Category: blog Page 1 of 14
March 6, 2019
Retoucher Rachel Kissel puts it all together for Nike and Starbucks
Rachel Kissel Retouching has become a sought-after specialist in athletic apparel. This work for Nike spotlights her gift for highlighting textures and motion while showcasing the beauty and style of the clothing.
“Athletic clothing ripples and bunches up on an active model, so you have to find the right balance of those dynamic qualities while still keeping the clothes looking beautiful and communicating as much as possible about the details of the garments,” explains Rachel.
Of course, it’s not all about the clothing. A couple of sky swaps required detailed hair masking, but at the end of the day the primary goal is to get the clothes looking great!
Starbucks presented an entirely different set of challenges. Not only is Rachel a master retoucher, she is also an expert compositor. This job put those skills to the test. Starbucks wanted strong color stories and striking designs, but not final images that looked over-polished or over-produced.
“In some ways, this snapshot style required more expertise. Complex compositing lends itself to a glossed look. Creating a casual look requires real skill to hide all the compositing,” Rachel explains. “I had so much fun with this project! It was fast-paced and turned out beautifully.”
This is just a small selection of a larger body of work that Starbucks shot for a variety of uses including print and social media. Many of the final images involved swaps based on their selects. Rachel combined the ideal pieces into one remarkable shot.
How do you know when you’re dealing with a true artist? They do their day job just for fun! “As a kid, I loved to imagine never-ending skyscapes of sweet treats, and if I climbed the right rainbow, I’d be able to dive in and indulge!”
This cotton (eye) candy was born out of Rachel’s love of pink clouds. “I sourced some of the shots from stock but I couldn’t find the right hand and stick so I just shot those. I enjoyed making a visual representation of something I daydreamed about as a kid.”
You can see Rachel’s portfolio, some amazing before/after imagery and learn more about her work here.
February 26, 2019
Photographer Michal Venera and the farmer next door
Sometimes photographer Michal Venera gets inspired by the rolling landscape out the windows of his northern California studio. Sometimes he gets inspired by the neighbors. “Bob runs the ranch next to my land,” says Michal, “and they just don’t make them like him anymore.”
During one of Michal and Bob’s occasional evening walks, Michal broached the idea of doing a little filming. “Bob is old school, salt of the earth” he says. “He just goes about his business, doing what needs to be done without any fuss. I wanted to capture that simplicity and strength on film.”
Well known for his lifestyle and product-focused commercial photography, Michal often finds himself drawn to people and portrait work for personal projects. “Everybody has a story,” he says. “And if you’re open and patient and respectful, sometimes they’ll let you tell it in photos.”
In his travels around the globe, Michal has befriended mountain men in Montana, school children in Africa and proud locals in Cuba, capturing highly impactful portraits along the way. Shooting photography on his own time allows him to experiment with lighting and composition, inspiring new creativity in his commercial work.
“Bob really didn’t get why I wanted to follow him around taking photos and videos,” says Michal. “He didn’t think there was anything that special about him. In this era of endless selfies, that attitude alone is worth capturing.”
You can see more of Michal’s commercial and fine art photography and film right here.
February 12, 2019
Four shoots in one: Photographer Christina Schmidhofer for Corelle
On her latest shoot for the Corelle family of products, photographer Christina Schmidhofer managed to be in four places at once. “There was so much to shoot, we had four sets going all at the same time,” she says.
With hundreds of shots required for a website relaunch, Corelle looked to Christina to set the look for all their brands, including Pyrex, CorningWare, Chicago Cutlery and Snapware. “Organization was a big challenge, because there was a ton of merchandise,” says Christina. “We actually had to rent a second studio to store it all.”
Christina’s deep brand experience and strong portfolio across categories drew the client all the way from Chicago to shoot in San Francisco. Some even brought their kids, who got incorporated into the action. “The clients would get so excited with each new photo,” says Christina. “That was the best part of the whole shoot.”
The two-week effort kept a crew of 15 busy capturing both still and stop motion photography. “We were charged with expressing ‘the extraordinary meets every day,’ and this shoot definitely reflected that!” laughs Christina. To keep the mood light and refreshing at the end of the long days, Christina served up her famous Aperol spritzers for clients and the team.
In the end, Christina shot over 400 images for the website, which is already live. “It was a fun shoot with a big team,” she says. “We got stunning images and ate so many delicious chocolate chip cookies. It was a win-win.”
You can see more of Christina’s commercial and editorial portfolio here.
February 5, 2019
Shane Johnson’s latest illustrations are highly educational
Illustrator Shane Johnson creates logos, characters and superheroes for well-know brands and agencies. But his new work is for his most critical audience – kids. Regarding his latest editorial and educational assignment, Shane explains, ”I became an illustrator because I loved comics. I still love telling a story in pictures.”
Commissioned for a classroom reader, the drawings depict the story of sisters who cook up an elaborate plan so they can spend more time with their hard-working dad. “Inevitably, the plan goes wrong and lessons are learned,” Shane says.
Typically, the story lines are final when Shane receives them, but he gets a lot of freedom to create the visual world where everything takes place. “The diner was the main setting,” says Shane, “so I started by roughing out a full floor plan to tie in specific scenes. It was fun bringing it all together – I even designed the diner logo.”
Given his background in character work, it’s no surprise that developing the people was Shane’s favorite part of the job. “The client had a clear vision for the family, but all the secondary characters were left to my imagination, so I got to make my mark,” he says. You can see more of Shane’s commercial and editorial work here.
January 29, 2019
Go down on the Bayou with photographer Brian Smale
Louisiana is full of character – and characters – and photographer Brian Smale covered plenty of both during multiple projects for Emeril Lagasse cookbooks. “Technically, these were cookbook shots. But the assignment was more like, ‘go to New Orleans and shoot anything or anyone that has to do with food,’ Brian says.
“That first job turned into several years of going down there and exploring the culture and flavors of Louisiana, for three cookbooks and restaurant displays,” Brian says. The project took him from catfish streams to pepper farms, front porches to fruit stands.
“Emeril was a dream to work with,” says Brian. “He’s full of ideas and was open to just about anything I wanted to shoot. He just trusted me to bring back what we needed.” With no art director on the project, Brian and Emeril worked together on the vision, with Brian executing alone or with an assistant.
Asked whether he got star struck, Brian laughs. “Back then, Emeril was just getting started, so there weren’t any distractions of celebrity. He’s the sweetest guy you’ll ever meet.” And, it turns out, useful in other ways. When Brian brought another client to Emeril’s restaurant without a reservation, Emeril instructed the host to find a table for him in the crowded restaurant. That client is now Brian’s wife.
Over his highly productive career, Brian has partnered with A-list clients from Rolling Stone magazine to Microsoft to USAA, constantly developing and refining his approach to portrait work along the way. He is also recognized for his portfolio of landscape and corporate work.
“I really try to bring something new everytime,” says Brian. “You say ‘portait’ and everyone pictures a head and shoulders shot. But I think of it as photographing people, and there are a million ways to do that.” You can see more of Brian’s commercial, portrait and personal work right here.
January 15, 2019
New Artist Alert: Typographer & Illustrator Kelly Hume joins FSC
Kelly Hume might be a typographer, or an illustrator, or a designer, or all three depending on the day. “I think my typography sets me apart,” says Kelly, “but I approach every job differently to determine what a project needs, and how I can best deliver it.”
That individual approach has served Kelly – and his clients – well over his successful career. He’s designed multiple pro sports team logos while making each feel unique. And his work with various movie production houses requires a fresh point of view for each title.
Highly sought for his mastery of typography and lettering, as well as his strong graphic style, Kelly has partnered with well-known clients like Ford, McDonald’s, AT&T, Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox, but continues to work with smaller, home-grown businesses as well, creating logos, posters, package art and more.
“The first thing I do is listen,” says Kelly. “I try to understand what the art director is really looking for.” Then Kelly jumps into rough sketches, whether digitally or using good old pencil and paper. “Once we’ve got the direction, I refine the design, explore colors, and ultimately produce the final vector or Photoshop art,” he says.
With so many projects under his belt, Kelly has achieved a rare milestone in the business: “I don’t get artist’s block,” he laughs. “I’ve been in the creative business all my life and I just don’t get stuck. I guess it’s my survival technique.“
Kelly keeps his creativity up in other ways, as well. An avid songwriter and “not bad” guitarist, he and his alt-folk-rock band, Kelly Hume and the Humanoids, have produced five original albums and awoken neighbors all over Bainbridge Island.
You can see more of Kelly’s deep portfolio of logos, icons, artwork and more right here.
January 8, 2019
Illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim brings new energy to the roster
Known for her vivid, whimsical style, Cindy Salans Rosenheim has one goal every time she begins a project. “I want my work to feel alive,” she says. “Even when I decide it’s finished, it should still feel vital and dynamic.”
That sense of movement shows up consistently in Cindy’s work, from text book and advertising illustrations to larger-than-life chalkboard installations, which, fittingly, she often creates live, in front of an audience.
“It can be hard for artists to loosen up while coming up with ideas,” she says, “but I think it’s equally important to stay loose at the end. I want things to feel finished, but to stay as natural and free as possible. It feels better, and it looks better.”
Cindy got her start just out of college, when a local interior designer liked her style (and price) and hired her for some wall murals in a Houston hotel. With no training or experience, Cindy pulled it off, and built a portfolio from the project that landed her a job at Hallmark Cards.
There, Cindy got a crash course in commercial art and the chance to refine her visual point of view. After a few years she struck out on her own, building a robust illustration practice that’s taken her from local farmers’ markets to the front windows of Ferragamo, illustrating everything from art books to birthday cakes.
Now Cindy works with top tier clients like Time-Life, American Girl, Random House Publishing, Hermès, Hasbro and California Magazine. “From the beginning of my commercial career I learned how to bring my own vision, but be able to take direction and collaborate,” she says. “I still think that’s really important to this day.”
Away from her pens and paper, Cindy is also a successful commercial actor. Still, she occasionally finds time to run off to Italy to recharge, get inspired, and eat as much pasta as she possibly can.
You can see more of Cindy’s vibrant advertising and editorial portfolio here.
December 11, 2018
Illustrator Filip Yip gives brands Girl Power
In a career that spans decades, brand consultant, designer and illustrator Filip Yip has created countless logos, icons and illustrations celebrating the female figure. And while they are vastly different in style, they do have one thing in common. “They have to tell the story of the brand, and do it immediately,” says Filip of his creations.
Having worked on everything from instructional icons to global brand marks, Filip is adamant that communication has to come first. In fact, after training and working in design for many years, he earned his MBA in order to help him understand his client’s communication needs even better.
“For me, design is a puzzle to solve,” says Filip. “Every line and every color should be working toward a common goal.” He’s brought this combination of creativity and marketing discipline to clients including Budweiser, Safeway, Nestlé and FedEx.
But when it comes to illustrating women, Filip has a secret advantage. “I grew up with my grandmother and have my own daughter,” he laughs. “They inspire me. I want every woman I conjure up to be special in some way.”
You can see Filip’s diverse and highly awarded portfolio of work, including characters, corporate identity, icon systems and more right here.
December 4, 2018
Strong shots of tequila, from photographer Michal Venera
Sure, photographer Michal Venera expected there to be challenges while shooting website photos for Cruz Tequila near Jalisco, Mexico. Remote terrain, local gangs, bribe-happy officials, Michal had prepared for them all. He was not, however, expecting snow.
“They said it hadn’t snowed there in 15 years,” Michal laughs. “You really don’t want to show agave under a bunch of snow.” With only two days to shoot and some locations rendered unusable, Michal and his digital tech quickly adjusted their game plan.
Michal is no stranger to thinking on his feet. A veteran of countless on-location shoots, he’s partnered with marquee clients like Pottery Barn, HP, Wells Fargo and many others, bringing his inviting light and strong composition to lifestyle, portrait and product imagery.
Known for both still and motion work, Michal excels at finding the story in each moment. “These guys, they put a lot of care into what they do,” Michal says. “You can feel it when you look at the photos.”
He should know – in addition to his robust photography schedule, Michal is also a farmer, maintaining an olive grove in northern California and pressing his own olive oil every fall. His barn functions as an on-site studio full of fresh air and natural light.
“I love living out there. I love working out there,” he says. “You can breathe.” Which is precisely the feeling you get from so many of his photos. Check out more of Michal’s commercial, editorial and fine art portfolio here.
November 27, 2018
A little truth, a little dare, with Photographer Andrew Maguire
Since mountain sport and active lifestyle photographer Andrew Maguire is likely hip-deep in a snow bank or hanging off a rock face, setting up meetings can get tricky. So we thought we’d bring him to you virtually.
The still and motion photographer is well known for his authentic portfolio of work for Merrell, Subaru and Nike, among many others. An accomplished outdoorsman himself, he is at ease among brands with an affinity for adventure.
Andrew brings his passion for storytelling and truth to every set. Meticulous with product shots and preparation, once outside he prefers to leave as much room for spontaneity as possible. He moved to Boulder from Michigan a decade ago, intent on pursuing outdoor adventures and creating genuine, uncontrived images that reflect the lifestyle.
Now Andrew creates content libraries for brands that share his honest, natural point of view, working closely with his partners to showcase a brand’s unique vibe and aesthetic.
You can see more of Andrew’s dynamic outdoor and lifestyle photography here. And if you’d like to spend more than two minutes with the real-life Andrew, just let us know. We’ll set something up.