Posts with tag: "models"
Monday, June 13, 2016
By David Morris Photography
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We had some fun recently shooting for the Turkey division of a long time client. As always, behind the scenes and out of sight of the camera, everything tends to look a little different.

An interesting challenge with this project was we needed to find a way to photograph four farmers once and have the ability at a later date to change out the food they were holding. We decided the best solution was to choose one plate and one platter that we would use over and over again. We made a support device that would hold the empty plate and platter in a fixed position that allowed the models to hold them differently expressions and body positions. 

Whenever there's a chance we will shoot additional images that require the same look and feel (lighting, spacial relations, perspective, etc.), we craft drawings and take measurements of everything on set. This allows us to recreate the exact set-up and shoot more food that can be photoshopped onto the plate and platter we originally shot with the farmers. And an added bonus – by keeping the plate/platter supporting device thin, we have minimal retouching! 

Model and food set all in one.

Our hero turkey shot that will be placed on an empty platter our farmer is holding.

Stylist Sarah Thompson Lift getting our GQ farmer ready for his close-up.

Always fun to photobomb the food stylist.

It never looks the same from the back of the set.

I always have to have my hands involved in something, to the chagrin of the stylist.

How about a little left? No right. No left! It looks perfect just where you had it. (:-)

Putting the final paint stripper touches on the bird.

Wardrobe, please!

Farmer gear.

Any time there is a chance we will be shooting additional shots that need to have the same look and feel,

our assistant takes tons of measurements and photos so we can recreate the same look again. Thanks Ben!

Monday, June 13, 2016
By David Morris Photography
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We had the privilege to shoot another large production for our friends at VML and Tom's of Maine.   When shooting large projects like these there are a lot of moving parts and people to keep organized.


You have a number of people from the client and agency. We also had second photographers, photo assistants, set builder, models, talent agencies, producer, production coordinator, chef, hair and make-up stylist, and photo retoucher.  Not to mention we needed to do a casting session to find the right models.


The project involved hundreds of email, texts, five different estimate versions, creating a shooting schedule for both photographers to make sure we got all the shots done on schedule, photo retouching schedule, building sets, prop shopping, checking in products to make sure everything is at the studio and in photo condition.


Of course, then we needed to pre-light the sets, get all the props in place, check that all the set lights to make sure they work, add dimmers to make sure they didn't overpower the natural light, make sure the set paint was dry and that everything looked perfect.


One of the things I've learned over the years is that you always have to be ready for the unexpected.  This project was no exception. In some of the photos below we had to spin the sink and vanity around backwards.  We had to do this so the shot fit the layout better.  It worked perfectly!


The bottom line is with any project you need to be organized and ready for the unexpected, this is especially true with big productions.    

Production Board and hourly schedule.

Casting session included photographing models hands, teeth, and action shots.

Hair and Make-up stylist in action.

Our second photographer and retoucher Tiffany ( upper left ) shooting product on white while I shot product families on set.

Props and wardrobe choices for the shoot.

A peek behind the photo sets.

As I mentioned we had to turn the sink and vanity around to fit the layout.

Shooting the lifestyle shots in the green room.

The blue room set.

Chef Pauline putting the final touches on lunch for the clients and crew.

Beef tenderloin filet with roasted veggies and salad.  It was awesome!

Shooting our lifestyle model in the blue bathroom set. 

That's a wrap!

Monday, June 13, 2016
By David Morris Photography
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This year has continued to bring creative ideas and lots of product photography. 

This project involving both lifestyle and product images required a lot of production and organization. Thanks to our crew: Catherine, Dale, Paula, Tiffany, Molly, Ben! 

We used huge spreadsheets with product descriptions and file naming conventions along with check boxes to keep us on track with the shoot schedule, retouching, clipping paths, renaming files, and release of final files. Client and crew all knew where each image was in the system at any time. Our organizational boards also posted visual examples and verbal descriptions of all of the lifestyle and product shots needed. As a result, everyone got everything shot and retouched on time! 

Our set builder Dale Frommelt, as always, did an outstanding job building our lifestyle sets. While the sets weren't that big, everything was painstakingly sourced and assembled. Both sets had to have working water faucets and a way to catch the water when flowing. Add a water hose and a bucket andvoilàyou have functional, "running" water. 

Production boards kept everyone on track.

Dale is always ready for anything.

Beautiful light.

The hose-bucket drain system worked great.

You can do a lot on a small set.

Since this project had a number of lifestyle shots using a hand model, we did a final check of our hand model's hands. 

A few minor adjustments and everything looked good to go.

Model hand check.

Nothing like natural light!

Putting the perfect portion of toothpaste on your toothbrush is harder than you'd think.

Getting the shot framed just right.

How to wash your hands with style.

If it doesn't show -- don't blow money on it! 

Check out the chrome on this limited edition, handcrafted, David Morris towel rack. 

Here we were only going to see the bottom of the towels so taping them to the wall worked like a charm.

Limited edition towel rack, "David Style."

Not everything is what it seems when you look at the shot from a different direction.

Since this project had a lot of product to shoot in a short time period, we needed more than one set going at the same time. 

Consistency can be an issue if you're not careful. We shot using two sets exactly alike; same lights, soft boxes, cameras and lenses, backgrounds, etc. 

Every variable we could eliminate we did. We were very pleased with how close we were able to match each set.

Two matching product sets.

Sometimes you have to do crazy things to get packaging and contents to cooperate. 

In this case, we cut through the back of the box to properly position 

the product inside and get it to stay in place. 

A fun shoot and great client! 

At the end of the day when you hear the client say, "outstanding photos" and "better than we expected," we consider the project a success. 

Here are some of the final lifestyle photo from the shoot.

Monday, June 13, 2016
By David Morris Photography
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From time to time you get the privilege to work on projects that really fires up your creativity. I love a good challenge. It helps to make me a better photographer.

From the get-go, I knew this was a client that had quality in mind. It's very rare to get layouts that the client has hired a professional artist to draw. Most of the time, you'll get a layout that has been cobbled together from stock images. If you're lucky, sometimes you get a storyboard with stock images and some sort of color palette. So as you can imagine, I'm impressed right from the beginning. 

Starting a conversation with the art director, it was explained that they needed the project shot fairly soon -- and it was the dead of winter. Everyone quickly realized that the original concept of shooting the project in the middle of farm crops wasn't going to work.

So the challenge became, how do we convey the farm feel wanted and still keep the visual message on point? Our client suggested we shoot it in a barn. Will that work?

The overall concept was to have a humorous, tongue-in-cheek feel of an AA-type meeting, where a group of farmers along with a product (Agrotain) moderator is participating in an "Agronomists Anonymous" counseling session. During our conversations, we went from a "ha-ha" funny concept to a dark humor approach with a clandestine, voyeuristic feel that emphasized the dejected and ashamed plight of all the farmers. With the concept nailed down, we next had to figure out how to visually interpret it. As with many things, the answer evolved during the process journey. While spending a day and a half scouting looking for, and at, barns, the look of the images became mentally clear.

I came back and sent my scouting images along with a rough idea of the lighting and look I felt we should do for this project. The client agreed and we all raced to produce the project on time.

For a project of this scope, you have a lot of crew, equipment, and moving parts and crew that need to be thought through and pulled together.



Photo Assistant

Digital Tech

Hair and Wardrobe Stylist

Production Coordinator


Props and Equipment:

Motorhome for models and crew to change, relax and work

Equipment van

Space heater (the forecast called for some of the coldest temperatures of the year)

Fuel for space heater (used more than 60 gallons of kerosene to power a 400,000 btu heater)


Dry erase board and tripod stand

Farm tractor

Farming hand tools


etc., etc., etc.


As mentioned in past posts there are 2 things that allow for a great photo shoot --

1. A great client that hires you to do what you do best and then trusts you to do it.

    Thanks Deanna, Joe, and Kristjan for being such great clients!

2.  A great team behind you that makes you look good.

     Thanks Paula, Catherine, Phil, Kent, Sarah, Tiffany and Braden!


Many times I've talked about the business of photography being really about problem-solving. This project was proof positive. Besides solving the visual challenges, you have production, scheduling and logistics to keep in mind. And of course, "Murphy's Law" always comes into play. 

As it happened, the days we were shooting were some of the coldest day of the year (10 degrees), thus the space heater and RV. The first day of the shoot everything checked out and we were all on schedule when Murphy came by for a visit. Just as we were about to start shooting the generator on the RV decided to quit. No lights, no power for the computer, no heat. Ugh! We got it running but 30 minutes later it quit again -- shutting everything down again. While we had rented a generator to run all the lights for the set and the blower on the space heater, there wasn't enough capacity left on that generator to power the RV too. We were fortunate to find power in the barn and ran an extension cord to run the computer and the cabin heater to keep everyone warm. All the delays meant we almost ran out of fuel for the space heater in the barn. 

Day two, Murphy decided to visit again. Upon returning to the studio from day one, I hooked the RV into the studio's power to run all the systems, including the RV's heater so the water didn't freeze. Well, that didn't work. As it turned out, there was a short in the RV's electrical system that drained the batteries and shut the whole system down. Finally got it fixed, but started day 2 (our longest shoot day) behind schedule. We finished the shoot around 1:30 in the morning and went to start the RV to go back to the studio and nothing!!!!  In the rush to get back on schedule, I had left the ignition key on. There we were in the middle of the country, everyone else had left, and the RV would NOT start. We had our equipment van but no jumper cables. Luckily there was an all night Wal-mart 10 miles up the road and they had jumper cables. We arrived back at the studio at 2:30 in the morning, all safe but worn out. 

The business of photography in much more than making cool images, it's about problem solving -- and always being prepared for the unexpected!

Turner Barn, Gardner, KS.

Shirk Barn, Lawrence, KS.

Loading the RV.

Our loaded equipment van.

Set-up underway at the Turner Barn.

Shirk Farm "campsite".



One of the products I purchased for this shoot was Camranger. It's a device that allows you to control every setting on most DSLR cameras remotely from your iPhone or iPad. I wholly recommend it. 

Up in the hayloft positioning lighting.

Making final checks to the camera.

Double checking images on the location computer.

Sarah, our make-up stylist, getting ready to put a "farmer's tan" on one of our models.

Going over images with our clients using Camranger on our iPad.

Crew and client thawing out in the RV.

Models sitting in for a group shot to ensure all the positions of the models worked as a whole.

We shot all the models separately so we could get the perfect expression for each one. This was critical to the whole campaign. It also gave us the ability to move each model into perfect positioning in relationship to each other.

We wanted to add a little atmosphere to show off the light source and make it appear as if there was dust in the air. We used a smoke machine to add our atmosphere.

The nice thing about using Camranger is that you can be anywhere on set and fire the camera. It also allows you to be able to preview a large image with the client even before it is imported to the computer for final approval.

Remote capturing lets you direct the talent more effectively.

Shooting individual models to put together in post.




What it looked like to the naked eye.

What it looked like with our lighting and post production.

A little model attention from client and make-up stylist.

With all our shoots we like to have a little fun and capture a few silly shots.

Photo assistant and client standing in for a lighting test.

Here is a link to show how we put all the images together in post production:

How to video

And, below are the final results. We are very pleased. What do you think?

Original Layout

Final Image

Original Layout

Final Image

Original Layout

Final Image

Monday, June 13, 2016
By David Morris Photography
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Recently we had the privilege to work on a major campaign for one of the nation's largest tire and automotive retail companies which own's over eight national chain brands all around the USA.

 We were hired to bring a more real "Americana" ( not staged ) look and feel to their Brands.  

This was a major project with 10 crew members, months of planning and location scouting.

We often collaborated with hair and make-up stylist, food stylist, etc on projects but in today's ever changing advertising marketplace we are now collaborating with an even broader group of talent.  

Today, we are collaborating with film companies, production companies, producers, and other photographers.  Yes, I said it, other photographers!  No one photographer can be all things to all clients.  

We wanted to provide our client with the best possible outcome so on this project we collaborated with our friend James Meierotto to bring the right look and feel for this project.  In our opinion, it was a win-win for everyone involved.  The client agreed and was thrilled with the results.  We are alway's thrilled to collaborate on projects to provide our clients with the results they need.


This was a fast-paced project with lots of people and equipment.  We were shooting with 3 cameras on this project.

The first shot of any project always take a little time to make sure everyone is on the same page.

You don't always see hair and make-up being done in a tire and automotive store!

A little shade anyone?

Photos are looking good!

Part of the process was to make sure everything we shot was authentic and all the equipment we operated was being used correctly. 

Brian Mangan, our production coordinator did an awesome job mapping out the shooting schedule!!!!

Chris, one of our photo assistants downloading some images on the fly.


A little make-up anyone?

So glad we were near a tire store!!!!

Caught ya!  (:-)

Retro Red

Doing some quick editing as we go.

Thanks to everyone on this project for a great shoot!

Here are a couple of the final shots.