2015 in Review – Behind the Scenes

We may have a few less blog posts to show for it than usual, but 2015 has been a year with just as many days on set and on the road as the past few before it. With any shoot there comes those wonderfully awkward test shots and cringe-worthy behind the scenes shots. Since it’s the end of the year, what better time and place to share them all here on the blog:

chris crisman advertising photography behind the scenes 2015

chris crisman advertising photography behind the scenes 2015

chris crisman advertising photography behind the scenes 2015

chris crisman advertising photography behind the scenes 2015  chris crisman advertising photography behind the scenes 2015

chris crisman advertising photography behind the scenes 2015

chris crisman advertising photography behind the scenes 2015

chris crisman advertising photography behind the scenes 2015

chris crisman advertising photography behind the scenes 2015

chris crisman advertising photography behind the scenes 2015   chris crisman advertising photography behind the scenes 2015

chris crisman advertising photography behind the scenes 2015

chris crisman advertising photography behind the scenes 2015

And there we have it – 2015 is all wrapped up. We’ll be taking New Years off, then getting back into the swing of things early in 2016. We hope you’re as excited as we are for what the new years has in store – happy holidays all!

2015 in Review – Our Best Work

It may not feel like the end of December on the east coast, but as our team is wrapping up for 2015, we felt it was necessary to take a few minutes and reflect back on this year. We’ve been coast-to-coast and plenty of places in between; after countless traveling, producing, shooting, and retouching the year is finally winding down – and what a great one it has been. Keeping up with our yearly blog tradition, Chris and our team sat down and chose our favorites from 2015. Enjoy!

chris crisman advertising photography best of 2015

chris crisman advertising photography best of 2015

chris crisman advertising photography best of 2015

chris crisman advertising photography best of 2015

chris crisman advertising photography best of 2015

chris crisman advertising photography best of 2015

chris crisman advertising photography best of 2015

chris crisman advertising photography best of 2015

chris crisman advertising photography best of 2015

chris crisman advertising photography best of 2015

chris crisman advertising photography best of 2015

As always, none of the images above would be what they are without those who have helped us create them.  From our amazing clients and the awesome creatives we’ve worked with from all of the country and the world to the dedicated and resourceful crew who have helped produce, style, prop, dress, and light these shoots – and we can’t forget our subjects, the real people, the talented models, and everyone else in between who we capture with our lens: Thank you, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Cheers and make sure to let us know your thoughts below or @crismanphoto and/crismanphoto!

 

Personal Work: Hot Air Balloons

crisman_balloon_009

Some images come together quickly while others take their time, changing and developing over weeks and months to be fully realized. Our hot air balloon photo definitely falls into the latter category; a photo that has been on Chris’s mind for quite some time and one that the team has been actively chasing since January of this year.

As with many great (or terrible) stories, this one starts in Las Vegas. In January of this year, we decided to finally pursue bringing Chris’s vision for a dynamic hot air balloon portrait to life – after some research and  a few phone calls, we were booked for the weekend with special aerial access at a small hot air balloon festival in Mesquite NV, only a few hours north of Las Vegas. As far as we were concerned, this was our chance to shoot a sky full of balloons – the perfect background for this photo.

crisman_balloon_004

AdobeBridgeBatchRenameTemp2crisman_balloon_010

That weekend in Mesquite, our team learned a lot about the world of hot air ballooning. We learned tons of information on balloons, safety regulations, wind and weather patterns, proper chasing techniques – the list of ballooning lingo goes on.

AdobeBridgeBatchRenameTemp4crisman_balloon_012

crisman_balloon_006

Unfortunately, despite all this newfound knowledge, one thing we most definitely did not do though, was fly in a hot air balloon. After two mornings of 5:00am call times in the middle of the desert, we left Nevada empty handed due to high winds and unsafe flying conditions; it was a bust (despite and voodoo or magical efforts Chris may be making in the photo above… the wind was just not on our side).

Did we give up? Of course not. As soon as we landed back in Philadelphia, we were on the search for the next balloon festival we could line up.

1389259_1461575284138762_845117557_n

10518239_1658917260993782_967833960_n

In the meantime, we were also searching for a truly amazing landscape to serve as the backdrop for this photo. We knew the perspective needed to be shot from the sky, so what did we do? Made sure we were carrying our cameras with us on almost every flight. It just so happened that a seaplane flight in Alaska provided the appropriately epic landscape we were looking for

crisman_balloon_001

crisman_balloon_002

Finally in August we set our sights on a huge festival in New Jersey – flying up with dozens of balloons and shooting the whole time, we captured hundreds of photos from all angles. After discussing and sketching and planning the image for months, we all had a pretty good idea of the pieces we needed to shoot, but once the balloons all took off, it was honestly a bit of a free-for-all to shoot as much as we could. We’ve learned that hot air balloons are not exactly the most predictable type of vehicle.

cc2015025 - Balloon talent

cc2015025 - Balloon talent

cc2015025 - Balloon talent

Last but not least, all we needed were our models, and of course another hot air balloon to shoot them in. Surprisingly enough, this may have been the easiest part of the photo. We worked with Carter County Flights, a small family owned company local to Philadelphia to help us achieve the final piece to this photographic puzzle. All that was left to find two great models, dress them and shoot a few photos.

It may have taken almost a year to come together, but we’re so happy with this image – it’s not always applicable, but in this case the final product is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

When it’s all said and done, we owe a big thank you to everyone who helped bring this image to life: The fine folks at the Casablanca Resort in Mesquite NV, everyone at the NJ Festival of Ballooning, the various members of our team who traveled, assisted, or helped shoot parts of this image, and of course our very talented models from Reinhard Philadelphia. Thanks all!

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

Wired UK: Pixar

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

Whenever the phone in our studio rings and there’s a +44 country code at the beginning of the number, we get pretty excited – a phone call from Great Britain almost always means a new assignment from the folks at Wired UK and always something new and exciting for us to go shoot.

This latest cover and feature shoot was no different; we were asked to shoot the creative and technical geniuses who are behind the world famous computer animation studio, Pixar. This particular project took shape over many weeks and came to fruition as two separate shoots in California. First we set off to photograph the director, animator, producer, and all around creative genius John Lasseter. For the cover image, John was to be composited into a scene with the Arlo, the star of Pixar’s newest film The Good Dinosaur.

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

As usual with most cover shoots and important subjects, we had a short amount of time with Mr. Lasseter – Chris planned to shoot 3 unique setups in under 30 minutes. After a few hours of setup and testing, our shoot was a breeze – John was a natural and totally enjoyed himself with Chris and our team.

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

By far the most unexpected moment of the shoot was on our final all-white set when John called out to everyone behind the scenes asking if anyone had a sharpie. As if she was reading his mind, our awesome prop stylist Kim Creigthon was ready with a set of markers. The next thing everyone knew, John Lasseter was sketching out an original drawing of Buzz and Woody from Toy Story – right on the middle of our set (quite literally)! I have a feeling that drawing is currently framed back at Wired UK Headquarters in London.

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

Arlo may have been CGI that was added in later, but we still needed something to simulate the presence of a giant dinosaur in frame. It may be a bit smaller than a dinosaur, but in this case, a tennis ball attached to a C-arm did the trick. No need to book an animal wrangler for this shoot.

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

A few days after our quick cover shoot with Lasseter, we flew back to California to spend the day at Pixar’s campus near San Fransisco, capturing images of the incredible space and some of the creative minds behind the company.

First on our shot-list was Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar and Disney Animation. Similarly short on time to John Lasseter we only had a few moments with Mr. Catmull to shoot our portraits, and were able to capture a handful of great options (if you look closely on the top portrait you may notice the very familiar looking art from the recent Pixar film Inside Out).

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

We also shot portraits of Denise Ream and Peter Sohn, the producer and director of The Good Dinosaur. With the upcoming release set for only a few weeks away, these two were also very busy wrapping up any final details on the film, but spared a few moments for a portrait session in front of Chris’s camera.

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

cc2015027_0553_ZA_RD1

The other unspoken star of the show on our shoot day at Pixar was the building itself. Designed and meticulously managed and built by Steve Jobs, the space was beautiful, refined and architecturally stunning, yet reflected the playful and quirky nature of Pixar – truly an inspiring space to drive creative ambition. We honestly feel very lucky to have spent the day in such an inspiring place.

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

American Standard DXV II

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.

Crisman_American_Standard_DXV_008

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.

Beauty_ad2a

Alice_ToiletLidOpeningOnly-2-GIF-Final

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

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

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!

Jesse Eisenberg : NY Observer

cc2015022_0118_ZA_FINAL

Hi everyone! Short and sweet post for you today. Back in July we got another call from the NY Observer. We love getting their calls because you never know who they’re going to have for us to shoot. They’ve given us Kevin Spacey, Henrik Lundqvist, Kevin Kline, and a few others in the past. If you haven’t seen them, there are posts for each. Check them out!

This time it turned out to be Jesse Eisenberg and we were super stoked on this one. I LOVE movies. I’ve seen every movie ever. So yeah.. I celebrate his entire catalog… He’s been in a ton of stuff. He played Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. Zombieland is probably my favorite of his but Adventureland was great too. He’s also playing Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (!). Can’t wait! Anyways, back to it. He was great to photograph. Super generous with his time and very easy to talk to. The shoot went smoothly and we’re all very happy with the pictures. Many thanks to Jesse, the Observer, and the Library Hotel in NY for letting us use their roof. Enjoy!

cc2015022_0051_ZA_FINAL

cc2015022_0057_ZA_FINAL

And of course, some BTS:

_94A0091

Chris is pretty relaxed on set sometimes.

_94A0064

And yours truly sitting in for another light test.