Monday, November 16, 2009

Interpretations


It can be as fun as playing with your favorite toy: or, creating your own toy! Tweak this, saturate that, move this, twist that. What one set of eyes sees can be quite different from what another set of eyes sees. That's one of the amazing and fun things about photography; your image can mean a million different things, to a million different people, yet still retain the core value of what the photo is all about! It's not just a photo; it's art!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Insight on Pro 1 Janitorial




Marie Krull, owner of Pro 1 Janitorial, was the subject. These are a couple of my favorite shots from the day of the shoot. What a pleasure it was to work with Marie as well as the staff at Insight and A2Z.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Robert Gates in Oshkosh

Defense Secretary Robert Gates was in Oshkosh today. I was there to cover it. He flew in to check out the M-ATV that Oshkosh Corporation is building for the military. Very impressive.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The real MEAT of it!





For the past 2 months, I have anticipated writing this post, but first, the images had to be printed. Now that they are printed, I am able to release them to you, and tell you all about the shoot. Alas! They say that patience is a virtue, and I guess it’s really true!

The images were used for the July issue of INSIGHT MAGAZINE. The subject was Mark Skogen. The idea for the inside spread was mine. The cover concept came from myself, Michael Miller and Jeff Amstutz of A2Z Design. The catalyst was Margaret LeBrun, editor and chief of Insight Magazine. The team work needed to execute this entire project is what I want to talk about.


Quite often, I hear the 5 words, "It's all about you, Shane". However, this couldn't be further from the truth. Without the help of so many others, this shoot would have never gone as smoothly as it did. Scott Ehlers, normally playing the role of photographer and all around nice guy, took the time to help make the table. This table is where all of the oranges sat, allowing Mark’s head to easily slide into place and become the “head fruit”, amongst the oodles of oranges. Bill K., normally the studio manager, played the role of my right hand man; taking care of setting me up, tearing me down, making sure everything ran smoothly and safely, and running cameras and files to perfection. Julie Gardner played the role of stylist; taking care of spreading out all the oranges, finding the perfect apple, making sure the meat counter was up to spec. and taking care of Mark’s make-up and overall comfort. Rob Resnick, executing all of my wishes on flawless post production to deliver another top notch product to our client. Not to mention, Donna and Carla taking care of all the scheduling and misc. logistics.

To you all...THANK YOU! Without a great team, great things may never come to be.

Vanity Fair's Proust

MY OWN LITTLE VANITY FAIR PROUST QUESTIONAIRE:

http://www.vanityfair.com/archives/features/proust


This is a great thing to do on a lazy Sunday morning over a nice cup o’ joe; after you have had time to let go of the Monday thru Friday grind, and Saturday has had time to soak in.


What is your current state of mind?

Excited for what's to come.


What is your greatest fear?

Aside from losing those that are near and dear to my heart or another world war I guess I would have to say having to move back into my parents basement. A slow painful death would suck too.


What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Forgetting the name of somebody I just met(Selective Hearing in a bad way). Sadly, this is the third change of answer to this question.


What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Traitorous. Selfishness is a close second.


Which living person(s) do you most admire?

My Parents.


Which living person(s) do you most despise?

Terrorists. Life if frickin' stressful enough.


On what occasion do you lie?

I try not to. One lie always leads to more.

Maybe a little fib if it will make somebody feel more at ease.


What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Koko.


When and where were you the happiest?

When you make an obscure reference and somebody you are with GETS IT because they were thinking the same thing. Suh-WEEET!



Which talent would you most like to have?

Is being able to fly a talent? I dream about it a lot. Well, sort of. I guess I dream I am able to jump really high and far. Almost float.


If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I had better comedic skills.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I'll let you know when I'm dead, or maybe that question is best left to others.


If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

A Pro Skateboarder.


What is your favorite occupation?

Photographer.


What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Everybody loves my work; only having to do it 3 months out of the year, while making enough money in those 3 months to kick it with Koko somewhere beautiful the other 9, would be perfect! I don't need much.


Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Bodhi from Point Break. "Ain't it wild? That's what makes it so interesting. You can do what you want, and make up your own rules. Why be a servant to the law, when you can be it's master."

Although, Neo from the Matrix is riding shotgun.


Who are your heroes in real life?

The many that do incredibly great deeds that go unnoticed. Altruistic people are what keeps the world a beautiful place.


What is your most treasured thing?

This was the only question that bugged me. The word “thing” is defined as: “a material object without life or consciousness; an inanimate object.” Things shouldn’t be treasured; people should. But, since this IS a questionnaire, and this IS my blog, here is my answer: My wedding ring would be first and my Stephen Webster ring is a close second. Everybody probably thought I would say my car.


What is your greatest regret?

I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque!


How would you like to die?

While sleeping.... for sure!


What is your motto?

"Today is another opportunity to have the best day of your life"


Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Favorite Things

Disc golf on green grass and tossing the frisbee
Snapping Found Faces that smile all around me
My Obey stickers and cool silver ring
These are a few of my favorite things

Whether it's an ipod playlist containing the latest 
Britney Spears tune, a fun piece of jewelry, or an old stuffed animal you've had for so long that the fur is permanently matted flat, we all have our own favorite things.  I like to think that my favorite things are a reflection of my personality.  These sometimes unspoken interests, so critical to piecing together the puzzle of who you are, yet some of them remain a mystery to even the closest of friends.  There are things about you that people don't know simply because you didn't think of mentioning it.  There are things about you that are better kept to yourself (you know what I'm talkin' about).  My Favorite things lay somewhere in between.

When it's cold out
When my knee aches
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Stephen Webster - The Glamorous Life

It's that time again; Time to shoot the National Trade Ads for Jewelers Mutual. With that on the front burner, I reflect on last year when I flew to NYC to photograph Stephen Webster. Stephen is a jewelry designer from London, who's jewelry is sought after by such stars as Madonna, Sienna Miller, Elton John and Christina Aguilera. Upon first meeting him, I was a bit awe struck; this was a man who resembled Keith Richards, creates kick ass hardcore rocker jewelry, hob nobs with the rich & famous, and trekked cross country in a '59 T-bird. And as if this wasn't enough, he blogged these trekking adventures thru and traveled with a mummy puppet that had an uncanny resemblance to none other than....himself.

Anyway, this is how it went down:
We were scheduled to photograph Stephen in the early afternoon, squeezing in between his In Style magazine shoot and an E! Entertainment interview. But the plane was late, and we missed our window. Onto Plan B - a night shoot. (Always have a Plan B) We land @ 5:45pm, grab the gear in baggage claim, call the assistant and tell him to sit tight; we were on our way. We jump into a cab and speed off to the SoHo House in Manhattan. Traffic is a nightmare (imagine Main St. on anabolic steroids) and we need to have our shots by 7:30pm because Stephen has dinner plans. We finally arrive @ 6:30pm. We jump out of the cab, shake hands with the assistant, and, in the time it takes to roll into the lobby and climb 3 floors in the elevator, explain to him the importance of how we need to make this happen in little time.
In this blog entry, there is really no way I can explain the feeling I had, anticipating what was going to happen in the next 60 minutes, unless I were to write a small novel. So, I'll make it easier for all of us, and skip to the end. Stephen was awesome. Super style, super chill and a slam dunk when it comes to being a photographer's dream. What IS a photographer's dream, you ask? Great hair, incredible style, a relaxed disposition, and excellent music playing in the background. Mix these altogether and you have the perfect atmosphere for the shoot. Although I only spent about 30 brief minutes with Mr. Stephen Webster, it is definitely a shoot I will never forget.
Special Thanks to Wendy at JM and Frank and Laurie at Luxury Brands.  You guys are great!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The "Incredible" Billboard










THE PROJECT: Design a billboard for Pioneer Credit Union based on these 3 words: "Monster Savings Rates".
THE MISSION:
To find a muscular guy who can be transformed into a Hulk doppleganger.
THE GOAL: To create a MEAN, GREEN, BANG-UP billboard!

More and more, jobs that require original photography are dwindling. Stock photography seems to have become more often than not, a big greasy fat guy in the corner of the room who gets the bigger piece of the pie simply because he's there. He's easy, and with a little finagling, can be whipped into shape to make do (no obvious bitterness there). Thankfully, there are those who strive to deliver originality to their clients; something unique and specific. Jim Rivett and Laura Treichel at Arketype were the creative master minds behind this project. And let me tell you that this project for PCU is just that type of unique distinctiveness that gets my juices flowing.
Scouting for the perfect model to help create a theme that grabs people's attention is critical for any project. Trying to find an uber muscular man who can mimic the tenacity of the Incredible Hulk in midwest Wisconsin is no easy task. Executing it in a way that satisfies the needs of the client and justifies the intention to go with something original, is magic. Effortlessly producing something that jumps off the page, stops you dead in your tracks and makes the statement that was intended, in what photography
is all about. And, when it's all said and done, if the opportunity presents itself, I like to give it that little extra to show my appreciation to the client with my own creative vision. Thus having exemplified the fact that they have truly inspired me as well.




Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inked

Recently I was able to attend "Rick's 13th International Tattoo Convention" at Oneida Casino in Green Bay.  The convention brought tattoo/piercing artists from around the world, including the United States, France, Japan and Australia.  It was a huge melting pot of ink and metal; from tattoos, to piercings to dreadlocks to giant coasters stuffed into earlobes!  I never felt so "normal" in my life!  In fact, it all reminded me of one of those old "B" movies; something like "Tattooed Robo-Zombie Bikers Attack!"  It was quite a compelling crowd, and it almost felt as if I had been transported to another planet.   There was one person in particular who remains burnt into my memory; he was a bigger fella, and if I had to guess, I'd say he was in his late 40's/early 50's.  He was laying on his back, and I could tell he was getting something done to his face.  I noticed his ears were covered in piercings as I moved in for a closer look.  He was the picture of calmness; arms resting neatly across his chest, eyes closed.  As I looked up towards his face, I saw the modus operandi - he was getting his eyebrows pierced.  Barbell after barbell after barbell after barbell were being impaled thru his skin until his eyebrows were completely lined with the metal earrings.  What I initially thought was red ink on his eyebrows, was actually blood.   Suddenly I felt like I had been thrust into a horror movie, like "Hellraiser" or "Silence of the Lambs".  And to think - my eyes water when I stub my toe!  All in all, the convention was quite stimulating, and the people were very interesting.  I think I got my fill of needles for the next decade.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"I executed Matt's baby"


Do you ever find yourself in a situation where somebody asks you a question, but at that moment you don't have time, or pecking out a reply in an e-mail just won't do? This is pretty much how it went down when I posted the images from the Spark project on my Facebook page. The response was great, but the questions were too much. So... I decided to break it down to "I executed Matt's baby". Maybe not the best way to sum it up, but it worked for the time. Perhaps now I should explain it a bit better.
Matt Bellisle and I have worked on numerous projects together over the years, but none quite like the image piece we executed for Spark Advertising last summer. Five incredible ideas, created by Matt, with a lot of tweaks and twiddles between the two of us to come up with something really special. With the help of Image Studios's own Julie Gardner (stylist extraordinaire), a few power tools and some incredibly open minded models, we were able to make the imaginable, reality.
In order to grasp the whole experience of this project, checking it out first hand would be your best bet.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Remedy White


If any of you missed last Saturday night's opening for Remedy White, the areas' premier collection of Lowbrow and Pop Surrealist art, I strongly recommend taking a trip to 301 Main St. De Pere to check it out.  They have a great space with even better work.  The vibe at the opening was electric;  lots of familiar faces, great music, plenty of food and drink and creativity flowing from every corner of the room.   
Tamara McLean is the Gallery Director as well as one of the artists in the show.  Along with Robb Mommaerts (as seen in the photo), and a rich kaleidoscope of other artists, ranging from photography to painting to incredible mixtures of computer graphics,  it really is a super show.  It truly is refreshing to see something so contemporary, right here in our own backyard.  
Great work to all the artists involved!

Found Faces










Some of you may already have heard about the quest I am on which I call "FOUND FACES".    The story goes... Found Faces is a collection of naturally occurring "faces" in the environment around us.  It was in 2003 when the first face "found" me, and they've been revealing themselves to me ever since.  The faces, all naturally occurring and not manipulated for the camera represent a wide range of personalities and emotions from worried to happy.
My true goal for this project was to make kids aware of all the fun faces hidden within our surroundings.   To stop and really look, and to see deeper than what's just on the surface. Throughout this journey, I've found that this project can speak to the child in all of us.  Since this quest began, many e-mails have been sent my way from numerous people who have also taken photos of their own found faces and shared them with me.  These actions are exactly what the project embodies.  
Found Faces is a project for the masses.  Now go find YOUR faces!  =)