Chris Crisman Photography

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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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chris crisman 2014

2014, It’s here.

In what felt like the blink of an eye 2013 has passed and we’re looking ahead at a brand new year. Although they flew by at an unprecedented pace, the past twelve months have been very good to us and afforded us countless opportunities to explore new places, meet new people, collaborate with countless talented individuals, and share our work and insights into this wild world we’re a part of. We’ve crossed off a few states on the list, traveled to unique and stunningly beautiful places, and of course captured and shared our thoughts and experiences along the way.

To be honest, at this point – after three years of writing on the blog, we don’t really know any other way to do it. Not every assignment we take or every photo we make ends up on the internet, but I can assure you that we’re always considering and finding new ways to showcase and share the incredible variety of experiences we welcome on a day to day basis.

There’s photography, cameras and gear, retouching, studio, location, travel, tech, business, creativity, and whatever the hell else we feel like sharing. But the big questions looking ahead at 2014 are: What else? What are we missing? What can we do better? Where can we grow? What else can we share? Who else can we collaborate with?

The answers are simple; just let us know.

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chris crisman photography portfolio new printed portfolio
We write a lot of blog posts. Whether it’s two or three a week, there’s 52 weeks in a year and it’s very easy to do the math and realize that I spend a lot of time with WordPress open, hashing out the next story or recalling tales from our latest adventure. I blog at the studio, I blog in the car, sometimes maybe I’m even blogging on set… and lately I’ve been finding that I get my best blogging done up in the air – the lack of distractions certainly helps me focus and hone my attention on crafting a story that’s actually worth reading. Hopefully it works.

Continuing our series of wrapping-up 2013, we felt it would only be fitting to comb through the archives and pick our favorite blog posts of the past year. If you’ve missed them before now is your chance to get reacquainted and most importantly enjoy our best of the blog.

chris crisman photography portfolio new printed portfolio

We shared a look into our brand new completely redesigned portfolio for 2013.

chris crisman photography how we travel tips and tricks
We took an analtyical look at how we travel and how to make it as efficient and awesome as possible.

chris crisman photography studio manager meditation
We shared the first of many Studio Manager Meditations on the subject of coiling cables.

chris crisman advertising director aarp commercial
We shared a look into Chris’s debut as a director with 4 commercial spots for AARP.

chris crisman three years studio manager robert luessen
I reflected on what it means to be a studio manager for three years.

chris crisman behind the scenes west adventure
We live-blogged a week of shooting and traveling out west this summer.

chris crisman tech post storage backup archiving
We got our geek on and explained the in and outs of our archival and storage system at the studio.

chris crisman nature conservancy arizona forest fire
We shared the story of Chasing Fire while going behind the scenes shooting for The Nature Conservancy.

chris crisman suitcase girl portrait
We shared the making of Suitcase Girl, a photo of ours that has been five years in the making.

crisman san antonio tourism
We went in-depth and explored what it took to create this unforgettable ad campaign for the city of San Antonio

So there you have it – our top 10, in no particular order, from the great year that 2013 has been. Looking forward we have a few drafts of blog posts on the table and a ton of new projects and images to share in the coming year, but we’re always open to suggestions. Just drop us a line and let us know.

Have a suggestion? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know your thoughts below or @crismanphoto and/crismanphoto!

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chris crisman 2013 best photos

As this year comes to a close, we wanted to find a fitting way to finish up the excellent twelve months that 2013 has provided for us. We were thinking of ways to adequately pay homage to the photos we created and after taking a step back and looking at all of the images, we felt the need to put ink on paper and commit to the photos we’ve created this year.

chris crisman 2013 best photos
Continuing the tradition of printing and binding our work, we created this collection of our top photos from 2013. Printed and bound by hand in our studio, the books themselves may only be a very small run, but we still wanted to share the images inside – what we consider to be our best work. Enjoy!

chris crisman 2013 best photos

chris crisman 2013 best photos

chris crisman 2013 best photos

chris crisman 2013 best photos

chris crisman 2013 best photos

chris crisman 2013 best photos

chris crisman 2013 best photos

chris crisman 2013 best photos

chris crisman 2013 best photos

chris crisman 2013 best photos

chris crisman 2013 best photos

Looking back on these images, I can’t help but remember not only how, why, and where we made the photos, but the subjects themselves – all of the incredible people we’ve met and had the honor of shooting over the past twelve months. Thank you to everyone who’s helped us make 2013 special. It’s been a great year.

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

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chris crisman san antonio tourism advertising outdoors retouchin

We can’t think of a better way to follow the release of our second advertisement from the Unforgettable San Antonio campaign than to take an in-depth look at the retouching and compositing that helped bring this image to life. You may remember a few months ago when we released the Buckhorn ad, that we included a unique look through the retouching, starting with the blank canvas and rocketing through a month of work in just under a minute. You’re in luck because history is repeating itself and we’re sharing another in-depth look at how this amazing ad came to life. Keep reading for the video breakdown and more behind the scenes…

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chris crisman unforgettable san antonio outdoors

How do you approach creating the impossible? When tasked with making photos that simply do not exist outside of imagination and concept, how do you bring those ideas to life? More importantly, how does it all come together? – These are just a few of the questions that we had to ask ourselves earlier this year when we began an unforgettable project for the city of San Antonio, Texas working with Proof Advertising. It’s been weeks of shooting, months of retouching, and thousands of photos later, but we are very excited to share the second of these incredible advertisements – San Antonio Outdoors.

From Sea World to the Zoo, penguins to peacocks, famous artists and musicians both old and new, bluebonnet flowers to roller coasters, the outdoor advertisement we were tasked to create for San Antonio was simply too wild to exist in one place. This ad in particular presented unique challenges because we needed to not only capture all of the separate elements, but also a very specific moment in time; the short window when the Texas state flower blooms wild across the landscape of the city. Complicated? Surely. Impossible? Never. Keep reading for the behind the scenes story of how this unforgettable advertisement came into being….

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chris crisman suitcase girl portrait

Some photos can be years in the making – even if we don’t realize it at the time. Would you believe that our latest conceptual portrait started in 2008, only to be finished five years later in 2013? Would you also believe that this image took two separate trips to Illinois as well as a costume fashion shoot to finally bring Chris’s vision to life. We wouldn’t necessarily believe it either, but sometimes the truth behind our photos can be stranger than fiction.

So how did this all happen? keep reading for the full story…

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