Southwest The Magazine: Shakespeare in Detroit

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

In the fall 0f 2014, the Crisman team headed to Detroit to spend a week working with a group of artists and actors who make up Shakespeare in Detroit. Founded in 2013, Shakespeare in Detroit is a site-specific Shakespeare company that performs throughout the city of Detroit. From the costumes to the actors, the staging and their props – every piece of the SID productions are sourced and based in Detroit. They’re an amazing group of people who are breathing life into the city, and we couldn’t be happier to tell their story.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

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For this shoot we wanted to bring the characters of Shakespeare to life in real locations that spoke to the city of Detroit. The first and most obvious thought would be do go down the route of ruin and shoot inside the crumbling remains throughout the city – but this is a misstep. The true Detroit, the 2015 Detroit is not a crumbling remain, it is a city in rebirth, a thriving city which plays just as an important role in this project as the characters we’ve staged in front of the lens.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

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Art, culture, food, it’s all there in Detroit. And it’s growing – faster than you may image. From city institutions like Coney Island hot dogs to brand new craft distilleries and burgeoning restaurants, there couldn’t be a better city to stage this performance in.

Not happy with just shooting stills, our team also captured motion for this project, including this video interview with the founder and director of Shakespeare in Detroit, Sam White. Although our photos may shed some light into the amazing production she founded, Sam shares the story of SID in a way that only she can.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

Can’t have a shoot without some light tests and BTS coverage. We kept our kit pretty small and mobile since we were shooting at least 2 locations a day and sometimes more.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

One of the most unique and most distinctively Detroit locations was The Heidelberg Project, a large scale outdoor art exhibit that spans an entire city block.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

And then I got stuck in a fish tank. Well – not really… we did shoot at the amazing Belle Isle Aquarium, a historic building designed by the legendary architect Albert Kahn.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

Aside from being the stage for our scenes photographed from Othello, Slow’s Bar Bq serves some damn tasty BBQ and is a must visit if you’re in the city.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

We owe a big thank you to our editors at Southwest magazine for trusting us to bring this wild story to life. We also owe a thank you to Sam White and the entire acting company at Shakespeare in Detroit – we couldn’t have pulled this off this without all your help! Last but not least, we owe a thank you to the city of Detroit – the other character throughout this series of photos – quite possibly the most appropriate backdrop for these images.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

And last but not least here’s a photo of Jared asleep while sitting in for a light test. Yup – it was definitely a long week.

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

 

New Personal Work: Neon Boy & The Golfer

Hi everyone! Jared here. You may remember me from past blog posts such as Assistant Interview: Jared Castaldi  and pretty much any other post where I’m standing in testing light for Chris or acting a fool. I’ve been working with Chris off and on over the years as an assistant, digital tech, second shooter, etc. You name it. But most recently I’ve been handed the task of telling the story of how we came to make two of Chris’ recent portfolio pictures: Neon Boy and Golfer.

chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait

chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait

Back in January of this year, Chris, Robert, Zack (our in house digital artist), and myself packed up and headed out west to Las Vegas. Chris had ideas for three pictures. Unfortunately due to weather issues, one of our pictures never came to be. I won’t mention what that picture was because it’s still in the works for later this summer. So you’ll just have to wait!

chris crisman neon boy golfer portraitWhen we end up in Vegas, we usually end up at Tacos El Gordo. They are amazing. Go there and get the adobada tacos.

chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait   And when you’re in Vegas, you usually end up at a Casino. We like the Cosmopolitan but we didn’t stay there this time (but we stayed in sight of it!). They have secret pizza. We like pizza.

chris crisman neon boy golfer portraitHere you can see I’m taking a selfie of myself and the back of Robert’s head while riding an escalator in the Belaggio.

chris crisman neon boy golfer portraitIt was the Chinese New Year while we were in Vegas. The Bellagio had a huge display in their lobby for it. The goats were robots and they moved around and made noises. Reminded me of the Chuck E. Cheese band. Pretty cool stuff.

So once we got settled our first stop was the Neon Graveyard. The Neon Graveyard is a park like space that is home to a bunch of old vintage signs from long long ago when Sinatra roamed the streets of Vegas. It’s an amazing place. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from there:

chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait

chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait

As you can see from the final Neon Boy picture up top, we pieced together a variety of the signs and transformed day into night. When we got back home, we shot our hero and a few other pieces in studio. I’m no retoucher but I’m sure Zack had a great time putting the whole thing together…

After we got what we needed for the Neon Boy picture, we headed out to Mesquite, NV. This is where mother nature screwed us out of our portfolio picture. Mesquite is a little town a few hours northeast of Vegas. It’s basically the middle of nowhere. I don’t recommend going there. We stayed at the Virgin River Hotel and Casino. I don’t recommend going there either unless you like second hand smoke and becoming extremely ill….. Let’s not mention Mesquite ever again. Let’s move on.

After our defeat in Mesquite, we headed to back to Las Vegas for our last shot, which details a day on the links with a storied golfer. We needed to get plates at a golf course for this shot and the fine people at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort were kind enough to give us free reign of their beautiful course.

chris crisman neon boy golfer portraitCheck out that form! I’m actually an OK golfer. I shot an 84 last weekend. How ’bout that?

chris crisman neon boy golfer portraitPresident and Vice President of Best Hair in the business right here. I hope they don’t crash their cart. Who will lead us then?!

chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait

chris crisman neon boy golfer portraitAnd again, our golfer in studio back in Philly.

Then things got weird. We stopped in El Dorado Canyon which is even more in the middle of nowhere than Mesquite. It’s the site of the oldest and richest gold mine in Nevada. There were also a bunch of murders and Indian raids here back in the day. We didn’t know what to expect…. Now it’s basically just a few houses and barns filled with all kinds of stuff/junk. I think you can pay them a small donation and they’ll let you walk around with a camera and take pictures.. so we did that. Here are some pictures. You can decide yourself…

chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait chris crisman neon boy golfer portrait

So this was our last stop on our trip. Our trip home was not fun though. We were sitting in our hotel room at around 8pm the night before our flights home. A huge blizzard was supposed to hit Philly a few hours before we landed and the airlines were starting to cancel flights. We got on the phones and booked red eye flights home to land before the storm. Unfortunately the rest of the west coast had the same idea and the four of us couldn’t fly on the same flights. Chris and I had to fly to Phoenix then home which went smootly but uncomfortably. Robert and Zack had to fly to Phoenix then to Orlando then home to Philly.

Their trip ended up being a real life version of the movie Trains, Planes, and Automobiles. It was not a good time for them. 🙁

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Fresh off a reboot.

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It’s been awhile.

2014 was a whirlwind. My family and I moved just outside of Philadelphia, we left our studio in the city, and we added another Crisman to our clan. On top of all that, I had my best year ever as a photographer. We shot 8 out of the last 12 weeks of the year and the smoke didn’t clear until January. I’m grateful for the all the wonderful changes, and excited with all aspects of our growth.

The world of commercial photography is changing. Because of this, all of our roles and respective responsibilities are constantly in flux. Over here, we have some new faces and new voices. Over the next few months I’ll let them introduce themselves. My hope for this blog moving forward is to let whomever is speaking be more honest and a bit less concerned about being a media outlet. This profession can be challenging, but also so rewarding when you’re really in it. I hope that hearing some unfiltered perspectives here will be of benefit to anyone reading.

We’ll consider this our first step into the new frontier.

Carry on.

2015 – The New Year

chris crisman advertising photography 2015

It’s a new year.

And with that we’re off to a new start. As we sit here in the studio with snow falling around us, there’s a moment of both tranquility and anticipation. We’re back in action and ready to get cracking in 2015. After a much needed pause in the action, the new adventure of 2015 is upon us and we’re already working on new assignments, planning new personal projects, looking into picturesque locations and seeking out unique and beautiful talent – all the while, making sure the every day we come to work is one where we’re having fun and doing it for the sake of making amazing images.

That is to say, it’s pretty much business as usual.

The Crisman team has a big year ahead, and as always we’ll be sharing it as we go. There’s always this blog, Chris’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to stay up to date on the action. We’ll do our best to keep posting as this train keeps rolling – make sure you enjoy the ride.

2014 in Review – Our Best Work

chris crisman best photos 2014

We can’t believe that it’s already time to close the books on 2014. Forgive the cheesy expression, but it literally felt like only yesterday that we were gearing up for the year and jumping into our first shoots in January. In keeping with tradition from last year, we felt it was necessary to pause and take a look back through the images we’ve created this year. It’s been a tough edit – we tried to pick our top 10, but couldn’t stop there and landed at 13. We’ve made some many photos that we’re happy with and have to leave out a few that we’re not able to share quite yet. That being said, we wanted to share our favorites thus far, the best of the best.

chris crisman best photos 2014

chris crisman best photos 2014

chris crisman best photos 2014

chris crisman best photos 2014

chris crisman best photos 2014

chris crisman best photos 2014

chris crisman best photos 2014

chris crisman best photos 2014

chris crisman best photos 2014

chris crisman best photos 2014

chris crisman best photos 2014

chris crisman best photos 2014

No collection of images would be fit to show without a proper thank to you everyone involved in the process – including our wonderful clients from all over the globe, the extremely dedicated and talented crew who have helped produce these shoots, and of course our subjects themselves. Thank you, we couldn’t have done this without you.

Did we miss anything? Any of your favorites not included? Let us know your thoughts below or @crismanphoto and/crismanphoto!

From the Archive: Fall Camping

chris crisman fall lifestly photos

It’s that time of year again. There’s a chill in the air, the leaves are changing, and daylight starts to become scarce. With thanksgiving right around the corner, and autumn in full swing, we couldn’t help but take a look back in the archives to a lifestyle shoot from fall 2012.

chris crisman lifestyle photography fall lifestyle

chris crisman lifestyle photography fall lifestyle

chris crisman lifestyle photography fall lifestyle

Our team spent the day with a handful of great talent – capturing a fall camping trip and all of the fun that went along  with it. We were lucky to have the perfect autumn backdrop and beautiful models to work with.

chris crisman lifestyle photography fall lifestyle

chris crisman lifestyle photography fall lifestyle

chris crisman lifestyle photography fall lifestyle

chris crisman lifestyle photography fall lifestyle

We owe a big thank you to the talented models and awesome crew we had on-board for this shoot, this wouldn’t have been possible without your help!

Questions? Comments? Let us know below or @crismanphoto and /crismanphoto!

Heroes of Conservation – Ken Miracle

chris crisman field and stream hereos of conservation ken miracl

We are honored to be involved in the 2014 Field and Stream Heroes of Conservations project. For the third year running, we have had the opportunity to travel all over this great nation meeting and photographing the six conservation finalists. Since 2005, the magazine has been recognizing these outstanding individuals who work tirelessly to promote, improve, or protect wildlife and their habitats all across the country.

This year we received the call from our editors to hit the road and photograph all six of the subjects. The journey lasted weeks and took us from Pennsylvania to Tennessee, Minnesota to North Dakota, and Washington to Idaho. As with all of the years before this, we were humbled by the generosity and efforts of the finalists – we took a wild tour of the country and have plenty of stories and photos to share. The Third story we’re sharing is that of Ken Miracle, champion of the Chukar and Sage Grouse. We traveled to Boise Idaho earlier this summer to meet and photograph Ken, who made sure to show us locations that offered the true natural beauty of that part of our country. There’s a ton more photos to share – keep reading to see them all.

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