Crisman Photo


Every now and then when we check the mailbox at the studio, we come across an envelope that’s covered in postage, stamped multiple times with “Airmail” in various languages and addressed with care to us. These packages are always exciting because inside they contain copies of publications that we almost never see on our shores. The best part though? They always have our photos inside.

This particular package contained a few issues of Wirtschafts Woche, a German business news magazine with both a cover and feature image from our 2012 shoot with none other than Sir Richard Branson.


For a feature story about entrepreneurs, we’d be hard-pressed to find a better businessman to put on the cover – not to mention they chose a pretty good shot in our opinion.

chris crisman richard branson portrait photography pdn photoserv

chris crisman wired uk virgin galactic richard branson editorial

If you happened to miss our in-depth coverage from the shoot, make sure to take a look at Part I The Spaceport, Part II, The Features, and Part III, The Cover in the blog archive.

Last but not least to our friends in Europe, or anyone out there who speaks German – any help translating? Let us know below or @crismanphoto and /crismanphoto!

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There are some truly creative people in this industry. Let’s face it, you’ve got to be constantly concepting, developing, and executing or you get left in the dust. I’m fortunate to work with some really dynamic and inspiring people, ranging from art directors, to producers, to creative directors, photo editors, art buyers, and print producers. Instead of questions about email blasts, printed promos, and portfolio reviews, I think that it’s time that I put some of them on the spot to show us their meaning of Life. “The meaning of Life” may be a little far flung to answer in only ten questions, but hopefully these interviews will serve to distill some of the inspired and intellectual energy of the creatives that we work with.


It was just about this time last year that we first started working with Austin, TX based producer Matthew Slimmer. As we estimated and began work on our San Antonio tourism project, we knew that Matthew would be the ideal producer to bring together all of the crazy moving parts that would make up such a huge campaign.

Looking back on the shoot, what stuck with us most was Matthew’s flexibility and willingness to roll with whatever curve-balls came our way. He’s a great guy to have on any shoot, but enough from me, I’ll let Matthew tell the rest:

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chris crisman jeff budz turkey hunter

When the call came in from our editors at Field & Stream to shoot the world’s top turkey hunter, we knew we were in for a good one. A few days later, Chris hopped a flight down to Florida and met up with Jeff Budz, a sportsman who is honestly crazy for turkey. What comes from spending the day with a top tier hunter who’s up for anything? Keep reading to find out…

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chris crisman tech post storage backup archiving

Quite the question, isn’t it? To be perfectly honest, it’s not one that we ask ourselves around here all that often – we tend to err on the other side of the coin and worry more about making pictures than worrying about the space they take up. Of everyone on our crew, I’m admittedly the most technically oriented (read: geekiest) so this is naturally a question I wanted to explore while working on a system-wide offsite backup for all of our files.

As I sat at my desk staring at the quantity of hard drives these files were filling, I took it upon myself to break things down a bit more and try and find the answer to how much we shoot, how we shoot it, and how it’s changing. The answers didn’t necessarily surprise me, but they weren’t exactly what I was expecting…

I should preface this discussion with the simple fact that this entire inventory occurs within the digital space, working in gigabytes and terabytes as opposed to rolls, sheets, binders and drawers of film. Chris’s professional career as a photographer began digitally and we’ve stuck to the format since 2004. Inherently, this has created a legacy of digital files, seemingly ever expanding as time goes on.

To add it all up, we’re working with just about 35TB of active storage (mirrored for a grand total of 70TB) and as much as I hate to say it, out of that active storage there is not a ton of free space. Only a few terabytes. So where the hell does all of that space go?

When I broke it down year by year and took a closer look at history, I did notice a few strange things. Obviously the numbers have increased over the years, but I was surprised to see huge growth from 2009-2010. What could have happened that our volume of files went from 750 gigabytes in 2009 to over 2 terabytes in 2010?

Initially this was puzzling, but there were a few key things that happened in this period of time that escalated the quantity and file size of what we’re shooting. Technology plays a huge factor into this – Chris bought our Phase One P45+ digital back at the end of 2008. Although we shoot with a mix of our Canon cameras and medium format system, there’s no question that adding these files increased our demand for storage.

The other factor wasn’t entirely clear until Chris and I were discussing the anomaly. 2008-2009 were years of recent economic crisis in the United States and as a result, Chris was shooting less. When things began to pickup in 2010, the difference was marked – more assignments, more shooting, and more files to store. Ever since the growth has followed a similar pattern of gradually increasing every year. I never thought that greater economic factors would influence the amount of storage we’d need to worry about, but there’s a first for everything.

Aside from actual file sizes of our captures, the scope of work and size of our the actual assignments we were shooting began to grow as well. As Chris’s career has develops, we’ve been continually working on bigger and better projects, shooting more and more for each assignment. Whether we’re on a high profile advertising shoot with a two dozen models, or off the grid shooting in the wilderness for a week, we’re certainly going to make a lot of photos – tons more than a one off portrait editorial assignment.

So what does this mean for the future? Essentially it means that we keep doing what we do – we make pictures and we store them. As we grow, our storage will simply need to grow to accommodate the demand. Our ears are to the ground listening for the next biggest hard drives or storage solutions, but the big idea here is that we’ll never limit the capabilities of what we can shoot and create by a factor of storing it all.

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

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chris crisman national peanut board advertising

“Willing to work for peanuts?” – from the very first email exchanged with our new friends at Lawler Ballard Van Durand, we knew this ad campaign was going to be a good one.

Last October we hopped on a flight down to Atlanta to spend a few days in the studio shooting portraits for The National Peanut Board. The final product; a hybrid of photography, illustration, and stellar design work showcases what you can achieve when you collaborate with top tier creatives and artists. As always, we’re excited to share more than just the final product. Keep reading for the story of how this campaign came together…

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chris crisman philadelphia magazine cover amazing spaces

When we were approached by the team at Philadelphia Magazine to create and shoot the cover for their design issue, we knew there was a great opportunity on the table. The editors wanted to create a cover that distilled down the idea of interior design to it’s basics and capture the essence of a clean, beautiful interior space.

We’ve been building quite a few sets lately so our first call was to our talented set builder and prop stylist mastermind, Matthew Englebert. What started as nothing more than a few inspirational pieces of swipe and a long brainstorming session over the phone resulted in an amazing set build and a day full of doing what we do best – making beautiful pictures. As always, we have a ton more to share. Keep reading for more…

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chris crisman spirit mag ptsd veterans

We ended the year in 2013 with a particularly special assignment. There were no celebrities, no exotic locations, no elaborate props or sets – we were instead treated with an experience on the human condition. Spending a week in New Orleans, we met, photographed, and learned the stories of a handful of veterans suffering from PTSD who all seek alternate forms of therapy. The images we shot were real, the stories we heard were even more real, and the connections we made were the most real of all.

This is one of those experiences where the images will tell a lot more than our words possibly can. We’ll do our best to share the story. Keep reading for more…

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