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Shane Johnson illustrates a musical world

Illustrator Shane Johnson’s latest job was to draw something that doesn’t exist yet. “I was asked to create visual concepts for a music-focused venue being developed in San Francisco,” he explains, “and the interior is still just studs and nails.”

Rendering of hotel and recording studio welcome area, by illustrator Shane Johnson

Called the Music City Hit Factory, the venue is slated to include a bar and casual dining, performance stage for live shows, hotel, recording studios, classrooms, and exhibits showcasing the San Francisco music scene and supporting local artists.

Illustration of stage with a live performance going on, by illustrator Shane Johnson

Dean Weldon Exhibits, the curation team involved in restoring the historic building where the venue will live, plans to use Shane’s drawings for fundraising purposes.

Rendering of the exterior entrance to Music City Hit Factory, by illustrator Shane Johnson

An avid music fan himself, Shane listened to a mix of artists from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Lord Huron for inspiration while working on the project. You can see more of Shane’s illustration and character design work here.




Retoucher Rachel Kissel scoops up Häagen-Dazs

“I love ice cream,” says retoucher Rachel Kissel, “so looking at these shots all day was the most difficult part of the job.” Rachel recently wrapped a substantial composite for Häagen-Dazs’ new non-dairy flavors.

Non-dairy frozen treat sandwiches for Haägen Dazs, from retoucher and composite artist Rachel Kissel

The packaging for their Trio product was shot in pieces: three different shots for the different layers of flavor, plus separate shots of the inclusions – that’s food industry speak for mix-ins like chocolate-covered peanuts or cookie chunks.

Haägen Dazs Trio Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookies & Crème package from retoucher Rachel Kissel
Haägen Dazs Trio Dark Chocolate Crunchy Peanut Butter packaging from composite artist Rachel Kissel

Rachel meticulously optimized each individual element, then united them into one tempting visual to clearly communicate what’s inside each flavor.

Haägen Dazs marketing cling with cone, inclusions and package, from retoucher Rachel Kissel

Other elements were developed for social media and marketing purposes, like in-store posters and clings for windows or dipping cabinets.

Chocolate ingredients and flavor cues for Haägen Dazs, from composite artist Rachel Kissel

“I could never pick a favorite flavor,” laughs Rachel. “It’s whichever one I’m staring at.” In addition to food, Rachel is deeply experienced in composite and retouching work in categories including people, nature, sports apparel and more. You can see more of her highly-finessed work here.

A bowl with two scoops of a frozen Haägen Dazs treat, from retoucher Rachel Kissel




Catching cars with Photographer Eric Frazier

“Car designers are artists,” says Photographer Eric Frazier.  “I like to find the little details and subtle shapes they spend time on that most people miss.”

A silver Hyundai with a glow of purple light behind, from photographer Eric Frazier Detail of a Hyndai’s side view mirror shot from below by photographer Eric Frazier

Known primarily for his people and lifestyle work, Eric has also shot a number of car jobs over the last few years. “It’s a nice change of pace,” he says. “Cars never get tired in the middle of a shoot. And you don’t have to feed them,” he laughs.

A blue Toyota Tacoma parked against a white bridge backdrop by photographer Eric Frazier

Often called on to shoot prototypes and pre-production models no one has ever seen, his shoot prep begins with simple observation. “I like to just look at the car for awhile, get a feel for the shape and lines. There’s a personality to every car. And different personalities of the people that will buy them.”

Detail of a car door handle by photographer Eric Frazier

While not a deeply obsessed ‘car guy,’ Eric appreciates them in his own way. “They can be the perfect marriage of form and function,” he says. “The way the designers work creatively within the constraints of the vehicle’s price and purpose is so interesting to me.”

Close up of the Chrysler logo on a cream colored hood by photographer Eric Frazier A Chrysler comes around a corner in light-flooded woods, shot by photographer Eric Frazier

Eric has partnered with brands including Toyota, Lexus, Chrysler, Hyundai and Acura. You can see more of his people, places and machines portfolio here.

A sporty red Toyota shows off its curves, by photographer Eric Frazier An upward shot of a blue car door with blue sky in the background, by photographer Eric Frazier




Photographer Michal Venera encounters the real Mountain Men

When commercial photographer Michal Venera saw a ragtag collection of canvas tents pitched on the side of a Montana back road, he followed his instincts. Pulling over, he grabbed his camera and ambled in.

Close up portrait of a Montana Mountain Man, by photographer Michal Venera

The men who emerged from the tents would have frightened a grizzly. And some of them have. These Mountain Men live off the grid, gathering once a year for a Rendezvous and then disappearing back into the hills.

Portrait of a Mountain Man with canvas tent behind him, by photographer Michal Venera

As Michal soon learned, a Rendezvous is a reenactment of the mid-1800s when beaver hunters roamed the hills to supply the booming fur trade. The men gathered annually to sell their furs and stock up on supplies.

Portrait of a Montana Mountain Man with glasses and moustache, by photographer Michal Venera

A few hardy souls still live the traditional way, emerging only for necessities and a little company, and to participate in the reenactments which require authentic period clothing and equipment.

Portrait of a Mountain Man in a hat looking into the distance, by photographer Michal Venera

At first, the men were suspicious of the stranger amongst them, but once Michal got them telling stories, they relaxed. Having mastered commercial portrait shoots for clients like Wells Fargo and Samuel Hubbard, among others, Michal is adept at putting people at ease in front of the camera.

Portrait of a Mountain Man in a red bandana with the American Flag, by photographer Michal Venera

A bit of a rural dweller himself, Michal works as both a commercial and fine art photographer from his studio barn in Northern California. You can see more of his product and lifestyle work here.




Industrial Impact from Photographer Brian Smale

Wandering alone through a cold, stark industrial landscape – sounds like fun to photographer Brian Smale. “Maybe it’s weird – I just like doing industrial pics,” he laughs.

An industrial tank in sepia, shot for Atlantic Power by commercial industry photographer Brian Smale A tall building in silhouette for the Atlantic Power annual report, from photographer Brian Smale

Whether for clients like Atlantic Power, or for creative exploration, Brian is repeatedly drawn to the sharp lines and dramatic silhouettes of factories and machinery.

Black and white photo of shipping containers stacked high and wide, from photographer Brian Smale

And while he’s found himself in some down and very dirty locations during his personal pursuits, he doesn’t dwell on that. “Some of these facilities may not have a feel-good vibe,” he says. “But I’m just there for the lines.”

The concrete support legs of an overpass shot from below, from photographer Brian Smale A power generating plant for the Atlantic Power annual report, from photographer Brian Smale

Based in Seattle, Brian is best known for his arresting portrait work, along with his corporate and location photography. He’s partnered with a diverse roster of clients including Fuji, GE, USAA and many more.

An industrial conveyer, shot for Atlantic Power from commercial photographer Brian Smale

You can check out more of Brian’s dynamic photography here.




Designer Filip Yip makes good at the Maker Faire

Globally recognized for high-impact brand and logo development, Designer Filip Yip tried a new media this week: skateboards. He brought his visual prowess to personal goods from t-shirts to pins to woodblock prints at last weekend’s Maker Faire near San Francisco.

Skateboard decks printed with designs from Graphic Designer Filip Yip

“A client-turned-close friend of mine wanted to pursue his personal creative projects,” says Filip. “So I said I’d partner with him.” They made it through the intensely selective process and were chosen to present in the Maker Faire craft category.

Illustrated lion head for a Chinese Lion Dance printed on woodblock, from Graphic Designer Filip Yip

“I had no idea how big the Bay Area Maker Faire is,” says Filip, who lives alternately in Paris and New York. Last year over 125,000 people attended the event dedicated to the maker movement in tech, education, craft and more.

Sanzuwu, or three legged crow, graphic on a t-shirt, from Graphic Designer Filip Yip

To prepare, Filip sifted through his deep portfolio of personal projects and work he developed for clients but never presented. “This was a great outlet for work I really loved that never got commercially made,” he says.

A Wine Goddess in 30s art deco style and a bright illustration of man running, by Graphic Designer Filip Yip
A Wine Goddess in 30s art deco style and a bright illustration of man running, by Graphic Designer Filip Yip

“As a Maker, you get to see how people react to your work in real time,” he notes. “It’s nice meeting people, talking about art and life in general.” With the Faire behind him, Filip is back to creating visual communications for clients around the world. You can see his notable commercial work here.

Woodblock print with illustration of a falconer holding an eagle, by Graphic Designer Filip Yip




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