Chris Crisman Photography

July, 2012 Monthly archive

We’re happy to report that we have been featured in Advanced Photoshop Magazine issue 98. You might remember back to last summer when they first featured Chris’s work and an interview about his process. We’re back again, this time contributing a handful of tools and tips for maximizing your compositing workflow. Although the magazine is based in the UK, you can order it online or try and pick up a copy at specialty retailers in the US.

No worries though, we’ve summarized the tips here, keep reading to find out how we break down our compositing workflow…

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It’s been quite a week. Actually let me rephrase that – it is quite a week. As I’m blogging, we’re on the road, headed up to Maine for a weekend shoot. Maine is only part of our journey this week, we’ve been rolling all over the northeast. We started out bright and early Monday morning in Atlantic City, shot for a few days there, traveled to central Pennsylvania for some pictures, and then hauled all the way up to Boston Massachusetts for some shooting on Friday. Even though I’m wrapping up the week, our adventure continues. Keep reading to find out more…

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When Chris showed our team the landscapes he shot in the redwood forests of northern California, we knew that beyond a beautiful photograph, we had an incredible open-ended canvas to work with for a composite image. After lots of brainstorming sessions, we realized the otherworldly space needed to be filled with some type of magical scene.

Lots of phone calls and shipments of butterflies later, all of the pieces to Chris’s vision were finally coming together. All the image needed now was the input and creativity from our talented digital artist. Keep reading for some insight and explanation into how we created our latest conceptual portrait…

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A few months back, a call came in from Inc Magazine to photograph two barbeque entrepreneurs. Although those two words rarely enter into the same sentence, Heath Hall and Brett Thompson of Pork Barrel BBQ have turned ribs, brisket, spice rubs, and sauces into big business thanks to an unmatched entrepreneurial spirit and an appearance on the ABC series Shark Tank.

We knew going into the shoot that these photos called for racks of ribs and as much BBQ smoke as we could create. After first meeting the guys behind Pork Barrel, we asked Heath and Brett if they could get their grills to spew some smoke. There was a slight twinkle in their eyes – “smoke?” they said “we can make that happen.”

Keep reading to see more from our smoky photoshoot…

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It’s been a week on the road – we’ve spent the last few days traveling and shooting on the east coast, racking up the miles down and back to Greensboro NC for an editorial shoot and working a few days in the Philly area. We’re also doing our best to gear up for an upcoming non-stop three week straight photo-bender. That’s right, we’re looking ahead at almost 21 days of shooting for a handful of editorial and advertising clients. Rest? Relaxation? Sleep? Who needs that when you’re taking awesome photos. It’s been fun the past few days, keep reading for more photos and stories of what we’ve been up to..

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This is it – the moment we’ve been waiting for. The time has finally come to release our newest conceptual portrait. We’ve blogged about this photo a tiny bit in the past, and will fill you all in on the details in the future, but we absolutely couldn’t wait to share this image.

Make sure to head over to our portfolio site to see the photo in its full-sized glory and keep watching the blog for a more in-depth look at what it took to make this picture. Any questions about the photo? Make sure to send them our way @crismanphoto on twitter or drop us a note in the comments. Enjoy!

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A few years ago, I came up with a theory. Every person has some balance of two incredibly valuable assets – Time and Money. If you have an excess of one of them, there’s a good chance that don’t have much of the other. I’d like to take some time and reflect on being aware of how you spend your assets can potentially improve your business and maybe even your life. In this post I will tackle Time specifically.

Here I sit on a flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco. This is the fifth time I’ve taken this flight in the past 6 months. I’m confident I’ll be making the same trip at least as many times before the year is up. When I’m on a long flight like this, I use some of my time wisely and then spend some frivolously. I will spend a few hours catching up on email, organizing my computer, trying to read a bit and write a bit, and then work on some images if time allows (concepting, toning, editing). Undoubtedly, I will also spend some time doing things that you could put in the category of wasting time (yes, this includes playing games on my iPhone). Believe it or not, it’s a very important part of the creative process for me. As I strive to establish efficiencies in all aspects of my business, my life has quickly developed a certain intensity. That being said, I find a lot of value in pulling back a bit and just relaxing.

From spring 2002 until about spring 2005 I spent a great deal of my time assisting commercial photographers. I believe this is a vital step in the process of developing a healthy photography career. When it was time for me to make the jump to from assistant to photographer, I was cash poor and time rich.  I was having a very hard time making ends meet, but certainly had hours and hours to spare. At the time I was working with one of my mentors, photographer Bill Cramer. He was very busy man at the time. He was shooting constantly, caring for his wonderful family, and developing the business that is now Wonderful Machine. I remember thinking about how I had so much of the one thing he could use – time.  As you could probably guess, his financial situation was quite enviable from where I was sitting.

When you’re a young, aspiring photographer you’ve got so much time on your hands. Time should be read as opportunity. You have very little responsibility, minimal commitments, and hopefully nothing holding you back from dedicating your life to developing yourself and your work. It’s an incredible time when you have the greatest chance of building yourself into someone greater than you can dream of yourself.  It’s also a window that likely will be closed before you know it.

When I was starting out, I made some tough decisions that made great use of my time.  These choices helped me go from full-time assisting to full time shooting in just one year. First, I moved out of the apartment with my friends and moved much closer to our studio. This helped me avoid some distractions and spend more time working. I also chose to destroy the idea of a 40-hour workweek. It was a tough transition, but now I can hardly remember what sleeping on the studio floor felt like.  Finally, I dedicated myself to a personal project that required me driving 350 miles each way to get to my subjects. This was the Titusville Steel Project and the time dedicated helped make it my first successful body of work.

These days, things are a bit different for me. A week doesn’t go by where I don’t say to my studio manager Robert: “There just aren’t enough hours in the day.”

I’m coming off my best year ever in business and am shooting non-stop. Creatively, I am making the best work of my career. Most importantly, my wife and I are expecting our first child in September. We couldn’t be happier.

That being said, I’ve just been informed that we’re preparing to land in San Francisco and it’s time to shut down and stow all portable electronics.

With that, I leave you with a song that has been something of a personal mantra. Enjoy.

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