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InstaUpdates – The latest and greatest shared by our artists

No matter how busy they get, there’s always time for a quick post. Keep up with our photographers, illustrators and retouchers on instagram at @fredascottcreative.

Shane Johnson shows his styles Inspired by graphic novels, Shane Johnson may be best known for character development. But there are many more tricks up his sleeve, like his recent editorial, logo and licensed character work.

A girl writes a letter to her mayor, by Illustrator Shane Johnson for educational materials
A man pulls open his shirt, superhero style, for Cisco Spark by illustrator Shane Johnson

Will Strawser on set With his stylish set work for a textiles client, Will Strawser perfectly captures those last precious moments of rest in a comfy bed.

A woman stretches in a cozy yellow bed, from photographer Will Strawser A man sleeps in a comfy bed bathed in sunlight, from photographer Will Strawser A woman stretches out in her cozy bed, from photographer Will Strawswer

Michal Venera in Europe
Even when Michal Venera is on vacation, he can’t stop shooting. Lucky us – we get to enjoy this fun exploratory series from his travels through France.

Shoes and legs on a bridge with the Seine river in the background, by photographer Michal Venera
Shoes and legs on a walkway with a large ferris wheel in the background, by photographer Michal Venera
Shoes and legs on a sidewalk with the Arc de Triomphe behind, by photographer Michal Venera

Rachel Kissel for Reebok
Rachel Kissel’s credit should read ‘Photoshop Wizard’ for this amazing Reebox image. Collaborating with photographer Kevin Twomey, Rachel used extensive composite and retouching techniques. Check out before and after:

The ‘before’ images of feet and shoes used by retoucher Rachel Kissel for a Reebok image
The final composite image of a Reebok shoe surrounded by soles of bare feet, by retoucher Rachel Kissel




Photographer Andrew Maguire hits new highs

Photographer Andrew Maguire is accustomed to keeping up with extreme athletes and intense terrain. But with recent back-to-back projects for Merrell and Eddie Bauer, he reached all-new levels.

Athlete and Merrell Ambassador Jason Antin does pushups, from photographer Andrew Maguire
Athlete Jennifer Tavernier runs stairs for Merrell by photographer Andrew Maguire

For Merrell’s #TrainSoICan campaign, Andrew tailed mountaineer Jason Antin, trainer Jennifer Tavernier and ultrarunner Anna Frost during their typical workouts. Which, of course, are anything but typical.

Athlete Jennifer Tavernier runs stairs at the beach, from photographer Andrew Maguire
Ultrarunner Anna Frosty runs a mountain trail, from photographer Andrew Maguire

Soon after, he was off to document an attempt to summit Kilimanjaro by “This is Us” star Mandy Moore and her fiancé, Dawes lead singer Taylor Goldsmith for sponsor Eddie Bauer.

Charged with both motion photography and stills, Andrew covered much of the terrain twice, circling ahead and behind for the best angles and light.

Mandy Moore hikes through snowy mountains, from photographer Andrew Maguire

Seven grueling days after they began, the group successfully completed the northern route despite ice storms, freezing temperatures and climbing in complete darkness. “We started as strangers, but ended as family,” says Andrew of the adventure.

A moment of laughter as the team climbs Kilimanjaro, by photographer Andrew Maguire
Mandy Moore zips up her tent during her Kilimanjaro attempt, by photographer Andrew Maguire

You can see more of Andrew’s mountain sport and adventure photography here.

Mount Kilimanjaro rises against a starry night sky, by photographer Andrew Maguire




Photographer Update:
New work from the team

There’s a lot going on at Freda Scott Creative. Take a peek at the latest from our photographers:

Andrew Maguire for Eddie Bauer
Sports and mountain lifestyle photographer Andrew Maguire was tasked with documenting a Mt. Kilimanjaro attempt by “This Is Us” star Mandy Moore and her fiancé, Taylor Goldsmith, lead singer of Dawes.

Mandy Moore zips her tent during her attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, by photographer Andrew Maguire

“I was covering both photography and motion,” Andrew says, “so to get full coverage I was constantly running laps back and forth, looking for good angles. At 19,000 feet, it was intense.”

Mandy Moore takes a break and takes in the beauty of Mt. Kilimanjaro, by photographer Andrew Maguire

The group summited Gillman peak around sunrise, after enduring a 3am sleet storm. For Andrew, it wasn’t just another shoot. “All of us became a team out there,” he says. See more here.

Mandy Moore, Taylor Goldsmith and friends begin their hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro, by photographer Andrew Maguire


Nader Khouri for Mixt
Nader Khouri has been getting plenty of healthy greens. Bay area fast-casual restaurant chain Mixt tapped the food and lifestyle photographer (and health food nut) for their Spring menu.

A spring salad topped with salmon, for Mixt by food and lifestyle photographer Nader Khouri

“I love sharing my passion for healthy eating,” says Nader, “so this assignment was a dream.”

A fork is poised to dive into a fresh spring salad, for Mixt by food and lifestyle photographer Nader Khouri

Nader worked closely with Mixt’s art director, José Quinteros, to make sure the photos reflected the brand’s fresh, modern aesthetic. You can see more of this tasty work here.

Three salads from the spring menu for fresh-casual restaurant Mixt, by photographer Nader Khouri


Patrick Bennett for Essentia Water
Yes, Patrick Bennett is on the road again, hitting NYC, Port Lucie Florida, Seattle, Decatur, Texas and many more this year for long-time client, Essentia Water.

Cowboy roper, Tuf Cooper, at work on his horse, by photographer Patrick Bennett for Essentia Water

“I’m seeing a lot of America, and meeting a lot of amazing people out there,” Patrick says of his ongoing work for Essentia’s Overachiever campaign.

Tattoo model Chris Lavish shows off his ink, by photographer Patrick Bennett for Essentia Water

Used primarily for social media and web, Patrick provides enough content for the brand to put out up to three images per week. Explore more here.

A runner and her shadow on the track, by photographer Patrick Bennett for Essentia Water




Peek into photographer team
Thompson Homonnay’s latest kid-venture

“There were laughs, there were tears, there were giant cardboard popsicles…you know, the usual,” laughs Ashley Thompson of the shoot she and partner Ana Homonnay recently wrapped for Peek clothing. As veterans kid photographers, Thompson Homonnay knows how to keep shooting through the chaos.

Toddlers smile with a cutout sun in the background, from Thompson Homonnay for Peek kids clothing

“This shoot was a marathon, with 16 kids and four babies packed into a nine hour day,” says Homonnay. “You get on kind of a high from the energy of shooting, then at 6:15 we just collapsed.” Thompson and Homonnay work seamlessly together, with one behind the camera and the other at the monitor with the digital tech and art director.

A boy smiles, holding a skateboard on his shoulders, from Thompson Homonnay for Peek kids clothing

“We keep a lot of cross talk going. So maybe I take the photo but Ana is calling out from the monitor to zoom in more, move the angle up or whatever. So we don’t have to waste time or stop shooting. With kids, you can’t stop the action or it’s all over,” says Thompson.

A baby looks down at a yellow pinwheel, from Thompson Homonnay for Peek kids clothing

They also bring in backup. “We have a secret weapon: Tracie the Kid Wrangler,” laughs Homonnay, referring to Tracie Marquez. “She keeps them jumping, singing, looking for imaginary butterflies. We really want that spontaneity of kids being kids, not something posed.”

A girl in a blue checked dress looks off into the distance, from Thompson Homonnay for Peek kids clothing

Thompson and Homonnay partnered for the Peek shoot with Beautiful Picture Productions. “Lacey Shaw and her team were just awesome,” says Thompson. You’d turn around they’d be carrying in a giant cardboard car or cassette tape they’d just made in the other room.”

A girl whispers something to a boy looking on, from Thompson Homonnay for Peek kids clothing

The duo is currently in the planning stages of another commercial shoot with kids and teens. And in the meantime they’ll keep doing test shoots, looking for new angles and approaches. But not with their own kids. “Our own children absolutely refuse to take direction from us,” laughs Thompson. “They are 11 and they are so over it.”

A young girl in striped sweater smiles naturally past the camera, from Thompson Homonnay for Peek kids clothing




The Commercial & Editorial Double Life
of Photographer Jack Hutch

“When I get hired on a commercial job these days,” says Photographer Jack Hutch, “we’re lucky to get a scout day. Sometimes they just send me out by myself to find the angle, make it work and get the content. I thrive in that, because of all the editorial work I’ve done.”

Chris Flink, CEO of San Francisco’s Exploratorium, in front of multi-dimensional mirrors, by photographer Jack Hutch

It’s no secret that the job of a commercial photographer has changed immensely over the last several years. Clients expect more from each shoot, often including both motion and stills, and at the speed of a daily news feed. One way Jack Hutch keeps up and keeps fresh is by mixing in editorial shoots.

Man in construction hat and vest walks by a sleek white building against blue sky, by photographer Jack Hutch

“With editorial, I get sent on my own, no art director, no client, just me and my camera. I get to explore and be creative, try different lighting,” he says. “And I work one-on-one with the talent, figuring out how to get them comfortable and get that great shot. The assignment is basically, if the situation isn’t happening, make it happen. Then I can apply that learning to more buttoned up commercial shoots.”

Lifestyle shot of people having a small meeting in a modern office, by photographer Jack Hutch

Jack often shoots top-tier athletes and high profile corporate power brokers, so he’s also trained in serious time constraints. “You’ve got to work with that element of surprise,” Jack says. “Maybe the person doesn’t want to be there, maybe it’s some bland location. When you’re used to shooting on the fly, your commercial clients can trust you to take the wrong situation and make it right.”

Portrait of musician Michael Franti, by photographer Jack Hutch

Jack’s secret weapon is his well-stocked Sprinter van/mobile studio. “I keep it loaded at all times,” says Jack. “C-stands, foam core, lighting gizmos, whatever I need for any given scenario. So maybe on Monday we shoot an Olympian, then back in the van, Tuesday shoot a commercial job at a winery, back in the van, Friday at a Boys & Girls Club. Mixing it up keeps me fresh.”

A woman in a towel walks near an outdoor spa bathtub, by photographer Jack Hutch

You can see more of Jack’s commercial, editorial and personal work here.

A woman watches as her car is towed from the side of the road, by photographer Jack Hutch




Photographer Patrick Bennett on
a wild shot chase for Essentia

For Essentia Water to keep up with their social media calendar, photographer Patrick Bennett stays on the run. “They put out three images a week,” explains Patrick, “so I’m getting to see a lot of America, fast.”

Dancer Shaheem Royal strikes a pose, by photographer Patrick Bennett for Essentia Water

Patrick partnered up with Essentia two years ago when they launched their “Overachievers” campaign. Teamed with their Senior Content Manager, he regularly travels all over the country to meet influencers and bring back shots that showcase the brand’s spirit.

Drummer Jimmy Lee gives it his all, by photographer Patrick Bennett for Essentia Water

Over time, Patrick and Essentia have developed a distinctive style and palette that reflects the energy of the campaign. And Patrick continually experiments to keep the images dynamic and eye-catching. The influencers themselves can be anyone from athletes to donut entrepreneurs – anyone who’s a true overachiever.

Cincinnati Bengal John Ross III warms up, by photographer Patrick Bennett for Essentia Water

Patrick chases down the shots everywhere from NYC to LA, the Texas plains to the peaks of Colorado. “Most of the time it’s just me, the Essentia content manager and maybe one assistant,” he says. This is social media, so we have to be mindful of budget while still getting premium imagery.”

An ice dancer twirls on the ice, by photographer Patrick Bennett for Essentia Water

And of course, Patrick checks in regularly to make sure he’s ‘overachieving’ for his client. “We meet weekly at the coffee shop, or occasionally the local saloon, to make sure we’re on the same page for the direction of the brand,” Patrick says.

Justin Widhalm cycles through Garden of the Gods, by photographer Patrick Bennett for Essentia Water

Patrick also recently wrapped a stills and video shoot for a construction client as well as a project for SAP Concur. He rarely sits still, but you can always find his work here.

Stylist Beatrice Nikole at work, by photographer Patrick Bennett for Essentia Water




Freda Scott Creative welcomes
Illustrator Matt Weems

Like many illustrators, Matt Weems grew up idolizing other artists. Unlike others, his hero was a woodblock engraver from the mid-1800s. “Howard Pyle was an engraver and then became an artist in his own right,” explains Matt. “He knew how to make the most of his medium.”

Portrait of Afghan Warlord Gulboddin Hekmatyar as a buzzard, by Illustrator Matt Weems

That stark, high-impact style still informs Matt’s work to this day. “I love black and white,” he says. “It’s extremely unforgiving – you only have two things you can show. You have to be confident and you can’t fudge it. Each stroke has to be right because it can’t be concealed. I like that.”

Portrait of a man interpreted as a four-armed deity, by Illustrator Matt Weems

Matt started out as an apprentice illustrator, creating detailed product and floor plan renderings for Levi Straus. But he quickly evolved his business into more creative territory. “There’s a skill to creating something technical and photoreal,” he says. “But when you let personal interpretation drift in, things get more interesting.”

A computer sits on the ground in front of a stone wall and a forest fire, by Illustrator Matt Weems

He uses color to add a creative twist as well. “That old-timey black and white look isn’t what people always want to see,” he admits. “But there can be an evolution, bringing in color. I like to mix those old ink techniques with a fresh POV.”

A portrait of Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers in woodcut style, by Illustrator Matt Weems

Experimenting with pencil and ink from his studio in Alameda, California, Matt has partnered with clients from Looking Glass Virtual Reality to Restoration Hardware and San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers. If he’s not at his desk, check out back where he’s likely building an oil drum grill or a giant bunk bed.

Black and white illustration of the painted lady Victorian homes in San Francisco, by Illustrator Matt Weems

We’re thrilled to welcome Matt to the Freda Scott roster. You can see more of his high impact illustration here.

Black and white rendering of a leather jacket, by Illustrator Matt Weems




Steve Belkowitz adds life to Chronic Tacos

For the first time in the brand’s history, Chronic Tacos decided to expand into lifestyle imagery, and they chose Photographer Steve Belkowitz to get the job done. “It was a big venture for them,” says Steve. “I wanted to make sure they came out of it happy.”

Overhead shot of a woman lying on a picnic blanket, for Chronic Tacos by lifestyle photographer Steve Belkowitz

Fortunately, Steve has the chops for such an ambitious one-day shoot. Though the shoot was set in Long Beach, CA, the entire pre-production phase was handled from Steve’s east coast studio for efficiencies. Just before the shoot, Steve arrived for a full day of tech scouting to finalize locations and set-ups.

Friends walk down the street with bikes and skateboards, for Chronic Tacos by lifestyle photographer Steve Belkowitz

“We got a great crew locally,” Steve says. “I brought out two of my go-to assistants and a wardrobe stylist from back east, but location scouts, hair and makeup, local assistants, our models, we found all that in LA. There’s so much talent there, it’s easy to put together a really strong team.”

Wind blows a woman’s hair as she walks by a lifeguard stand, for Chronic Tacos by lifestyle photographer Steve Belkowitz

One thing Steve did have to scramble for: a very particular vintage truck the client had their heart set on. “Turns out, a friend of my stylist had one! It was perfect,” says Steve. After shooting solid from sunrise to sunset, Steve and crew had the shots they needed.

Man, woman and surfboard in the back of a vintage truck, for Chronic Tacos by lifestyle photographer Steve Belkowitz

“They’re using these for store banners, outdoor signs, instagram, facebook, web, you name it,” says Steve. “We got a lot of great stuff for them to work with, and we definitely had fun doing it.” You can see more of Steve’s highly sought lifestyle and people photography here.

Two girls smile in the back of a vintage pickup truck, for Chronic Tacos by lifestyle photographer Steve Belkowitz Close up of a woman’s hand holding a phone showing Chronic Taco’s instagram, by lifestyle photographer Steve Belkowitz




Will Strawser lands in Lurzer’s
Best 200 Ad Photographers

From a pool of over 8000 submissions gathered from photographers throughout 50 countries, Will Strawser was recently featured in Lürzer’s esteemed list of the Best 200 Ad Photographers. And the showcase pieces they selected perfectly fit Will’s art-forward, visual storytelling style.

Commercial Photographer Will Strawser’s listing and work in Lurzer’s Best 200 Ad Photographers issue

“This painterly style is different from a lot of the ad work I do, but I think it can be really relevant,” says Will. “Consumers want to see something unique but familiar at the same time. Putting a modern spin on the painting styles from well-known classic art is a great way to draw people in.”

Overhead shot on black seamless of mushrooms and vases in painterly style, from photographer Will Strawser

For Will, it’s a labor of love to create photos in this style. “I always loved the Dutch renaissance masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer,” says Will. “Everything from the darker lighting style to the symbolism throughout.” And high art is highly fashionable right now. Will points to Peter Lippmann’s recent work for Christian Louboutin as one example, in addition to his own fashion work.

Fashion shot in painterly style of male model on a throne draped in fox fur, from photographer Will Strawser

Will’s latest efforts include the cover of Washington Post Magazine and shooting social media video content for repeat client, Wegman’s. Congratulations to Will for being recognized as one of Lürzer’s Best 200 Ad Photographers. We couldn’t agree more.

A feast shot in the painterly style of the Dutch Masters, from photographer Will Strawser




Illustrator Carolyn Vibbert
Puts Clients on the Map

“Working as a map illustrator can be tricky,” says commercial illustrator Carolyn Vibbert. “Maps have to be fun, so you want to look at them – but informative, too.” Carolyn has partnered with clients in categories as diverse as tourism, real estate and healthcare, so she’s well-versed in how to communicate through geography.

Map of Irvine for a real estate development client by commercial artist and map illustrator Carolyn Vibbert

“For the Irvine map, the client wanted to showcase the green space incorporated into their development, but also include landmarks so viewers can find and enjoy the parks and trails closest to them.” Carolyn works on the maps and any necessary icons concurrently, integrating them as she goes.

Illustrated tourism map of Spain by commercial artist and map illustrator Carolyn Vibbert

“For the Spain map, the request was to show the various food regions of the country, whereas when I worked on the map for Portsmouth it was more focused on general attractions and services,” she says. “I do a lot of research on the web to find the local flora and fauna, local topography and whatever makes a place special.”

Illustrated tourism map of Taos, New Mexico by commercial artist and map illustrator Carolyn Vibbert

Color plays an important role, as well. “I often limit the number of colors in my maps to keep the design cohesive,” says Carolyn. “And the colors reflect the sense of place. For example, for Portsmouth I chose a palette fitting of a historical colonial city.”

Illustrated map of Huntington Hospital by commercial artist and map illustrator Carolyn Vibbert

Most importantly, in order to be useful, a map has to draw in the viewer. “I like to keep the energy up in my work, so I’ll alternate the sizes of icons, or even mix styles a bit so it’s more playful,” explains Carolyn.

Illustrated map of Nantucket by commercial artist and map illustrator Carolyn Vibbert

With an extensive portfolio that includes maps, icons, logos, landscapes, people and more, Carolyn has drawn in viewers – and clients – of all types. You can see more of her work here.

Black and white illustrated map of Italy by commercial artist and map illustrator Carolyn Vibbert