Earlier this year I heard from UFC Magazine. Current bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw was going to be training in Colorado for a week and they wanted some shots for an upcoming article. I found out where TJ would be staying and looked for a location around there that I could manage 3 or 4 completely different looks from. With the help of a friend I located an abandoned barn on public land that fit the bill perfect.
TJ was getting into town late in the day and we had just enough time to get going as the sun set. Shooting then let me have quite a few different looks based on the ambient light alone. Before TJ arrived I did test shots with my assistant Stephen of all the shots I wanted to try and get. After reading some interviews with TJ, I really liked his brash, confident attitude and thought a crown would be a good prop to use for the champ.
But first we had to take advantage of what there was left of daylight.
There was a cool looking field next to the barn which had all these great tall thistles.
Once the sun was gone, we moved on to the side of the barn using the awesome old painted wall as a backdrop.
After a quick wardrobe change we looked to capture a little more GQ side of TJ, he’s looking a bit Daniel Craig Bond here.
We were running out of time, so I just wanted to try one more look using some gels for something completely different.
TJ was a great guy to work with and helped us get all this done in a really short time. You can see the shots in the April/May 2015 issue of UFC Magazine and read his incredible story there!
In November I had the chance to photograph MMA fighter, Cat Zingano for UFC Magazine. Cat is fighting for the women’s championship on February 28 against incumbent champ Ronda Rousey and UFC Magazine did a big feature on her. Cat came down to the studio and we did a session there playing with different looks and lighting concepts. Then we took everything outside and got a few more shots on the streets. Cat was great to work with and an amazing person. I definitely recommend checking out the article in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of UFC Magazine and reading about her inspiring story.
Camera Nerd Info:
Phase One 640 DF+ / P40+, Schneider 80mm LS, 55mm LS lenses PCB Einsteins with various modifiers.
In April, AGD Creative Director Andon Guenther and I flew out to LA to photograph a couple of rock drummers for Sick Drummer Magazine. The first was Ray Luzier from the band Korn. We drove to Ray’s house and shot in his practice room. Not knowing exactly what we were going to get, it ended up being very photogenic after rearranging a couple of items. Andon and I had sketched out a few shots and lighting setups beforehand so I setup my condensed travel lighting kit to get the shots.
When we finished up in the rehearsal room, we wanted to get something very different. After noticing his young son’s mini drum kit we got the idea to have him sitting at it, then to just up the “rock star” factor we put him in front of a rose bush in the back yard. Ray was a super cool guy and ready to do whatever we asked him for a good photo.
Camera Nerd Info:
Phase One 640 DF+ with P40+ back and Schneider 80mm LS lens Inside shots: 2 gelled PCB Einsteins with reflectors. Outside shots: 1 PCB Einstein through umbrella
I was contacted by Spirit Magazine, the inflight magazine for Southwest and AirTrain Airlines to photograph Andrew Skurka, a professional backpacker and tour guide who lives in Boulder. We shot in a makeshift studio in his garage and went through a few looks for his article. If you are flying Southwest in June be sure to look for the photograph!
Recently I got the opportunity to do a bit of a dream shoot. I was commissioned by SPACE Magazine to photograph none other than THE Darth Vader for his recent cover story. The logistics of making this happen were by far the most complicated production I have undertaken. It was decided that I would photograph him aboard his Star Destroyer Executor while it was stationed outside of the Corellian system. I was picked up in an Imperial Shuttle and taken to the ship, which was 40,000 light years away (thank God for hyper drives). We were greeted by a whole squadron of Stormtroopers which of course required the obligatory Stormtrooper selfie.
We found a quiet out-of-the-way hallway to set up lights and a white seamless for our shots as well as a few around some of the nooks and crannies of the ship.
Lighting Vader’s black dome was a significant challenge in itself. It reacts very different to light than the average human face. I was hoping he would be comfortable enough to let his guard down for a few shots without the mask but that was probably a bit overambitious on my part. I did get to play with one of the backup lightsabers though!
We ran through a few different poses and ideas and fit in as much as we could into our allotted 10 minutes. I have heard horror stories of photographers who overstepped their bounds and ended up doing labor in the Spice Mines of Kessel. Luckily I only lost one assistant who unwisely questioned the ways of the force.
In the end they chose this one for the cover and a few more for the feature article. Very excited to see this on stands across the galaxy!
Camera Nerd Info:
Phase One 640 DF+ with P40+ back and Schneider 80mm LS lens.
3 PCB Einsteins with various gels, soft boxes and reflectors.