Tag Archive for 'photography'

Chris & Keelan – High Star Ranch – Kamas, Utah Wedding Photography


Wedding Photography at High Star Ranch in Kamas, Utah


Last summer I got to photograph my friends Chris & Keelan getting married at High Star Ranch in Kamas, Utah.  It’s a pretty awesome venue, and since I had photographed a wedding the year before there it was pretty nice to have a good idea of what to expect with the venue.  It was a super fun day, I hope you like the photos!

2015 Freeskier Photo Annual – Tim McChesney & Will Berman

2015 Freeskier Photo Annual p85 - Tim McChesney & Will Berman

2015 Freeskier Photo Annual p85 – Tim McChesney & Will Berman

Finally have some time to start posting photos from this winter’s publishing season.  Expect to see some more regularly.
Freeskier Magazine – 2015 Photo Annual p85
Top: Tim McChesney in St. Paul, Minnesota w/Level 1 Productions
Bottom: Will Berman in Minneapolis, Minnesota w/Level 1 Productions

Kenny and Erin – Wedding photography in Arlington, Washington – Nature’s Connection Place


20120602_Kenny-Erin_824-4I shot Kenny and Erin’s wedding a few years back at Nature’s Connection Place in Arlington, Washington.  I shot it for a fellow photographer that was in the wedding (groom’s sister) since she wouldn’t be able to.  It’s great being asked by another photographer since they obviously like your work well enough they would recommend you, but at the same time you don’t know if they are going to make things easier, or micro-manage you into not shooting the wedding the way you’d want to.  Fortunately in this case, she helped make this go by as the smoothest weddings I’ve ever photographed!  It was like having an assistant, only they know absolutely everyone there so they can wrangle up all the guests for you!  Nature’s Connection Place was a beautiful venue with a great staff, and the whole wedding party was super fun to work with and made for some great photos.  I’m glad I had the opportunity to shoot this one!

Don’t tag them make them buy the whole cow!


This is a rant that I’ve thought about more times than I’d like to consider and I’ve been meaning to write this, but it’s just been too daunting of a task. Fortunately, I’m sitting at an airport with absolutely nothing else to do so I’m going to take a crack at it.

Social media and social marketing is a subject that’s new to most of us in general, then add it to the world of action sports photographers and the pile of what to do’s is very uncertain. Most of us are not marketing people, most of us are not business people. We are creative people which usually translates into very un-creative when it comes to marketing ourselves in the growing, changing, and completely un-defined realm of growing our following on the internet. Our goals these days are mostly getting our work more exposure, and hopefully the right exposure to the creative directors, photo editors or maybe even just the popular blogger that can amplify our audience to the scope that we couldn’t even imagine. All, potentially changing our audience in a 24 hour viral period. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy task that we are far from trained for.

What seems to be happening, is really what I see as the wrong way of doing things. It’s throwing a turbo charger on the race to the bottom that seems to be happening in our business. We started off by doing the opposite of what we should have with internet image licensing. Our pricing was set low, way low below the bar. Internet traffic has exponentially grown, giving our images on the web higher circulation that could ever have been seen in print, yet the pricing has been set to about 20% of the pricing that would be charged for licensing with similar print circulation. While it’s going to be a daunting task for most of us to be able to change this black hole of internet pricing, there are things happening now that there’s still time to do something about.

There’s a current trend in social media among photographers, specifically among action sports photographers that we need to think about. We need to think about it a lot before the next time you do it. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the avenues driving this trend that really, has to stop. The trend that’s beginning is simply tagging companies in your photos, shared in your social media. I’m sure most of the young photographers are thinking this is an quick and easy way to get your photos in front of the athletes, the gear manufactures, photo editors, basically anyone of influence that needs to see your photos to get the useful exposure you are looking for right? Sure, it is. However this is telling your potential paying clients one simple thing, you don’t need them to pay you for your photos to be used in their social networking and social marketing programs.  If you are taking your hard earned photos, that cost you a lot of time, and also money to create, then posting them on Facebook, well that’s fine. If they don’t get purchased then why not get them out there for people to see right? The problem begins when you start tagging these photos with the athlete’s sponsors, the resort it was taken at, etc in the context of the ski and snowboard industry. The same concept can be applied to any other market really.

If you tag these companies, what happens is simple. Your photos end up in their Facebook page’s feed, in their photo galleries. You wouldn’t just give Company A these photos for free if they asked you for them, with absolutely zero payment or compensation of any sort would you? If the answer is yes, then I guess you like paying your own money, spending your own valuable time to work for Company A. Let me repeat that. You are basically paying Company A to do a job they should be paying YOU for. If you don’t see the problem in this look at it this way. Would you pay your mechanic $500 so you could do the work to fix your own car instead of them? I hope not, cause that would be you’d be pretty broke if you operated that way. If you are tagging Company A in every photo you post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram then you are telling your Company A and any other potential clients that they do not have to pay you for social marketing photography.

In case you haven’t noticed there are numerous companies these days that are no longer doing print advertising campaigns. Lots are doing web only direct marketing campaigns but also putting a lot of resources into social media. Think about how this is going to effect your ability to stay in business if this trend continues, print dries up and you are still just tagging away. We need to adapt and effectively market ourselves and our own work without just giving every company a free ride.

Have I tagged Company A in my photos I’ve shared on my Facebook Fan Page? Of course I have. The difference in what I’m talking about vs how I’m doing it is I’m adding tags when the photos have come as a result of an ad purchased, from a day shoot I did for Company A, or maybe even some sort of cross marketing campaign I was somehow involved with. I am however not just giving those up for free. Those have been paid for and are simply an added value for both myself and Company A. I certainly am not saying I know what to do in the way of self-promotion and successful social networking and marketing for my photography business. If I did, I’d be a big deal, have tons of money and certainly have more Twitter followers (some of which are following me, simply because my last name is SEO, a acronym for Search Engine Optimization). I wish I had those answers. What I think I have is an idea of how this trend can effect your bottom line, and how it can put us in the race to the bottom.

I’m hoping this can start a bit of discussion on the matter. Please if you do have something to say, comment on this, don’t hold back. It’s an important thing to discuss.

Random awesomeness


Powder Magazine – November 2012 – p32 – Clayton Vila in Spokane, Washington – w/ Poor Boyz Productions

There’s always a bunch of cool back stories behind a bunch of the photo and video shots we take throughout the season. Most are just about the shoot, what went into it, how it came together, and the crazy ideas that the skiers came up with. This one however goes back a bit deeper. Heather Thamm randomly contacted me after seeing this shot in Powder Magazine of Clayton Vila w/ Poor Boyz Productions. Turns out, in this small world of skiing, her father John F. Thamm was commissioned to paint those murals on the Maple Street Bridge trestles 30 years ago in Spokane, Washington.

Just before she had seen the shot in Powder Magazine, she had just written this in her blog about the murals. Small, small world. Thanks for Sharing Heather!http://www.heatherthammphotos.blogspot.com/2012_09_01_archive.html

Tom Wallisch again here. This time in a Full Tilt Boots Poster


Another shot of Tom Wallisch, from another trip to Alaska with Level 1 Productions.  This became a poster for the guys over at Full Tilt Boots.

And it begins….The North Face ad – Tom Wallisch in Alaska


Three drive by’s, two inspections, killed a few hours, then we finally went in.  10pm-6am.  Sometimes the features, the tricks we are shooting that the skiers do are more of something that works better in video and not so much photos.  Sometimes it works for both, and almost never do I get to shoot on one that is more for photos than video.  Fortunately on this trip the skiers decided to hook me up and we went to this location.  Visually, this place was pretty awesome by itself.  Great architectural lines, great texture in the materials of the building, good landscape to the building.  Now, just add Tom Wallisch.  Well actually, just add snow.  A lot of it.  The landing had to be completely imported, about 6″ deep of snow in a strip about 15×50 feet, also we had to pile snow on the stairs to act as the jump.  We were there for a bit building this, well into the morning.  For me, this came out exactly as I had designed the shot out in my mind, even the lighting.     A good, long day, making the trip worthwhile this this North Face ad coming out of it.

As usual these days, this one was shot with the whole truckload of lighting.  Everything I brought.  This was also my first go with the Canon 5D MK3.  All season I had been missing the low light capabilities of my old Nikon D3 but Canon finally caught up with the 5D MK3 which helped out a lot on this one since I only had my travel light kit with me.  Since the scene was so large in this feature, I was forced to use each speedlight as if it was a full-sized studio light.  With that, there was a lot less light/power available and I had to crank up the ISO to 1000 @ f5  to compensate as I’m usually shooting night shots at ISO 200 @ f8.

This was shot with Level 1 Productions while filming for their upcoming movie,  Sunny

Costa Rica Wedding photographer – Dylan and MC


One of the great things about being a photographer is being able to be a big part in your friend’s weddings.  I’ve known Dylan and MC for almost as long as I’ve been in Utah for and they are some of the best people I know in Utah.  This one has been a very long time coming and sharing this day, in such an amazing place has been a pretty awesome expreience.  Not only was it a great wedding in a great place, but it was the most epic and rowdy one I’ve been a part of.  EVERYONE ended up in the pool, fully clothed at one point in the night.  Add to the fact that there was a dance party, in the pool, made this a night of epic proportions.  I’m pretty sure the thought of the bride and groom canon balling into the pool in their wedding attire isn’t a common occurance.  I’m really stoked that I was able to be a part of such a night.


NAS Concert – Twilight Concert Series – Salt Lake City, Utah


It’s been five years since I’ve shot photos at a show.  Something that used to be a regular part of my work kind of went by the wayside as I focused on other things.  At one point I was the staff photographer at the now defunct Club Harry O’s in Park City, Utah which has gone through it’s share of owners, and now is called Park City Live.  I got to see and shoot a lot of shows, in a very small venue, with full access anywhere, any time.  This was something I certainly took for granted.

At home in Salt Lake City, Utah the Twilight Concert Series puts me in a spot to just show up and shoot with no worries of credentials, limits on how many songs to shoot from, etc.  Just roam around with my gear amongst the music festival type crowd and crank the ISO on my new Canon 5D MK3.   The new gear is simply amazing.  Photographing shows usually involved a lot of noise in the photos at ISO 800 with my Canon EOS-1D MK2 back when I used to do this.  Now with the 5D MK3 my photos at ISO 160,000 look like my old photos at ISO 800.  It makes it a whole lot easier not trying to stop action with a 1/4 second exposure!  Needless to say I had fun shooting this concert.  The Twilight shows cost $5 to get in the doors, and anyone can bring in photo/video gear and shoot all you want.  It was a perfect one to get back on it with the big name of NAS drawing a huge crowd.


Clik Elite Escape camera / lighting backpack review


The Clik Elite Escape backpack is a mid-sized camera pack targeted more towards the consumer market than towards the pro market. That at least was before the pros got a hold of it. This pack carries like it’s nothing on your back with a load of cameras and lenses but for me, this pack shines as my battery powered strobe pack. It’s the perfect combination of space, ease of access but all in a compact well carrying package.

This pack is the absolute perfect size for the usage of battery powered studio strobe units. My two normal kits fit like a glove. For an Elinchrom Ranger RX AS Speed + A Head, it fits with very little room to spare. There’s just enough for the pack and head in the main compartment with room in the top and front pockets for Pocket Wizard transceivers,  sync cables and other accessories. The elastic mesh side pockets and bungee straps will carry (2) small or (1) medium sized light stand or something like a water bottle. The reflectors can be strapped on to the front side of the pack with the horizontal adjustable strap.

For the Alien Bees or Einstein’s the Escape is a double barrel solution. (2) of these monolights plus (2) Vagabond Mini battery power packs, cables with room for about two more lenses, lunch or whatever you can come up with along with the exterior accessories mentioned above for the Elinchrom Ranger kit.  I’ve also tested the Escape with a Profoto 7b kit and it is just as good of a fit and carries just as well.

The top of the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack with the top flap opened.  Access to the main compartment is easy with the double zipper system.  You undo the velcro handle closure and pull it open.  You have access to all your gear in no time!

The top of the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack with the top and main flap opened revealing the main compartment.  The double zipper access on the main flap makes for very quick access to your gear.  You just pull up on the velcro handle and the whole pack opens up.

The Clik Elite Escape camera backpack side view

Detail view of side pocket elastic ties on the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack.  Light stands stay in well on both side pockets tied in with these elastic ties.

Detail view of the front pocket and strap on the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack.  The strap expands enough to hold my Elinchrom Ranger 50 degree 13″ reflector on the pack.

Detail view of the inside of the front pocket on the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack.  Plenty of room for Pocket Wizards, cables and other smaller accessories.

Detail view of the waist straps on the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack.  Three loops in the webbing to attach various accessories.

The harness system on the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack.  The straps are a bit narrow and light, but it’s not designed as a pro pack so this should work for most.  Shown with a radio and a point and shoot camera pouch attached to the loops in the straps.  This pack carries very well and is extremely comfortable in spite of the narrow straps.  The harness works well.  It’s short, narrow, and just deep enough to carry what you need, but not too big so for me, skiing with this pack is very easy.  It sticks to your back very well.  The other part of this that works great, is it carries on my chest well.  This matters when I have to haul everything myself.  I can have my main camera backpack, the Clik Elite Contrejour 40 on my back with this on my chest loaded with lighting equipment and get around myself.

Detail view of the chest strap buckle and adjustment ladder.  The Ladder only moves when you want it to.

The Clik Elite Escape camera backpack with the included rain fly on.  You won’t be losing this anytime soon with this bright red rain fly.


Camera Size: Probody SLR

External Dimension: 21″H x 10.5″W x 8″D (53 x 27 x 20 cm)

Camera Compartment: 18.5″H x 10.3″W x 6.4″D (47 x 26 x 16 cm)

Internal Storage: 11″H x 9.1″W x 1.9″D (28 x 23 x 5 cm)

Volume: 1200 cu in. (19.66 L)

Weight: 3.43 lbs (1.56 kg)

Will hold iPad: YES

Hydration Sleeve: YES

Rain Fly: YES

Tripod Storage: YES


If you got anything out of this review, please click the links below if you decide to buy to help support the site.

Clik Elite Escape Camera Backpack at B&H Photo

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