Sophia Davis – Montana Cowgirl

On a beautiful summer day in mid- July, we traveled to Springdale, MT to spend the day with Sophia Davis, a genuine cowgirl. Sophi and her family manage and live on Lone Star Land and Cattle Company.  Our early morning drive towards the sun led us to what seemed like an endless dirt road. The conditions were arid and a trail of dust followed us for almost an hour. By the time we made it to Sophi our car was covered in an adventure appropriate coating of dust. 

After an anticipated meet and greet, we headed out to wrangle the cattle. With Mike at the wheel of a Polaris and Chris sprawled across the back bed, we followed. It was Mike’s maiden voyage as an ATV driver so you can imagine the communication with Chris was hindered. Mike was driving on rough terrain while Chris gave his best attempt at managing the camera and directing Mike.

Working so closely with these gentle giants was quite exhilarating. We watched, navigated, and photographed as Sophi weaved back and forth to maintain their forward progress. All of this in spite of these cattle clearly not excited about our foreign presence. In hindsight, it’s clear that managing us was much more challenging for Sophi than were the cattle.

Once Chris was satisfied with what he had shot, Sophi seamlessly returned the cattle to their pens and we all broke for lunch. We ventured into the town of Livingston for a quick bite. Livingston is a famous town that now is becoming a bit of a high west hot spot.

Before we returned to Sophi we took a few moments to explore some of the 50,000-acres of Lone Star Land and Cattle Co. property.  Traveling under the big blue skies one finds themselves in awe of spectacular views. The vastness of the plains was only interrupted by small herds of pronghorns feeding amongst the grass.

Pronghorn Antelope

When we reunited with Sophi she was accompanied by her two delightful children (Ella, 4 and Hunter, 2). With their help, we were given a thorough tour of the ranch and its inner workings. Following this, it was time to make our way towards the final stage of our adventure.

Sophi and Hunter
Chris and Ella

At one corner of the ranch was a field dotted with freshly cut & baled hay. If you grew up outside of the city, it’s always nostalgic to see these scattered across a monumental landscape. With Sophi mounted on her trusty steed, Lucy, we began to shoot. It was certainly one that we wish hadn’t ended so soon.

Montana is a spectacular space to exist in. With a terrain that only ends at grand and majestic mountains. Above in the sky, the clouds dance effortlessly. The depth of its beauty is breathtaking. It was an honor and a pleasure to capture the breadth of the landscape around us.

Hawaii Magazine Cover

“Maui Bliss” – that couldn’t be more true. We’re happy to report that Hawaii Magazine is featuring one of Chris’s photos on their February 2012 Cover. You might remember back in May of last year when we were shooting this very photo in Hawaii – after a day like that I know I won’t forget. Keep Reading for a few more shots from that adventure.


The New Year – Looking Ahead

With 2012 ahead of us, we’re excited – in the near future we’ll hopefully have some very exciting news to announce, and beyond that there’s an entire year ahead to get ready, gear up, and look forward to.

Looking back for a moment – Chris has been blogging since 2009, and we really focused on it last year as a way to share new work, look behind the scenes, explain our thoughts, and connect with people. We searched for the meaning of life with creatives and innovators alike, live-blogged an adventure in Hawaii, shared stories about meeting and making photos with inspirational individuals and amazing athletes. All things considered, 2011 was a great year and we were happy to share it like never before.

As for what the future holds for this blog, we’re curious. What would you like to see? What types of insight and information can we offer? Let us know, comment on this post, send us an email, reach out on twitter @crismanphoto or @robertluessen or post on our Facebook.

Here’s to a great year ahead. Cheers!

A Day in the Desert

chris crisman desert landscape photographer california death valley nature photography

After wrapping up our shoot in Los Angeles, we had an extra day in southern California to explore and shoot some landscapes. Big thanks to Dave Hill for recommending a super-secret spot out in the desert where movies like Planet of the Apes and Lost in Space were filmed. Read more to take a look at some more behind the scenes shots I snapped along the way.


New Arizona Landscapes

Took a trip back in early February to Phoenix, Sedona and Joshua Tree. We went specifically to shoot background plates for some of my runners series of personal work, but also made time to shoot some landscapes. I Also had a chance meet up with one of my buddies, Tyler Mullins who is the creator of – he and I trekked out to Joshua Tree together. I strongly recommend it for anyone who had never been there.

It was a quick trip – down and back in 72 hours, but definitely worthwhile. Here are the first few landscapes from the trip, more coming in the next couple of weeks. As of right now our retouching efforts are focused on the Hawaii trip, but I’m happy to share these shots as they are finished.


Hawaii Shoot Day Five: Location Scout Part One

Today marked the first in two days of location scouting for our shoot at Travaasa Hana. Prior to any project that is as extensive as what we’re about to begin, it is really important that all of the details and specifics are worked out – the beauty of tech scouting is that we can bring along the whole crew, shoot a few photos to jog our memories, and plan out the shots in detail to make everything flow way smoother when we’re actually shooting.