Society for Human Resource Management
Another project with SHRM, a favorite ongoing collaboration. Each year, we explore how to highlight the host city for the SHRM Annual Conference.
Sometimes an area highlights itself….Vegas, baby.
Another project with SHRM, a favorite ongoing collaboration. Each year, we explore how to highlight the host city for the SHRM Annual Conference.
Sometimes an area highlights itself….Vegas, baby.
This project wasn’t a feat of post-production, everything was practical -floors were built in stables and pump houses and carpet was really laid down outdoors.
It was a pleasure to work with Creative Director, Jeremy Estroff, of 3 Atlanta
These aren’t just photographs of beautiful people, in beautiful clothing, in a beautiful setting.
These are clothes, woven from the wool of sheep raised on this land. The images captured still moments, while just out of frame and between locations, we heard, saw and smelled the motion of life and work of a farm.
Thank you Gum Tree Farm, Franny Kansteiner and Beverly Kansteiner Burden
Concept by Sandra Ranke
What does a “Just Cuz/If I win I’ll give you half/Yaaass/aw, you shouldn’t have” – gift look like?
I’m not sure anyone would have given me half, but it was a fun, happy shoot that captured the possibility that is the lottery.
Creative Director: Ron Villacarillo
Senior Producer: Wendy Dunn McCallum
Producer: Wylie Moran
One of the things I’ve come to value most about being a photographer is the opportunity to learn from every project.
Case in point, when working with the team at SmithGifford on the MyEyeDr. “Resting Squint Face” campaign, I learned there’s a name for that look, you know the one. “RSF” is that sideways glance or squint, created when a person isn’t seeing too clearly, that can result in a perpetual look of anger and distrust in just about every situation.
Not only is the campaign lighthearted and funny but I could very much relate — I totally get #RSF.
Ultimately, we had a lot of fun. We played around with not only the cast and the crew but also worked to ensure we brought attention to these misunderstood squint lines, with our lighting.
Creative Director: Bill Cutter
I love working with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Their productions are always so creative and diverse, and it translates into really fun shoots. Woolly Mammoth’s 2018-19 season features an energizing array of plays by new voices, Woolly veterans, Obie Award-winners, Pulitzer finalists, and familiar partners: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Rajiv Joseph, Heidi Schreck, Aziza Barnes, Mike Daisey, The Second City, and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
Thank you to Director of Brand and Marketing Gwydion Suilebhan
Hair & Makeup by Dean Krapf lluminaire Salon
Working with SHRM is always a treat – they think big. And the host city is an integral part of their marketing.
In these images, Chicago’s grand architecture and iconic urban vistas serve as an ideal backdrop to promote the largest HR conference in the world.
Another collaboration with Malina Jacobowitz, Conference Marketing Manager.
Producer: Monica Zaffarano
Savannah is a city that makes you feel something – the heat, the history, the mystery. Making images to convey the unique personality of one of the most iconic American cities was the best kind of challenge. These images are grounded in the historical grandeur and natural beauty of Savannah, and lifted by a wink of surreal Southern charm.
Hager Sharp is an agency that prides itself on creating work that fosters meaningful change in the world. They’ve been at it for nearly 40-years now, so it was a privilege to be asked to partner with them on a campaign for USDA WIC Breastfeeding Week that encourages low-income moms to breastfeed.
I love what has come through in these images — a testament to honoring the bond between mothers and their children, and the obvious love and pride parents have for their children. They are such intimate images and yet represent something so natural and universal.
Agency: Hager Sharp
Mike Gallagher, SVP, Creative Director
Aaron Murphy, Creative Director
Natalya Malteva, Art Director
Jerold Williams, Production director
Special thanks to U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutritionists Valery Soto and Cheryl Funanich.
Real people, not actors. It can be a cliche of a line. But for their 25th anniversary, Rosetta Stone wanted to highlight their users – people who have learned a new language as a way to change the world, in big and small ways. There were so many personalities captured in these portraits – so many faces of curiosity, of determination, of understanding, of wanderlust.
It was a pleasure working again with Andy Steenberge, Creative Director of Rosetta Stone. His vision and passion for this series were such assets to ending up with the portraits we did.
Working with PBS on this project for their Mercy Street mini series was incredible and I loved every minute of it. Going in, we did not have a lot of specific creative direction other than a classical approach similar to what PBS had done with their monster hit Downton Abbey. That influence was a great jumping off point, but I was also interested in creating something a little more modern and contemporary to set this series apart. To achieve that, I set up a set within a set to create a classical look melded with a more modern lighting design and a subtly textured backdrop.
We delivered the images and I didn’t immediately hear back – crickets – I thought maybe they hated the photographs. I really liked them and wanted to plow ahead, which I did. On set (in Petersburg, Virginia) we had an old 20×20 silk as the backdrop. I also hunted down a location for the exterior images of Civil War era Petersburg, these images of cobblestone streets and buildings were layered in post with the in-photograph silks. We used the silk as a base background and I really wanted the focus to stay on the characters so the background elements needed to be a “there but not there” type of thing – providing texture and a modern nod without overwhelming the images or the subject. Working with my partners at Sugar Digital, we worked back-and-forth to find the right layering balance so that the painterly background effect was there to support but not distract from the subjects. The colors and textures of the period wardrobe, along with the actors’ faces were a striking focal point, and I was after tones that would marry well with each other and could straddle the historical/contemporary setting of the images.
With the updated backgrounds, I now loved the images and sent them to the client. This time the client responded immediately that they loved the look and wanted to create the entire campaign around what we’d created.
I’ve been working with movie lights and crews for approximately 10 years now. When the Starbucks campaign for Tazo became a possibility, I knew I wanted to incorporate a cinematic and enchanted look and feel. Lighting and location were the driving force behind this project. The Greystone mansion is an historic and cinematically recognizable location from movies such as There Will Be Blood. The interiors had windows that never received direct sunlight so everything was lit artificially. I’m a nerd, a lighting nerd at that, and I love working with continuous lights and instruments because of the natural lighting effect they create.
As is my general preference, everything was photographed in-camera so all of the elements, including the floating teapots, were really there on set. I guess things could have been photographed elsewhere and composed in post after the fact, but I jumped through a few extra hoops to create these images in camera. Special effects such as smoke were also employed on set so that I could get the clearest picture of the whole photograph as I took it.
And an image’s magic can be in its mystery – how did they do that…?
Was the teapot really floating? Retouching with my friends at Sugar Digital in this case was mainly the pleasant task of playing around subjectively with color and tones to make the images as beautiful as we could. As with most of the projects I shoot, the heavy lifting is done on set. Pre-production, pre-production, pre-production. Good planning makes for a good production and detailed pre-production makes for painless post-production. The beauty of great post-production work can be in its subtlety – the icing on the teacake if you will.
Ultimately everyone’s commitment to the cinematic influence throughout the whole process helped achieve what Creative Director Daniele Monti described as “capturing the magic and whimsy of the new Tazo brand – something in between a modern Alice in Wonderland and an iconography that pulls from different eras, places and cultures.”
File this one under the project dictating the process. For this shoot for Stelara, a pharmaceutical campaign, we needed to allow for an on-set curveball. The initial idea was the print campaign was going to play off of and use the same sets as the companion TV production, which had the model moving easily throughout the four seasons. We arrived at the studio in LA the day before TV was supposed to film to see their sets and lighting setup. Everything had been built and we were all under the impression that the sets could be tweaked for print concepts after TV had completed. Once at the studio, we found out that the set elements could not be tweaked or moved at all. We marinated on all sorts of possible solutions, even the possibility of building entirely new sets just for our print project. That night I went to bed and had the “still lying awake” idea of creating the entire background in CG. I immediately emailed the CG geniuses at Luminous Creative Imaging in Amsterdam who were 9 hours ahead of us in LA. They were game and available and I got an estimate, which I proposed and submitted to my client the very next morning.
Everything was quickly approved and off we went. We photographed the model in another studio entirely with minimal set design such as grass/snow flooring so the talent was grounded in elements she would be in for the final image. The background and field were created in CG by Luminous Creative Imaging to match the lighting design that we created on set. Color and tonal range were massaged to be beautiful, playful and pleasing as if the subject were out on a afternoon stroll. For the initial surprises, it felt so good to end up with a visually stunning image that rivaled the broadcast version of this campaign, one that ultimately surpassed expectation.
Deutsch LA, Star Wars, Target. Any one of these names alone would make an attractive project. Put them together, along with a pinch of Disney and a dash of Lucas Films and I can’t be entirely certain I wasn’t dreaming.
I was completely geeked to be considered for the brief “to photograph the latest Star Wars toys for Target” – toys which would be released for the 2016 holiday season. It was a resounding “yes” for me.
From our first call, it was clear that the agency saw what I had begun to realize – that the movies and comics of my youth have been some of my greatest and most important influences in my life and my picture-making. These were key ingredients in what they sought — a photographer that loved cinema and also harbored an inner-nerd.
There are times when less is more. With a sweeping, cinematic vision for this fantastic project that could have been a candidate for a lot of post-production reworking, I pulled back and went as old school as I could. I approached this series of images almost as an old Ray Harryhausen stop action movie. I wanted all of the elements to be tangibly together, for these toys to inhabit sets that had been built with great care and detail to evoke another world. Continuous lights were used, as were colored gels to shift the color to the worlds of the Star Wars narrative. Special effects were used on set so everything was captured in camera. In post, working again with Sugar Digital, we simply modified color and tones to play up the drama of the sets and accentuate the pop of Target red. Even when I pour myself into the in-camera construction, precise post is quietly vital to sharpen the product.
So much of the creative, collaborative work we do is represented by what doesn’t end up as the final image or images for any given shoot. I love working with Warren Ellis and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation – Maryland, and making this portrait of Honest Tea CEO, Seth Goldman, was a treat. Exploring his connection to Montgomery County, where Honest Tea is located, we ended up with a great image. This outtake looking up at me from that cutting room floor, reminds me of the joy of the process arriving there. The journey is vital to the destination.
Who doesn’t want to be asked to make pictures of aliens floating down from the sky, wearing cool shoes. The Mirabell Footwear campaign included a fun trip to Hong Kong, images I really dig, and definitely some adventures – and misadventures – along the way (buy me a beer and I’ll tell you more).
Toilet Seats. Toilet seats in Texas. A Toilet Seat Art Museum in San Antonio. Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum. Count me in!
One of the things I love about what I do is getting access to a place or a person that I didn’t know even existed before they contacted me. A big part of what keeps me going is the love of an adventure and to have – and share – these experiences with people and their stories.
Ketchum contacted me in regards to working a project for The Clorox Company. Working with creative director, Ken Buraker, we headed to San Antonio and Barney’s museum. In addition to creating a series of images as well as a short video of Barney for a national campaign, we set up an outdoor available-light studio in the 100 degree Texas heat and photographed the objects that inspired us – Clean, minimalistic and graphically interesting.
The images were created both for use on OdeToTheCommode.com and Clorox’s Facebook and Instagram channels. For Clorox this was more about digital storytelling and celebrating someone, who shares a unique passion for toilets, than a traditional campaign.
The idea came about after Clorox saw a news story about Barney Smith. Barney is an artist who uses toilet seat lids as his canvas. Over five decades, he created more than 1,300 ornately-decorated toilet lids, some of which feature artifacts with national and international historical significance. He displays them in his Toilet Seat Art Museum, which also happens to be the garage of his San Antonio home. With Barney’s 100th birthday a few short years away, he is looking to take a step back and is searching for a buyer for his entire collection who will keep available to the public, free of charge, for years to come.
It’s not often someone sees the potential for finer elements of the bathroom like Clorox does, so they had the idea to release a digital gallery featuring Barney’s favorite and most unique lids – an Ode to the Commode – to find a new home for the collection and share Barney’s passion for toilets with everyone to enjoy like thousands of visitors to his San Antonio museum have over the years.
The project was about creating different visuals that can live on many different platforms but telling the same brand story, and I think it’s a perfect example of where brand marketing and storytelling is going. As marketing continues to drift onto digital platforms, creating “assets” and “content” is what we are seeing more and more of in regards to needs from agencies.
I loved this project so much. It’s bananas!!
What do you do after toilet seats? What’s next? Honestly, I want to go where I don’t know I want to go yet.
*If you are in San Antonio, Barney’s Toilet Seat Museum should really be on your must visit list. Barney himself is an American treasure. And he has a ton of stories to tell. The museum is located in his garage, so it’s small but it’s overflowing with stuff to see.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. is a legendary institution, and it is always an honor to work with them and creative director Scott Bushnell. The Washington National Opera imported Stephen Lawless’ production of Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena”. The performance was deemed a tour de force for the American dramatic soprano, Sondra Radvanovsky, and my marching orders were to create a fitting portrait of Ms. Radvanovsky. No small feat. As Anna Bolena, she was locked up in the Tower of London, so we agreed it needed to be tense, and a bit dark. The focus on her face set off by a shadowy background that hints at the tumult surrounding her.
The Marriott team, with creative director KD Cantarella leading the way, was a true pleasure to work with. The campaign was well-received and the megabonus for us was when we heard that it got great results ending up as one of Marriott Rewards’ highest revenue generating promotions, and much of this was attributed to breakthrough creative.
or 2017, their 37th season, I reunited with the creative mind of Jamin Hoyle for second helping of posters for Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington DC. Collaborating with the talented theatre team, we worked with custom-painted canvas backdrops, and a home-made space suit to achieve this series of dramatic, theatrical and provocative posters – perfectly suited for a theatre that always pushes artistic boundaries.
Check out the making of video here!
For 2017, their 37th season, I reunited with the creative mind of Jamin Hoyle for second helping of posters for Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington DC. Collaborating with the talented theatre team, we worked with custom-painted canvas backdrops, and a home-made space suit to achieve this series of dramatic, theatrical and provocative posters – perfectly suited for a theatre that always pushes artistic boundaries.
Check out the making of video here!
Yes, that Tom Robbins, iconic American author.
I grew up in Richmond, Virginia and went to VCU. Tom Robbins grew up in Virginia, south of Richmond and went to VCU. One of us is an iconic American author, one of us is me. I get wind that he is visiting VCU for a book signing. He has created some of the most memorable and eccentric characters in recent literature, and I’m a sucker for a great character.
What if I could photograph the character behind these characters? I jumped on the chance and went to work on getting a few moments of his time.
A few connections, a little luck, someway, somehow it worked out.
Our visit was short – but Tom was an enthusiastic subject and was more than happy to try a few things out. I stayed on task, not wanting to burn his time and also very careful to not get into a verbal ping-pong match, which I would be sure to lose. Tom Robbins is one of a kind, sincerely nice and generous, and whiplash quick and verbally creative, even in our brief one-on-one interaction.
I wanted to shoot film for some reason, it just seemed right. Though we didn’t have one of those modern monitors to review the images, looking later he seemed to really like the image and he pushed to use it on the book jacket of “Wild Ducks Flying Backwards.”
Flash forward a year or so and I was on a project in Washington state, I called Tom and stopped by for a quick visit – good things happen when you operate fueled by “why not?” I was traveling with a friend, but I didn’t tell him whom we were visiting. Tom was a gracious host, and as we visited, he casually mentioned something about being a writer to my friend. The friend politely asked what type of books he wrote – still oblivious as to whom he was talking to. Tom said, ” I write funny stories about serious things, sort of like Tom Robbins.“
Maybe my friend should pay attention to those photographs on book jackets.
Addendum: In addition to the Wild Ducks Flying Backward jacket, this impromptu portrait session produced an image that will now be featured on the cover of the German edition of Tibetan Peach Pie, (Tibetischer Pfirsichstrudel – rolls off the tongue) It’s no small honor and I’m grateful all over to have had the chance to meet and photograph that Tom Robbins
The image, “Supporting the Arts,” is the result of a project with RP3 for Norfolk Southern Railway. Norfolk Southern has been a titan of American industry for over 35 years, with roots in some of the Eastern United State’s first railroad companies. To promote and recognize their support for the performing arts, I had the pleasure of working with the energetic and really fun Jean-Pierre Bovie, Creative Director at RP3. For this dramatic, photo-driven print ad I worked with a ballet dancer to have her shadow create the shape of a horse, which mimics the logo of the railway. With a clean background, the final image is uncluttered and focused like a spotlight. The juxtaposition of art and industry was interesting to conceptualize and capture.
I am honored to share that for our efforts, we were honored that this ad received a Gold award at the annual American Advertising Awards DC, held at The Newseum. This award show is always a great time to catch up with people and to see the cool work – from the funny to the sublime – coming out of the DC scene. Thank you to AAF DC and all of DC’s brilliant ad shops for another year of exceptional advertising.
My partnership with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company has yielded a collection of posters as interesting and wide-ranging as their productions. The New York Times does a monthly piece that explores the story and the art behind theatre posters, aptly titled Behind the Poster. And what do you know, February featured a poster I did for Woolly’s first play of the 2017 season, Baby Screams Miracle. I’m proud to work with a theatre that always pushes artistic boundaries, and this write up is a pleasant surprise.
Take a look and if you want a little behind the Behind the Poster, my photographers take:
For Woolly Mammoth’s 2017 season – their 37th – I reunited with powerhouse creative director, Jamin Hoyle for a second helping of posters for the DC fixture. Working closely with Gwydion Suilebhan, the theatre’s director of brand and marketing as well, we aimed to capture the feeling of both a physical storm and one raging within. Baby Screams Miracle, begs for a dark and atmospheric look. The hand painted backdrop is a dark blue-green with brush strokes that mimic the movement of a storm. Our model is pregnant and made to look wet and wind blown. Her shimmery, smoky eyes give us a gateway into her internal storm as the viewer is challenged to read her ecstatic expression as laughter or tears. For the subject to appear to be solely lit by candle stub and proudly all captured in camera, I staged our lighting to simulate what would be cast by a candle stub in the rain, mainly her face illuminated with the murky suggestion of the whipping wind and rain behind her.
Nice to see these portraits being put to work. Only 3 more days until the Mercy Street drama debuts, congratulations PBS.
You can learn more about this series and characters here: http://www.pbs.org/mercy-street/home/
Any one of these names would be an attractive project. Put them together, throw in a little Disney magic, a sprinkle of Lucas Films and I’m not sure the whole thing wasn’t a dream.
I couldn’t have been more excited to get the brief from Deutsch for a project to photograph the latest Star Wars toys for Target – toys which would be released for the upcoming holiday season. Wow. Amazing. Yes, yes, yes.
Throughout my career I’ve always been defined – you’re a reportage photographer, a corporate photographer, a dance photographer. It’s natural to try to fit people, and their work, into a neat little space. But I honestly feel that all of my work has been a continuation of itself regardless of genre. So though I’m not a “toy photographer,” I was beyond excited to be considered for this project.
From the first call, it was clear that the agency saw past any proverbial boxes. They saw what I’ve just recently started to realize – that the movies and comics of my youth have been some of my greatest and most important influences in my life and my picture-making. These were key ingredients in who they were looking for — a photographer that loved cinema and also harbored an inner-nerd.
As timing would have it, I was on a Griswald-esque family vacation when this opportunity presented itself. While driving up, down and around the West Coast I pulled my two boys into the pre-production mix. “What are you seeing here,“ “what would you like to see happen” – one of the first things out of their mouths was “Do we have to follow the rules?” and “I’d like to see the hatch open and suck them out into space!” Kids. Funny and I’ll remember it forever. But, in truth their perspective also allowed me to start seeing things from a fresh point of view and channel the excitement of kids – the very kids who would take those toys and create their own rebel worlds.
The agency was just as excited as I was to envision the scenes that these toys would inhabit. I immediately imagined the toys as characters in a stop-motion film – pulling inspiration from the original King Kong, to Ray Harryhausen, to Jason and the Argonauts, to the genius of the recent film Anomalisa and the amazing stop-motion work from Laika. And they were totally on board with a cinematic approach, with everything captured in-camera.
Fast (and I mean fast) forward a few weeks and I’m in LA for a three day studio shoot. And while it always takes a village to pull something like this off, I am indebted to Deutsch for entrusting me to create these worlds, to the retouchers at Sugar Digital and to Amy Whitehouse, the producer that also led me to a kindred spirit set designer, Todd Davis, who was just as excited as I was to create these authentic small worlds. Wow. Deutsch LA. Target. Star Wars.
Some institutions live up to their legend. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. is such an institution. I was fortunate to be called on to work with the Kennedy Center again, this time for their presentation of The Washington National Opera production of Dead Man Walking. It was my distinct pleasure to have the chance to work with Scott Bushnell, the advertising creative director at the Kennedy Center. His vision for this poster was a dark joy to bring to life…or death. Inspired by the concept, I used an atmospheric approach to the lighting design, hard expressionistic light that would expose the dark side of humanity revealed in this story. The show kicked off a five show run February 25th.
When PBS invited me to create something engaging to promote Ridley Scott’s new Civil War production, “Mercy Street,” my team and I went to work exploring and transforming the fabrics and colors of the era. I created a uniquely textured and modern scene into which we would immerse the period-piece subjects. The final result is a campaign of striking, heroic portraits that promote the rich, multi-layered stories and characters of the series.
There are times when work looks and feels like play. Such was the case working with RP3 Agency for DC’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and their 35th anniversary season. We ended up with a visual feast of these engaging and original posters that really capture the personality and mission of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
When the crew and I found ourselves alongside the broadcast production, and ultimately in the position to have to reimagine and rebuild their sets; and regardless the challenge, I found this freedom a nice change of pace that allowed us to create a static version of this evolution of seasons concept with more depth, light and texture, more life than was originally envisioned. For me this campaign is a tribute to how everyone came together to make imagery every bit as visually arresting as its broadcast counterpart.
Cade Martin was honored to be featured on the cover of the March 2013 issue of Photo District News.
Photographed Sandy Bainum’s new Christmas album
We were thrilled to be featured in the winners’ gallery of the 2012 annual award for PDN.
View PDN Photo Annual 2012 project here
This was more work with the great Design Army, here we collaborated on a project for The 2012 ONE Show global campaign. The One Show, hosted by the One Club is the premiere international advertising award show, and it continuously sets the industry standard for creative advertising. We created a whimsical world inhabited by baby animals and cuddly bunnies, talking bears and happy clouds, representing the moment that deadline stress gives way to the creative euphoria that that one great, creative idea can bring. Our ONEderland was a dreamy place where the creatives and animals romp together through flowers and endless big ideas.
Photography: Cade Martin
Creative: Design Army
Photographed Karl Alzner of the Washington Capitals for Mercedes campaign.