Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Community Foundation Annual Report

     It's a new year and a new look for the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region's annual report to the Community.  For the past 25 years we at Image Studios have collectively created the photography for the report to show case all the wonderful programs and people involved in making the Fox Cities a great place to live with the help of the Community Foundation.
     This year, instead of following the pattern that was created for the last quarter century, I wanted to breathe some new life into what is already an incredibly successful piece by capturing those who have been changed by acts of generosity in a much more personal way.
     With the help of A2Z Design and the great people at the Foundation, this was the result.

Sweet Ruby

    Photographing for health care publications is something that has kept me very busy over the past couple of years.  Working with subjects who have incredible stories of struggle and triumph is par for the course.  Unfortunately, sometimes with great success comes heartache.  I was informed that, a few months after we photographed Ruby Aebischer, she passed away.
    I photographed Ruby for a Calumet Medical Center publication featuring how important she has been in the community and in helping make CMC what it is today.  When I photographed her, she was very loving and happy.  I had so much fun making her laugh and bonding with her.  It's one of  the things I enjoy most about photographing people; they always become a piece of my heart.  She was truly a beautiful woman and her spirit will live strong in me and the community she cared so much about.

The MAD SKILLS of Chad Brady

As you may know, I have collaborated with A2Z Design and the Affinity team for the last year Photographing the cover stories for their direct to members @Affinity Magazine.  The unique difference with this magazine is that they have used non photographic art for the covers taking the magazine to another lever of Artistry.
The Fall 2012 Issue featured Appleton's own Chad Brady and his amazing skills with wood etched print making.  I was there to not only witness the print making part of the process but also to photograph it and create this time lapse video for you.

Along with some of the cover stories I captured.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

WOW Logistics

Another fun shoot for Insight Magazine of CEO Howard Kamerer.  Howard was an awesome subject who although humble and not willing to take much of the credit, stepped up to the plate and was willing to take one for the team.   He was a great sport!
CEO's are real people too.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Breakthrough Fuel

INSPIRATION.  Where does it come from?  There are billions of answers, right?  Well, for this particular shoot for Insight on Business Magazine, it came from a gas nozzle sitting on the back shelf of Craig's desk.
Going into this shoot I had little prepared in the line of concepts.  My goal was to come away with some well executed environmental portraits of our subject, Craig Dickman with Breakthrough Fuel, for IOB's April issue.  In short, it was a success.  However, upon seeing the gas nozzle my inspiration percolator was plugged in.  Although we could have walked away from this shoot feeling just fine about what we captured, I had some really fun ideas racing through my head that I couldn't walk away from without at least voicing.  Often my problem is that I can't keep my mouth shut.  So blah, blah, blah and a room full of laughter and raised eyebrows I start spewing out what's in my head.  I think everybody thought I was kidding.  It wouldn't be the first time I've said something just to get a reaction.  I was serious this time.  I really felt it was a great way to show the story. 
So many great ideas never see the light of day because of resources or willingness.  To make this shoot happen, a number of things had to be resourced and people willing.  One, get it done before deadline.  Two, have Craig be gracious enough to play along (HUGE!!!)  Third, round up the right gear to pull it off.  

I'm happy to say "WE DID IT" and it was worth every bit of effort!  Cheers to everyone who made the sacrifice for creativity.  "The Village" should be proud.  We did good!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hi! Is this Shane? This is Leah Seidl

Do you ever sit back and wonder what has happened to certain people from your past that you lost track of for one reason or another?  Last week I received this text from my old friend Leah Seidl.  I used to photograph Leah for her modeling portfolio and work with her as my hair and make up stylist on various projects.  About 8 years ago she left lil' ole Northeast Wisconsin to move to the California Coast to pursue her dream of working in the Fashion Industry.  Come to find out she did the make up for the Jean Paul Gaultier runway show in San Francisco last weekend.  I always knew she was destined for greatness.  I'm so proud of her!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A.G. in Chicago

Here are some images from my latest shoot for American Girl.  Although this isn't everything we shot, these images were created over the course of three days in Chicago: two days in studio and one day at a montessori just outside of the city.
I'm very proud of these images for a couple of reasons:  I've wanted to work with American Girl for many years, so to be chosen to shoot this job was an honor.   They are such an incredible company in many ways.  The other is just having the experience of being part of their world for the better part of a week.  You have no idea what all is involved in one of these shoots.  They really know how to do it right.  Even the dolls have their own stylist!

If I've said it once I've said it a million times -- it takes a village.  And this was no exception.  American Girl's incredible village consisted of some real talent: models, producers, hair stylists, make-up stylists, set stylists, set builders, doll stylist, prop stylist, art directors, motivator, lab tech, myself and my two assistants.  

After walking thru the store in the Water Tower Place so many times over the years, it was Wonka-esque to be on set, bring it to life and watch it come together so seamlessly.  I'll cherish this one for a long time.

Insight on Orion Energy Systems

The challenge with any publication photo shoot on location is figuring out --on the fly, mind you-- where, what, and how you are going to shoot the person or persons that are being featured.  And don't forget to include two more very important factors that add to the challenge: how much time the "subject(s)" has and how much they are willing to play.

The main objective in these shoots is getting images - images for the cover, the inside spread and secondary images.  This is not an easy task when a president or CEO has about an hour or less of their time to give. In a situation where there is no time to pre-scout a location or discuss concepts with your subject, there is always a bit of the "unknown" present.  You can concept all you want in your head beforehand, only to have all your brilliant ideas dashed upon arriving at the location.  You just never know what you're going to walk into.  You certainly hope you have a friendly and willing subject because this can make or break any shoot. You also hope you can find some subject matter that is visually pleasing, which adds to the story while making the photograph great.  Then - and we are still on the fly at this point - after a quick walk thru you create your list of cover, inside spread and secondary -- not that it won't change later.  After all, sometimes the best ideas do not end up being the best shots.  Oh, and did I happen to mention you haven't met your subject yet?  Last but not least is the set up and execution of the vision.  CLICK!

At times it can get kind of crazy, but this is what I thrive on.  And when it all comes together it feels like a walk in the park!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The End of the World

They say the "world as we know it" will end on Dec. 21, 2012.   Dang, that Mayan calendar!  
As if I didn't have enough on my mind, now I gotta worry about a meteor blasting us to smithereens!  Or a massive solar flare from the Sun completely wiping out our electronics!  Or maybe there'll be a shift in Earth's rotation, causing a gigantic tsunami to wipe us out.  Or maybe, just maybe, there'll be a giant alien invasion.  Anyone wanna buy a tinfoil hat?  Only $19.99 (plus S&H).  Whatever it is, I am very ill-prepared.  Meteor?  I have no underground shelter.  Giant solar flare?  I'm as good as dead without my iPhone.  A gigantic tsunami?  I guess it's time to start thinking about moving up into the mountains.  A mass invasion of aliens?  Eegah!  Probing scares me.

My wife tends to stay on the positive side of things.  She has had us watch a few movies about this very subject, and I have to admit that the theory she hopes will happen on Dec. 21, 2012, is a much more comforting one; the theory of everyone sort of "coming together", taking care of the Earth and instilling happiness throughout.  (Think of everyone holding hands around the Earth singing a song as plants bloom, birds fly amongst the blue sky and animals frolic in the forest).  I like that.  That makes me sm:)e.

All I know is that I'm going to be ready with my camera at my side.  That way, if our amazing planet survives whatever Dec. 21, 2012 brings us--and I sure hope it does-- I'll have some killer shots for my December blog!  

P.S. Thankfully, I think my external hard drive crashing last week kind of prepared me, mentally, for something as catastrophic as the world coming to an end.  R.I.P hard drive. "I can't begin to express how important it is to double back up your info in this business.  At least until Dec. 21, 2012..."

Monday, January 30, 2012

No Business Like SNOW Business

     What can I say about this one.  Fun, challenging and rewarding are three quick words that pop to my mind.  
     At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have to say that outstanding "TEAM WORK" made this one happen.  From headline and story by MaryBeth Matzek at Insight (I hear her daughter had something to do with the headline as well), to Dave Allen supplying the parka (purchased in Montreal, Canada) to Jeff, Michael and myself supplying creative ideas (Michael gets full credit for the snow globe idea), we are all a part of this creation.  Credit goes to Jeff and Michael for creating the layout and design as well as Rob Resnick for helping me implement my vision in post.  I hope I didn't miss anybody!  Special props go to Dan Ariens for being such a good sport, despite hitting the pillow at 3am the night before after a long flight home from Burma.  Thanks everyone!
     Often times, February gets a bum wrap, but with Valentine's Day, my birthday and now this cover story, I think this month is going to be pretty COOOOOOL.