Category Archives: Location

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Case Study: Producing One Perfect Photo When Your Subjects Are Miles Apart

A bit of creativity can go a long, long way – 4,000 miles across the country to be exact.

In September of 2016, I was approached by Kerry Babb, Art Director at The Company, to discuss a client project for Waste Management, a sponsor of the Phoenix Open. It is the PGA event held annually at the TPC Course in Scottsdale, AZ.

The Company wanted a series of three images featuring one golf personality and one senior Waste Management executive on different holes of the TPC Course. This was an excellent idea, but there was a caveat.

Only one of the individuals was available to be physically present and photographed on the golf course. The other five would each need a separate shot to then be composited into the final images.

With Kerry’s layouts and our subjects’ schedules in hand, we flew to Arizona in early November to begin the process–a process which would take us from Scottsdale to Orlando, to San Diego, and back to Houston – all to bring the client’s vision to life.

The weather was glorious. We were able to scout the course upon arrival on Sunday afternoon. We noted where the sun would be for our first scheduled shoot the next day, then we settled on the location. Bright and early on Monday morning we greeted Joe Skovron, who caddies for well-known PGA Pro, Rickie Fowler (7th in the FedEx Cup rankings as of this writing).

Skovron was easy to work with on the course. Kerry, Michael Klein, my assistant, and I had the photoshoot pre-visualized and set up on one of the greens, facing east with the rising sun peeking out over the southeastern horizon to provide some golden back edge lighting.

We filled Skovron’s front side with a portable Canon flash in a small soft box and went about shooting many images in different body poses and with the club in various positions. We also did a photo of Klein standing next to Skovron and did the same with our following subjects so that we would have a size-relationship in place when compositing the final images.

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Photographing Joe Skovron at TPC Scottsdale for Waste Management

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Michael and Kerry Babb, AD at The Company, reviewing the shot on an iPad at TPC Scottsdale

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Photographing Joe Skovron at TPC Scottsdale for Waste Management

Once we were confident we captured what we needed, we turned Skovron loose and spent the next hour or so in the morning light taking photos of greens we might choose to use in our remaining two shots. We also returned in the afternoon, capturing the late light, to take pictures of additional options as well.

I selected images for Kerry to view the next day, as we flew through Houston and on to Orlando where we were to meet our second golfer, top PGA swing coach, Sean Foley.

Foley, like our following subject, Waste Management-sponsored PGA pro Charley Hoffman, and all three Waste Management executives, would need to be photographed on white seamless, to be cut out and dropped onto the appropriate golf hole for their respective print pieces.

Kerry had to make her selection of each golf hole before photographing Foley and Fowler so I’d have a guideline to use in duplicating the lighting.

We rented function rooms at the hotel in Orlando close to Sean’s house, and again at the hotel in San Diego, near to Hoffman’s home. Both Foley and Hoffman were the consummate pros through the process– no pun intended.

This photoshoot was not their first rodeo; they were very easy to work with the entire engagement.


Photographing Charley Hoffman in San Diego for Waste Managment

Once back in Houston, Kerry made her selections of the three subjects. In early December we visited Waste Management’s corporate headquarters in downtown Houston where we photographed CEO Jim Fish, and senior executives Barry Caldwell and Jim Trevathan.

Each time we referenced a printout of the image of either Skovron on the course at TPC, or the composited images of Foley and Fowler on the selected course backgrounds. Lighting was made to mimic the originals as much as possible.

Once the selections were made, they were composited with the appropriate subject and course shots, along with a flag I had shot in the studio. Copy was inserted to tell the story of each individual.

While The Company utilized an outside retoucher in the end, here is one of the images which I finished myself for use on my website and in my portfolio.

The original selection of Joe on the course at TPC Scottsdale:

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Joe Skovron, PGA Tour Caddie for Rickie Fowler

The photo we captured downtown at the Waste Management offices of Sr. VP Jim Trevathan:

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Jim Trevathan, EVP & COO,Waste Management

The final composite of the two images:

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Joe Skovron, PGA Tour Caddie for Rickie Fowler, and Jim Trevathan, EVP & COO,Waste Management

One of the final ads made up of four images, including the flag, subjects, and background image, complete with type:

There you have it! A behind-the-scenes look at what may seem like a simple photograph of two golfers out on the course.

This type of work is what we do to solve problems for our clients, agency or corporate. No matter the challenge, we aim to deliver successful results.

A 100-Year-Old Ranch & A 10-Year-Old Vision: A Lesson in Nurturing Inspiration as a Photographer

If you know me, you know I love music.

While I started my photography career early (my first paying job was at age 15), it coexisted with music as a sideline. My parents were music fans, so I was exposed to it early and often growing up. Two years of piano lead to my desire to become a drummer, but my father couldn’t stand the racket of just a snare drum in my room. I eventually ended up on bass guitar; the drummer’s accompanist in “the rhythm section” of a band. Today, I’m married to one of the most incredible singers you’ll ever hear.

Introducing Danny Everitt

From 1970-1973, Danny Everitt was one of my bandmates in Austin. While he soldiered on playing, I took a 20-year hiatus. From day one, Danny gave me the honor of doing photography for his recordings.

Cover of Danny Everitt’s first album in 1981, “Fire Down Inside.”

I also provided the cover for 2007’s “Cold Wind, Cold Rain,” on which I also share co-write credit for the first track, and promo images for 2013’s “Acoustic Souvenir.” However, only recently did I have the opportunity to bring an image that had been percolating in my mind for almost 10 years to fruition.

When Inspiration Strikes “a Chord

In 2007 I started working for Bob McClaren at his beautiful Angus Beef ranch, 44 Farms, near Cameron, Texas.

Almost immediately, the sight of a lone chimney next to a large stock tank struck my attention. I knew the remnants of a long lost farmhouse (the land has been in Bob’s family a little over 100 years now) would make a great photo. The time to use this scenery finally arrived.

44 Farms Chimney and Stock Tank, Near Cameron, Texas

10-Year-Old Vision Realized

When Danny told me about his upcoming music release, “Dream Big,” I knew we needed to take a little road trip.

On October 21 a cold front had pushed through Texas and cleared the air, so Danny, his wife Patrice, and I headed to 44 Farms. My idealized photo would take place at twilight.

While we waited for the sun to creep down, I suggested we make use of the glorious weather to get some shots “in the can.”

In a similar vein as client assignments, I complete the shots as planned, but also try to come up with additional images that may or may not work for the brief.

This afternoon, we started with the sun directly behind Danny. I used a battery powered Alien Bees flash head with a beauty dish to illuminate his front, which would have been in shadow:

Danny Everitt, “Dream Big” CD Shoot

Then, as the sun was barely above the horizon during “The Golden Hour,” we shifted to a hillside just behind us where the warm light raked across Danny and the golden grass of a Texas autumn:

Danny Everitt, “Dream Big” CD Shoot

Finally, we set up for the shot that I envisioned all along; Danny in front of a fire, strumming his guitar, singing softly, and the sporadic accompaniment of the Angus cattle who occasionally came to drink water from the tank:

Danny Everitt, “Dream Big” CD Shoot

For the technically minded, there was a battery-powered head inside the fireplace, with a warming gel to simulate the warmth of a fire. The aforementioned Alien Bees head and beauty dish, with a honeycomb grid, gently opened up the side of the chimney so there would be some detail in it.

I was pleased when we finished, and even more so when I started processing the images back at home. I just knew this would be the perfect wraparound cover for a CD titled “Dream Big.”

Unfortunately, it didn’t make the cut. It WOULD have been the chosen wraparound cover if I hadn’t gone the extra mile to shot other scenarios while waiting for the sun to go down.

May The Best Photo Win

Danny’s wife Patrice, or “Pete” as commonly known; Jack Saunders, Danny’s music producer and engineer; and Houston graphic designer Kenny Ragland, who I had enlisted to create Danny’s CD package, all liked the first setup the best.

This image became the cover of “Dream Big,” the one pictured above with a little post-processing tweaks:

Danny Everitt, “Dream Big” CD Cover

Thankfully, all is well, and my originally envisioned image, with the addition of a real crescent moon judiciously place above the horizon, became the inside spread with plenty of room for CD production credits to be reversed out:

Danny Everitt, “Dream Big” CD Inside Spread

The hillside image is being employed in Danny’s promotional material and his Band Camp page, where you can buy all three recent CD releases:

A Lesson in Inspiration

The lesson I want to impart is that the image you go out to capture may not be the one that ends up being the best or the one that you use. Be open to surprises and inspiration – it’s what keeps the process fresh, and often results in a happy accident.

As an addendum, Danny, most of our old mates from the Austin band (with guitarist Gerry Hailer, from my early 90’s “ad band”), and I did a CD in 1998 to prove that we could still rock and roll. If you’d care to have one, just let me know, I have a few left. We are hoping to finish up our sophomore effort later this year, 17 years after we started it. Stay tuned for more.