Texas Photo Round Up workshop with Stephanie Rausser

My good friends at I LOVE TEXAS PHOTO, ASMP, and ACP recruited me to produce two back-to-back workshops for San Francisco based Stephanie Rausser Photography. Stephanie brought with her husband/digi-tech/media-manager/tech-guru Lawrence Cowell, who she couldn’t live without. We were looking for an amazing mid-century modern home and Nicole Mlakar nailed it! She’s our assistant with great connections. The workshops would look like this: Day1 meet at location, break into small groups, photograph various models throughout the property… all under Stephanie’s advice and supervision. Day2 meet in studio for discussion and review of each student’s top images from the previous day. Additional conversations to discuss Lawrence’s digital workflow and elaborate backup/access system. Plus Stephanie took time to provide portfolio reviews for each student who desired it.

Here are just a few great images from the students!

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And a couple behind the scenes stills, and a BTS video which Lawrence created.

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Really fabulous crew on board: Ashley Hargrove (Wardrobe Stylist), Amber Griffin (Hair & Makeup Artist), Nicole Mlakar (Photo Asst / Location Scout), Wynn Myers (Photo Asst), Texas Grip (Equipment)


Jonathan Chapman shoots Matrix Fitness in Toronto & Maui

I had the pleasure of referring Jonathan for an amazing project for Matrix Fitness. The art director contacted me and asked for production help and referrals for photographers that would be great for the job. After sifting through a concise list, they chose the very talented Jonathan Chapman! This project would be multi-city, and international throughout January and February this year. We began in Toronto Ontario Canada, made a quick stop at Matrix Fitness HQ mock-fitness-center in Lake Mills WI, and finally off to Maui Hawaii.

The imagery would create a library of images designated for a beautiful brochure aiming to sell their commercial line of equipment to luxury hotels and similar clients. Thus, what better place to photograph their machines than high-end hotels including Four Seasons and Hyatt Andaz. These locations were truly top notch in every space including amazing guest rooms, breathtaking lobbies, and gorgeous fitness centers (or centres in Canada, eh). The printed piece is quite remarkable. Very inspiring and packed with lovely images from Jonathan.

I located great crew in each city, and did remote casting to find us the perfect models needed to demonstrate each Matrix Fitness cardio or strength exercise. We even pulled off a few spa-inspired looks. The scenery, and models, plus Jonathan’s direction, lighting, and captures were a winning combination.

We stayed for an extra couple days in Maui to soak in the culture, and I went solo for a bonus day in Toronto. Jonathan wanted to shoot a motion test while in Hawaii, so we set up something really special on a very wild side of the island. More to come later in that blog entry!

Here are a few pages from the brochure. I’m still amazed at how beautifully it turned out. The brochure can be downloaded here:

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Here’s a snapshot of their website.


And, as is customary, some behind the scenes stills.


Toronto Canada Crew:
Jessica Jean Myers (Hair Makeup Artist), Eric Schleicher (2nd Camera/Photo Asst), Cedric Swaneck (Photo Asst).

Maui Hawaii Crew:
Camille Kozuki (Hair & Makeup Artist), John Fontana (Digi Tech), Barton Hrast (Photo Asst)


Ashton Rodgers gettin’ saucey with Sweet Baby Rays BBQ

Ashton Rodgers, photographer based in San Antonio TX, gave me a very exciting call to partner with him in creating a bid, and landing the job for Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce via MMB (McCarthy Mambro Bertino) in Boston. What better place to shoot than right here in central Texas! So many great barbecue options to explore for our environment surroundings. We visited the famous barbecue city of Lockhart TX, it’s neighbor Lubing TX, and of course several options in my beloved Austin. As it turns out, the Austin offerings were amazing in their product, but the establishments are all rather small or based in food trailers. Wonderful for the people of Austin, but wouldn’t work for our needs with Sweet Baby Rays.

The restaurants in Lockhart TX were so much older, larger, and just perfect for us. We ended up shooting in the famous Kreuz Market BBQ, and Luling City Market BBQ. Each had the character and years of beautiful carcinogens covering the walls and ceilings, resulting in their signature flavors. The fellas running these bbq joints were also just wonderful for the campaign. True characters in their trade! These men have been featured in magazines such as Texas Monthly several times. We just can’t get enough barbecue here in Texas.

We captured several different scenes with and without model talent. The weather was the coldest that Lockhart TX had seen in many many years. It was only 27ΒΊ all day, and we were to be set up in the screen patio area at Kreuz. The Boston agency men and myself (being from MN) handled it quite well, but the Texans were all struggling to keep warm. Ashton did a great job keeping the energy high and capturing great expressions from the chilly model talent. On the last day we headed back into the studio to knock out a few prepared food shots with our food stylist: a very saucy bbq beef and bacon burger, and some gorgeous chicken wings as a special add on.

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Here are two ads of the five we shot. Images to appear online and in magazines near you!

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Then in August, Communication Arts gave us a feature for the print ads in their daily Creative Exhibit page here:



And some Behind the Scenes images:

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Our fabulous crew: Lauren Smith Ford (Wardrobe & Prop Stylist), Lisa Gleeson (Hair & Makeup Artist), Tina Bell Stamos (Food Stylist), Robert Amador (Photo Asst).

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