I got a call from Watermark Advertising and they needed a cover photo for the CoBank Annual Report. They had an idea and an old vintage image that they needed to work off of and a new image needed to match the old one showing the connection from the past into the future.
It was late in the season and harvesting was over so I turned to my friend Stephen who connected me with his step-dad Kenny Carpenter of KC Farms in Monte Vista, CO. Stephen and I drove down there and Kenny went out and plowed the lines in an empty field. We drove a pickup out into the field right as the sun was setting and I climbed a ladder in the back of the pickup to get the proper height to match the angle of the original photo.
Luckily it all worked out and we got it very close. After getting that shot we shot some closer portrait shots of Kenny at his tractor.
The awesome team at Watermark then took the image and made it all work!
Late last year I went out to Craig and Meeker, Colorado to photograph some portraits of some of the local people affected by the proposed closure of the Colowyo Mine in Northwest Colorado. The campaign works to educate the public about the benefits and value of energy production in the region. The theme of the effort is that, as a region, we can. We can sustain our economy, we can protect the environment and we can power our future.
I was very excited to get the call from Scientific Galaxian to photograph their cover story on the new First Order Stormtroopers. With the First Order’s advances across the galaxy, the magazine wanted to shoot in the desert of Jakku for it’s symbolic connection to the fall of the Empire. My assistant Josh and I jumped on a freighter to the planet and scouted the area. We loved the infamous star destroyer remains and knew that had to be the place to go. We also needed to get some seamless shots so we set up in the hotel room outside the small village we stayed in.
Josh got to try on an extra helmet for our light test.
The troopers themselves were really cool, named FN-2187 and TK-1478, though we weren’t allowed to photograph them out of uniform.
Our second day we headed out at dusk to the Star Destroyer site. It was a tricky shot to get as we didn’t have much time to get the remnants of the sunset while still being dark enough for a star field. Luckily everything worked out perfectly. Unfortunately we needed to shoot the TIE fighters separately and add them in post.
Thanks again to Camie who brought us in on this great project! Final layouts are below.
Earlier this summer I got the chance to meet and photograph UFC Fighter Rose Namajunas for UFC Magazine. We had a good time and was able to get some cool shots but talked right after about meeting up again and just trying to get a bunch more cool shots and pushing the boundaries a bit more. A couple of months passed and we kept in touch then one night I got a text from Pat Barry, Rose’s fiancé and fight partner. In ancipatoon of Rose’s upcoming match and tiring of her hair getting in the way of training, she went and cut it all off! Of course this excited me even more knowing we could really get some cool looks now. I was scheduled to leave town, but I had one free night to get some cool images. Luckily all-star makeup artist Kari Kisch, who also worked with me on the magazine was game work with us and to push everything much farther than we did before. I set up a makeshift studio in my garage and we just started experimenting.
We started out with some more clean looks.
Then we switched our focus to some action fight poses and we got a visitor to the set.
After we got some great shots with this setup I wanted to really experiment and pulled out the smoke machine, some gels and Kari turned the makeup into Mad Max dystopia levels.
I had a blast shooting and all of the images have been very well received so I’m calling this whole experiment a win. Everything was shot on my Phase One P40+ with Profoto B1s for lighting.
In August, I was hired by Thrive Magazine to photograph some agricultural scientists working on drought resistant corn for Syngenta in Lasalle, CO. The magazine wanted portrait shots of the individuals plus shots of the process and crops that they were working on.
This is going to be a long post so buckle up. This spring I got a call from Melissa from Tri-State Generation and Transmission about a new ad campaign they were looking to shoot. The campaign was focused on “Power” the friendly robot “visual representation of the work that electricity does in our everyday lives.” Power was going to be shot in various businesses to raise awareness of how much we rely on electricity, something that can be easily taken for granted these days. This sent us on an odyssey crossing four states (Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nebraska) and 15 shooting locations ranging from hanging off a chair lift in Telluride to a cattle ranch in Nebraska and a spa in Wyoming. The biggest challenge was at each location we knew very little going in and had to figure out the best shot and lighting on the fly each time. Luckily we assembled an amazing crew that was up to the task every time.
Thanks to the great Evan Swinehart who was the video component to our team and put together this behind the scenes reel. Unfortunately most of the shoot I was getting over a cold and sound like a dying toad:
One of our first stops was at the Fox Theatre in Montrose, CO which is a charming old cinema built in 1929. We wanted to get Power in the seats watching a movie but the theater was in use. We had about 15 minutes between showings that we could do the shot. Once the movie ended and credits started rolling everyone ran into the theater to find the perfect spot and get lighting right. This one was lit with 2 Profoto B1s and 2 Lumopro speedlights 3 of which were gelled with blue doggy bags from Walmart (since I forgot my pack of gels). Everyone got into place and we ended up finishing up before time was done. Making his first cameo here is Ryan, who had the honor of wearing the Power suit.
After that shot we set up outside to get the marquee lights all lit up. Super assistant Josh was standing in for the lighting test while helping set up the light AND holding the tether computer.
The next day had us shooting in beautiful Telluride, CO. We started off at the Telluride Brewing Company then “Baked in Telluride” bakery before heading up to the slopes. Our original idea was to get power peeking out of the window of a gondola but once we got in a gondola we saw that the shot we wanted wasn’t possible under the current circumstances. We then shifted our focus to the chairlifts. Could we get a guy dressed in a robot suit onto a chairlift? Luckily the people at the resort were more than accommodating and slowed down the lift to get us on the last chair up for the day. Josh and I were one chair ahead of Power and shooting back. This was thrilling and the most I could hope for a backdrop but Power was incredibly small in frame. We really wanted to accomplish as much as possible in camera as we could but for this one with limited time and resources, we had to shoot Power on a separate lift that was shut down for the day and replace the background with the great one we got hanging off the back.
Up next was my home state Wyoming to a little town called Saratoga. First stop was the Saratoga Resort and Spa, which I would love to go back and visit sometime. Here Power gets the full spa treatment. After picking out the perfect room and spot, we went about getting Power down for his treatment. We lucked out that the cucumbers were the perfect size for his poor, tired, lighted eyes. Melissa also made her hand model debut here.
Then on to Hat Creek Trading Post in downtown Saratoga.
Followed by Sweet Marie’s Bakeshop right next door and not only did we shoot there, we also pretty much bought out the rest of her baked goods she had left (amazing).
Cloudcroft, NM was next, which is a small town in Southern New Mexico and sits on top of a mountain at a lofty 8,668 ft above sea level. We got into town to find that the town was living up to its name and was literally in the middle of the clouds. We had two locations to get, a yoga studio and the town’s brand new football field (including the whole high school team). The problem though was you couldn’t see more than 20 feet from the thick fog. After shooting the yoga, we drove out to the field and I was initially wary of being able to get anything, but we were there, the football team was there and we had to make it work. Once it got a little darker and the field lights came on the fog looked a little less ominous and started working. The kids came out in full gear and were very enthusiastic to be involved.
Finally our last day was in Nebraska. First stop was a pipe coating factory.
Then a cattle ranch.
Stephen, AKA Steve Jobs.
So after all that work the photos are now being rolled out into their new ad campaign and I am thrilled to see how they work!
A huge special thanks to Melissa and Amy for bringing me in to work on this awesome project and to all the crew that helped bring it to life! You can see more at powerworksforyou.coop/
Or look at the final images in higher quality on my site.
Camera Nerd Info:
Phase One P40+, Schneider Kreuznach 55mm LS f2.8
Lighting: 2 Profoto B1s with various softboxes, umbrellas, reflectors, doggy bags, 2 LumoPro 160 speedlights.
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!
I was contacted earlier this year to photograph Aaron Smith, the CEO of the National Cannabis Industry Association for the cover of the magazine Associations Now. NCIA was founded in 2010 by Smith, a public advocate for marijuana policy reform to promote the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry.
I showed up to Aaron’s office with makeup extraordinaire Kari Kisch to get the shots needed. We setup a small seamless in the office and had a few cannabis plants to use as props but the objective was to make a business image, not an image for High Times magazine. So Kari and I had to walk the line of subtly inserting the plant into the shots.
We ran through a few different poses on the seamless then a secondary shot on the sofa in the office. You can read the article here.
For about a year and a half my cousin, Erik Petersen and I have been working on a project photographing artists. Erik is an artist that works on patinas for many artists that work in bronze. We came up with the idea to photograph the entire process of making bronzes, from what inspires the artists, to sculpting the pieces and right through the artisans that take the clay and bring them to life in bronze. We collaborated on the ideas for 7 artists and a handful of artisans and shot all the work over a year and a half involving 6 trips to Arizona where all the artists live.
Our trips took us to a horse ranch in Southern Arizona, climbing down to ancient ruins on the Hopi Indian Reservation, wading in ice cold water in Oak Creek Canyon, a wildlife refuge outside of Phoenix and all around the beautiful state of Arizona.
The show is called Inspiration to Creation: The Hidden Life Behind Bronze and will be on view from November 15, 2014 through March 1, 2015 at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, AZ. I am truly grateful to be a part of this and the fine people at the museum who really gave us the freedom to do whatever we wanted in bringing this to life. And most of all the artists themselves (John Coleman, Deborah Fellows, Evelyn Fredericks, Susan Kliewer, Bill Nebeker, Kim Obrzut & Ken Rowe) that welcomed us into their homes and accommodated our every whim, for the sake of a better shot.
I got a call from Daily Planet Magazine last month that I was very excited about. Apparently editor Perry White saw my cover photo of Darth Vader and thought I would be a good fit to shoot the cover story about the one and only Kal-El! (a.k.a. Superman). I arrived at Metropolis International and took a cab straight to the Daily Planet building in midtown.
We set up a backdrop in one of the back rooms while Kal was getting his makeup finished. Once finished he joined us and was extremely polite and accommodating (although he didn’t want to smile).
Once we finished with the first setup we headed up to the roof to get some epic flying shots. It was late afternoon and the sun setting rapidly so we set up lights on the ledge. I knew it would be a tight schedule and since none of my assistants can fly we didn’t get to do any test shots but had to wing it. Luckily again Superman was very patient and made sure we had the shots we wanted.
I am very grateful for this opportunity. Thanks to Perry White, article writer Lois Lane and reporter Clark Kent who was very helpful in setting the shoot up! Final cover and spreads below.