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chris crisman the musician conceptual personal work

We’re always striving to create new work that we’ve never seen before – some images that exist squarely in reality and others that require a bit more imagination to create and a bit more ingenuity to bring to life. When we’re in the studio concepting and brainstorming, ideas have a tendency to grow and build off of other ideas until everyone has a clear vision of what we’re after, whether it exists in reality or not.

For this new photo that we’re calling The Musician, both the location and the talent were born out of a brainstorming session that got us all a bit carried away, with thoughts and ideas that compounded and forced us to ask the question: “how can we shoot that?”

chris crisman the musician conceptual personal work

First and foremost we needed an environment for our photograph. From imagination to the internet and eventually to reality, we whittled down the list of possible locations from a worldwide search (ruled out – too many frequent flyer miles to travel to Europe on short notice) and eventually discovered a violin shop in the tri-state area that contained all of the pieces of what we were looking for.

chris crisman the musician conceptual personal work

Were those pieces necessarily lined up and constructed in the way that they needed to be for our concept to come to life? Not so much. But we knew that the reality of the space was merely a detail that we could overcome with a touch of creative retouching and post-work.

So we shot, and shot and shot, capturing as many angles and vantages on the violin shop as we could, knowing that the final space would be created as a composite of these pieces.

chris crisman the musician conceptual personal work

chris crisman the musician conceptual personal work

As for the character, we knew we wanted someone who would look eccentric and eclectic, someone who could match with and amplify the background we’d created. Simply enough, our casting call only asked for “unique looking” males and we let the magic of the search provide what it could. After sifting through a few pages of results, we knew immediately who our talent would be when we saw Geoff Lee – an actor and musician based in New York. Geoff was on-board and with the help of our talented prop and wardrobe stylists set to work creating his character.

In the end it all came together seamlessly, a space and character born out of imagination and brought to life through our vision. As always, we can say that the sum is greater than the whole of it’s parts, but those parts deserve a thank you. Many thanks to our talented model Geoff, Matthew Englebert on props, Wendy Oswald Kinney for wardrobe help, Megan Ambroch for makeup styling, and of course the talented folks at PXL House for bringing it all together in post.

Questions, comments? Let us know your thoughts below or @crismanphoto and /crismanphoto!

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Crisman Forest Landscape

It’s that time of year again – time to take a moment and look forward at what opportunities and adventures await us in the coming weeks and months. Time to discuss and refine our team’s goals and ideals for the next 365 days, time to ask ourselves “what can we do differently, what can we do better this year? what can we create that will be new and different? How can we refine our craft?” Both practical and creative, we love to ask these questions and take even greater joy in answering them by creating new and inspiring images.

So what’s the plan for 2016? Isn’t it obvious?

Make new work. Make photographs and images that we’ve never seen before and create content that can embody our aesthetic and the ideas and vision of our clients. And as always, we’ll do our best to share.

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It’s that time of year again when we can step back from the hustle of our daily routine and reflect for a moment on the past eleven months. The holidays always bring some time for relaxation and reflection, but in my opinion there’s none better than Thanksgiving to really stop and take stock of what one is thankful for.

This year, the team decided to all sit down for a minute this morning and share what 2015 has provided and what that means for us (and we included pictures!) So here we are, what the Crisman team is thankful for:

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[Chris]: I am thankful for having the opportunity for such great experiences with what we do – for really wonderful clients that entrust me and our team with such great responsibility. I’m also thankful for my amazing wife and her patience for the unpredictable lifestyle that we live. Lastly, I am thankful for the holiday miracle that we found out our cat Cheese, who was lost for two years has just resurfaced in Rhode Island. Even better news is that Cheese will be rejoining our family on Monday.

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[Jared]: I am thankful for my motorcycle, pizza and candy, the greatest friends in the world, and most importantly the opportunity to do what I love with the absolute best people. I wouldn’t be nearly as successful as I am without the support of Chris and Robert. I’m truly thankful to be a part of this team.

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[Robert]: I have quite a bit to be thankful for this year. Without sounding like a broken record from years past, I am still and will always be truly thankful for all of the unique, interesting and amazing people that I am privileged to work with – from NYC to LA and everywhere/everyone in between, thank you for being a part of my life and helping our team achieve what we do. I am also very thankful in 2015 for my (recently official) wife and other half, Jillian.

That said, we’re all wishing you a very happy thanksgiving! Eat, drink, enjoy leftovers and be merry!

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chris crisman, chris crisman photography, chris crisman advertising photography, chris crisman ad photography, chris crisman american standard, chris crisman american standrd dxv, chris crisman dxv, chris crisman 22 squared, chris crisman 22 squared advertising, 22 squard american standard, 22 squared american standard dxv, chris crisman american standard advertising

chris crisman advertising photography american standard

Early on in 2015 we were already chatting with the awesome creatives at 22Squared – the word was in that their client American Standard was interested in shooting a second round of the “As told by DXV” campaign and they wanted to bring the Crisman Team back for the sequel to our 2014 shoot.

From the get-go, we worked closely with the agency and designers at American Standard to brainstorm, concept and ultimately execute three new images for this years campaign. Culled down from practically a dozen candidates, we landed on Beauty & The Beast, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – three instantly recognizable classic stories that we were tasked to bring to life in the context of premium plumbing.

chris crisman, chris crisman photography, chris crisman advertising photography, chris crisman ad photography, chris crisman american standard, chris crisman american standrd dxv, chris crisman dxv, chris crisman 22 squared, chris crisman 22 squared advertising, 22 squard american standard, 22 squared american standard dxv, chris crisman american standard advertising

This was no small task, but we knew our team was up to the challenge. Choosing to shoot this in our hometown of Philadelphia meant that this project was a bit of bringing the band back together from 2014. Our first call was to the talented set designer Matthew Englebert. He was on-board from day one, overseeing the practical design and construction of our three sets. Matthew and his team worked for weeks to design, build, and prop the three spaces – creating custom pieces that show a true mastery of craft and an artisan quality of construction.

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chris crisman advertising photography american standard

We worked closely with the team and 22 Squared and the brand designers from American Standard to create rooms that framed up the story while keeping the plumbing fixtures the star of the show. This meant lots of discussions and lots of collaboration between Chris, our team, the agency, and the designers at American Standard. It was an amazing process to watch everyone’s ideas and input get distilled down into the three final ads.

Not only that, but it is equally amazing to see these concepts physically brought to life and built by our set building crew. Trust me when I tell you that every little detail, down to the subtle coloring of the real poured concrete floor is not missed by these talented folks.

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One of the biggest and certainly the coolest differences between our previous campaign and this years shoot for American Standard was the decision to shoot motion content and create cinemagraphs. To achieve this we needed to both concept actions and elements in the images that functioned with motion, and also practically light and build our sets in such a way that we could capture this content. For every shot that we lit with strobe, we needed to match that lighting with HMI & continuous lighting.

The results are something we’re really excited about and definitely plan on shooting again.

chris crisman advertising photography american standard

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chris crisman, chris crisman photography, chris crisman advertising photography, chris crisman ad photography, chris crisman american standard, chris crisman american standrd dxv, chris crisman dxv, chris crisman 22 squared, chris crisman 22 squared advertising, 22 squard american standard, 22 squared american standard dxv, chris crisman american standard advertising

chris crisman, chris crisman photography, chris crisman advertising photography, chris crisman ad photography, chris crisman american standard, chris crisman american standrd dxv, chris crisman dxv, chris crisman 22 squared, chris crisman 22 squared advertising, 22 squard american standard, 22 squared american standard dxv, chris crisman american standard advertising

With any large production – it quite literally takes a village to get the shot sometimes. Whether that’s designing and building the sets, wrangling the animal talent, propping out the shots, tweaking the lights, or even in my case – standing in for a light test…

As always, we owe a huge thanks to everyone who helped bring this project together. From our clients at American Standard and 22Squared to our talented set building and construction crew, the hair and makeup and wardrobe styling team, and our trusty photo assistants. We couldn’t have created these images with you all so thank you!

Questions? Comments? let us know your thoughts below or @crismanphoto and /crismanphoto!

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chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

Drones are here. Whether it’s as simple as capturing footage from a GoPro, surveying land, top secret military operations or even drone beer delivery (my personal favorite) – these flying robots are in our skies and not going away anytime soon.

As with any developing industry on the edge of modern technology, the team at Wired UK are on it. Earlier this year we received a call from across the pond to fly out to San Fransisco and photograph two companies at the forefront of the aerial robotics industry: Airware and 3D Robotics.

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

First up was Airware, a drone company aiming to take the already airbone industry into the cloud. Terrible tech puns aside, the Airware team creates hardware and software that is trying to create a standardized operating system for the world of commercial drone operations – no small task.

Jonathan Downey, the founder and CEO, as well as the rest of his team were generous with their time and access – helping us to illustrate both the tech and the people behind scenes who are bringing this idea to life.

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

Our second shoot took us to the Oakland based HQ of 3D Robotics, a consumer robotics startup helmed by former Wired Editor in Chief, Chris Anderson. They just released their first offering, the 3DR Solo Drone – a very user friendly and easily piloted GoPro wielding UAV capable of 3D scanning. Not too shabby.

Spending a day with their pilots and watching the R&D team work was inspiring to see where the consumer side of the drone world is headed.

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

And of course the shoot wouldn’t be complete without a few wonderful light tests from Jared and myself. After all these years we’ve gotten really good at standing next to windows and on rooftops.

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

We were pretty busy on set wrangling all of these flying robots but we managed to grab a few quick BTS shots. If you look closely enough at the shot of Chris Anderson you can spot the 3DR Solo flying dangerously close to the industrial tanks in the background. No crashes though – the shoot was a success!

Questions? Comments? Let us know at @crismanphoto on Instagram and /crismanphoto on Facebook.

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crisman ellsworth creek

Hi everyone! We’re super happy to to announce that the story we shot back in February for The Nature Conservancy has finally been released. Usually when we get the call from TNC, we need to prepare ourselves to go to some far off place and this job was no exception (and neither was the one we just got back from… we’ll be talking more about that in a few months!). This job had us go to southeastern Washington to the Ellsworth Creek Preserve to photograph their operation.

I’m sure a lot of people are wondering why TNC would put a logger with a fallen tree on the cover of their magazine… and that’s a good question. I’ll try to explain things as simply as possible. Back in the day (about 100 years ago), logging companies we’re cutting down everything they could get their hands on. They’d just completely clear cut entire forests – sadly, this is still happening as you’ll see in one of the pictures below. After a few decades pass, trees would grow back but the forest would all be the same height. There would be no diversity in the ecosystem. So TNC is thinning out these second growth forests to allow sunlight to get through to the ground and allow a natural diversity in plant life and wildlife to take hold while also creating jobs in the local community. Here’s a link to the story which is more detailed and explains things much better than I could ever do. (http://www.nature.org/magazine/archives/beyond-the-timber-wars.xml).

I’ve gotta say that this was one of the toughest shoots we’ve ever worked on. It rained the whole time we were there.. which makes sense since it’s a rainforest but rain and photo gear don’t get along. The terrain was steep, slippery, and overgrown. Most of the time I was carrying a Profoto 7b pack and a small octabank through the forest and Chris had the camera and tripod. We were falling all over the place even with the spikes our contact had loaned us, all while trying to keep the gear dry. We took a beating but sometimes that’s what it takes to make great pictures. I’ll let the pictures below tell the story.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, walking up a tree he just fell in a second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

 

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Russell falling a tree in a second growth forest at Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Kurt Bower, log loader, standing on back of logging truck with full load of trees at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Kurt Bower, log loader, standing on back of logging truck with full load of trees at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, overlooking the Ellsworth Creek Preserve , WA on 2/11/15.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, overlooking the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, taking measurments in old growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, taking measurements of an 11-foot-wide western red cedar at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Aerial views of the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

The effects of clear cutting seen from the air neighboring the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Landscape of old growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/12/15.

Landscape of a healthy old growth forest. This is the scene TNC is trying to create by thinning the second growth forests. 

Tom Kollasch in old growth forest and with big cedars at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/12/15.

Tom Kollasch, TNC Willapa Program director, in old growth forest and with big cedars at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Darryl Waddle, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/13/15.

Darryl Waddle, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Rober walls, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/13/15.

Robert Walls, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

And here’s a few BTS shots from our time in Washington:

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.02.30 AMA clear cut and the border of the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.03.15 AMThis is the machine that pulls the thinned trees out of the forest up to the lumber yard. It’s very heavy. The workers specifically said don’t stand under it…. Chris fell directly under it. 

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Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.03.56 AMWe drove down to Astoria to catch our plane to get aerial shots of the preserve. We had to stop here. 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.04.47 AMLighthawk is a non-profit organization that donates air time to conservancy efforts. Chris is doing business before taking off.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.04.24 AMGetting aerial shots in our Lighthawk flight. Apparently the air is really cold going 100mph and having your hand out there is uncomfortable.

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Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.06.10 AMChris working with the crane operator in the lumber yard.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.02.55 AMAnd lastly, it was oyster season while we were there. These were the largest oysters we’ve ever had. They were the size of our hands. 

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“Own It” – I can’t think of a better opening phrase for this blog post than the tagline of the campaign itself. We’re really excited to share some work we shot towards the end of 2014 for Intuit Quickbooks. Partnering with the amazing creatives at RPA, we brought a campaign to life featuring small business owners who embody the spirit of “owning it.”

Our production took us all over Los Angeles, shooting talent who included beekeepers animal veterinarians, and woodworkers. Two great shoot days with an awesome crew resulted in beautiful images that you can find in magazines and plastered on billboards throughout the country.

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It is definitely worth noting that our beekeeper shot was done entirely in camera. Sure we may have added a few extra bees in post, but they were all real – and so were the beekeeping suits.

When the rest of the crew cleared off set, Chris and yours truly donned full bee protection and got ready for a fast 30 minutes of shooting. It’s also worth noting here that making any kind of battery of CF card changes to a Phase One digital back while wearing padded beekeeping gloves is strongly not advised.

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You’d think the drama would have ended with the beekeeping shoot, but a little known fact about myself is that I’m actually scared of horses. No childhood trauma, no weird experiences, I just kinda don’t like how big or unpredictable they can be. I think this picture pretty much sums it up.

chris crisman advertising photography intuit quickbooks

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Our second day of shooting brought us to an awesome private woodworking shop just north of LA. Naturally with woodworking, you need sawdust and haze to get the right look and feel. Judging by the BTS photos from that day… It was pretty hazy on set. This shoot is also responsible for Chris’s newfound love of hazer machines.

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With any project like this, we owe a big thank you to the awesome agency RPA for having us on-board to bring their concepts to life as well as our LA based crew – you guys totally rocked it.

Thanks for reading – make sure to check us out at @Crismanphoto on Instagram and /Crismanphoto on Facebook.

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