the tubs. Here is the original comp that John mocked up in Photoshop and submitted to Sony.


After the comp was approved John sent me the artwork for the tubs. I used an Epson 3800 on matte and the transform tool in Photoshop to fit the prints to the tubs. Here are the artwork files ready for printing.


tall_cup_hancock_template copy

The rest was easy. Plain background and high res files (1ds mkIII) onto a portable drive and John was on his way home.


Below are the final files.




John did a great job and he makes it look easy. It should be, he was the Senior V.P. , Creative Director, Animation Marketing, at the Walt Disney Motion Picture Group before starting up his own shop.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Shooting For Yourself

I wanted to talk about shooting for yourself. A couple of months ago I picked up a Canon 1DS MKIII from Samy's Camera in LA. I fell in love with the image quality. It wasn't the pixel amount, rather the smoothness of the colors and highlights. This won't be a review, there are plenty on the web. What I wanted to share was the new love affair I have with this camera. I am getting gorgeous image files and prints at 17x22 on an Epson 3800 that have to be seen to truly appreciate.

Anyway my point is that I started shooting for myself again and not just when there were jobs. Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua of Burns Auto Parts said once, that you should shoot what you love and make the effort to shoot personal projects.

While I was surfing in San Onofre with a close friend of mine, I saw him do something that caught my eye. He was rinsing off the saltwater in an outdoor shower surrounded by bamboo. I decide to carry my camera with me that I happened to have in the car. I snapped a couple of shots and later at the condo I looked at them and was inspired. After some beer (a lot of beer and an Opus X cigar), he finally agreed to go back the next morning and take some shoots.

I have had a chance to present these shots to some clients and the response has been very positive. The whole idea of shooting more for myself has led to more interest and from an unexpected place. More on that in the next post.

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