Friday, December 31, 2010

My Favorite Photos of 2010...

I know what you're thinking. Here is a guy that's photographed stars like Taylor Swift, Diane Lane, Jay Z and Tom Petty this year. Surely, one of them must be on the "best of" list of photos for 2010. Here is a photographer that had his images in countless feature stories and on numerous magazine covers. No doubt, one of them must be his favorite photo of the year.

All of those images are special to me, but none are as important as these photos taken this year...


Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Year of Magazine Cover Photos...

I've been lucky enough to get a lot of cover shoots for various publications lately. One of my favorites is Quick, the weekly nightlife and entertainment publication owned by the same people who own The Dallas Morning News. I'm sure it's no surprise that I'm proud of my Quick covers, because I'm always posting about them here!

I had so many fun cover photos this year, I thought I might just do a full year-in-review of sorts. I think this is every 2010 cover, though I may have missed one or two on accident. Enjoy looking at this year's cover shoots and let's look forward to a great 2011!!!

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How To (Almost) Destroy Your Profoto Gear...

So, I recently did this photo shoot with a Dallas band called Hello Lover. We did this whole big production of them acting crazy inside a local Whole Foods Market. We were at the end of the shoot and I suggested that we try something silly, sexy, stupid, nasty and goofy. I suggested we go behind the dumpster and have them spray a bottle of champaign, just like in cheesy rap videos - minus the naked women, gold chains and Bentleys in the background. It made for a fun shot, but it almost destroyed my Canon 5DmkII, Profoto Acute Ring Flash, Profoto AcuteB 600r pack and me!


The Good And The Bad, Round Three...

For my latest installment of The Good and the Bad, I have the newest Victoria's Secret catalog. Since I haven't seen any horrible printed pieces come across my desk in the last few weeks, this one piece wins both categories. How can it be both good and bad?!? Let me explain...

Honestly, it is pretty much all good. The shot is simple, colorful and bold. I love the way the lighting makes the model pop right off the page, and I love her eye contact with the viewer. But, the thing that really pushes me over the top? The way they used the shopping bags to form a sort of puffy, ballerina tutu-inspired skirt for the model was brilliant! I love finding ways to be playful like that in my own photography. I wish I would've thought of this idea.

Now, you may be asking, how can this winner of a photo also grab the "bad" category? Well, it's a minor issue that detracts from the power of the image. It's the design... the excessive text. Victoria's Secret already has huge name recognition. They already know that people will flip through the catalog if they pick it up. So, why would they water down the power of that wonderful cover image? Too much text just clutters up the cover.

Now, I understand the point of putting all the sale and discount info on the cover. However, customers can discover those sales as they flip through the inside. Let the cover be clear, bold, beautiful. Let it be what grabs the viewer and makes them WANT to read the inside!

With a couple seconds of Photoshop magic, I hacked out much of the text, leaving the store name, the important "Semi-Annual Sale" text and a subdued/lightened version of the free shipping info. Which, if you wanted to be more hardcore, even the shipping info could be put inside, making the cover even more streamlined! (Go ahead, put your thumb over that shipping info to see what I mean)

To be fair, Victoria's Secret hasn't cluttered up their cover too bad. I originally had a Macy's advertisement from a few weeks ago that was going to be my "bad" for this installment. It also had an amazing, mesmerizing image that was hidden behind a ton of text. The Macy's ad was the poster child of clutter, with the beautiful image getting lost in the shuffle. Unfortunately, I had a really booked shooting schedule over the last few weeks, and I think I accidentally threw the ad out while I cleaned the studio in between shoots. But, trust me... it was miles worse than this minor infraction!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Vivian Maier, Again...

I usually don't like reposting about old blog subjects, but I had to offer up a second helping of Vivian Maier:

When someone showed me this feature that a Chicago news station did on her upcoming exhibition, I got all excited again! It offers a much more detailed history of the photographer and includes a lot of new images. It's hard to believe Vivian went a whole lifetime without sharing her images with the world. They truly are amazing!


For The Lego Lover...