Selfie Fun With Capital Metro

Did you know that one of the earliest references to the word ‘selfie’ was in 2005? I was surprised it was that early; I would have guessed around 2009 or 2010. 

Although I’ll do my fair-share of self portraits with DSLRs, I hardly ever take them with my phone. I would guess this is because my wife doesn’t like the face I make when I take one (which borders somewhere between confusion and extreme indifference). Needless to say, the selfie culture is now a huge. part. of society. 

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to jump into the selfie pool with Capital Metro. They were launching a brand new mobile app and wanted to show that you could now use your phone for more than just selfies. Door Number 3 was the agency tasked with developing hilarious selfie scenarios which would be used in both print ads and video commercials.

We narrowed down our scenarios and did the whole shoot in one day, spread over three different locations. Once we were done taking stills, Aaron and his video team from Onion Creek Productions filmed a short video segment. The video would become the story leading up to the creating of the selfie, and all of our selfie models did a great job playing the part. Later in post, we made an extra effort to make these look like phone images by adding a lot of noise, strong contrast, color casts, etc. 

I love how all of these came out. We could have easily shot another 10 scenarios as we had a ton of great ideas! Thanks to everyone involved for helping make 2014 start off with a bunch of laughs.

Capital Metro Selfies


Here’s the fun commercial that Onion Creek Productions put together:


And here are some BTS shots:

karate selfie

Cat Selfie





Client: Capital Metro
Agency: Door Number 3
Video: Onion Creek Productions

Rob Thomas for REAL Magazine

I’ve been waiting to talk about this shoot all year. When REAL Magazine asked me sometime in March if I’d be interested in shooting Rob Thomas, I jumped at the chance.

Now, I know exactly what you are thinking. No, not that Rob Thomas (although he’s on my list too). This Rob Thomas is the creator of the show Veronica Mars. You probably heard about him in the news earlier this year, as he and Kristen Bell led a Kickstarter campaign which raised over 5.7 million dollars for the production of a Veronica Mars movie. Since then, other high-profile film projects have gone the Kickstarter route (most notably Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here“), but no crowd funding campaigns so far have been as successful as Rob’s.

Talking with the creative people at REAL Magazine, we decided on something fun to match Rob’s personality. I sketched up several ideas, one of which involved him at a lemonade stand selling props from episodes of the tv show to help fund his film. Rob liked the idea, so we scouted locations around town that could serve as our neighborhood house.

Right before the shoot, I thought it would be funny if we added in a Ferris Bueller reference and played off the “Save Ferris” idea with our own “Save Veronica Mars” riff. In the Ferris Bueller movie, an iconic scene is the “Save Ferris” water tower that appears in the film. We added that to our image below and the scene was set.

Rob did a great job with a variety of expressions and poses, and after our shoot we took some additional shots that his agency could use for promo purposes.

Below is a great little BTS video that the crew from Reel Visuals put together. I loved working with Terrell, Lauren and Richard on this, and if you need something similar, you should definitely look them up. A big thanks to Bert Mclendon and Justin Leitner who helped out on this shoot, and a heartfelt thank you to Nell at REAL Magazine for the opportunity.

Rob Thomas Veronica Mars Image 1

Rob Thomas Veronica Mars Image 2

Rob Thomas Veronica Mars Image 3

By |September 25th, 2013|Photography|0 Comments

Ice Cream For Walgreens

This time of year, it’s about 105 degrees in Austin. Spending any significant amount of time outside just drains my energy. A few days ago, while downtown, I swung by the Cow Tipping Creamery bus near the U.T. campus. This is some of the best ice cream I’ve had in Austin, and I started to feel my internal temperature drop a few degrees after the first few bites. I highly recommend that place if you are in the area.

Speaking of delicious frozen treats, here’s an image from a shoot I did for Walgreens a few months ago. This is Joel Quintanilla (or “Q”, as he’s known at work). Q works at a Walgreens store in New Braunfels, Texas, and has the distinction of having sold the most of Walgreen’s “Delish” brand of ice cream in the country. With this heat, I’m not surprised (although I bet someone in El Paso or New Mexico came in at a close second).

We photographed him at his store for Walgreen World magazine, and we had fun setting up stacks and stacks of empty ice cream containers for this image. Surprisingly, only one real container of ice cream was opened for the whole shoot (we did a good job of making it last).

Walgreens Ice Cream


Austin Music Composer Portrait

Artists are always looking for promotional images that reflect them on different levels. For this shot of Anthony (a composer here in Texas and the owner of Tranzducer Music), I wanted to create an image that worked well with the electronic, almost electrical, style of his music.

We had some discussions about options. We would get the standard head shot images for his promo kit, but I also wanted to explore this electrical idea a little further. Electronic music is based a lot on ‘modifiers’, meaning that you might start with a particular sound, but then you spend a lot of time tweaking frequencies, cutoffs, gates, etc to get the sound you want. And all of those variables change throughout the song. It can be a very hands-on/performance-based approach to music. When you see 50 little dials on a Nord keyboard, you can get an idea of all the parameters you can change in real time.

I pitched him on building a small set to illustrate this:

martha lynn kale for real magazine

I was happy to spend some time recently with Martha Lynn Kale (and her beautiful son!) to shoot the May cover of REAL Magazine. The story was about the work-life balance we all try hard to achieve, and it was a lot of fun to work on these images. I am looking forward to becoming more ‘balanced’ one day.



ad men alternates

Where would some of Austin’s most successful advertising executives be if no one had given them a shot in advertising?

That was the question that advertising agency McGarrah Jessee asked as a way to promote and support the efforts of the Austin-based educational organization, E4 Youth. E4 Youth works to educate, nurture, and provide mentoring opportunities to creative youth. It’s a great way for students to get exposed to various creative fields so that they can make informed decisions about their future.

The shoot featured Tim McClure and Jay Russell of GSD&M, Mike Woolf of Beef and Pie, Scott McAfee of Sanders\Wingo, and Sergio Alcocer of LatinWorks.

I was very excited to be a part of this project, as each scenario involved a crazy new career path for these agency executives. We did a total of 5 shoots off-and-on over 3 days. Everyone “buried themselves in the part” quite well!

The images were on display during the 2013 ADDYs award show in Austin.
Tim McClure of GSD&M

Jay Russell of GSDM

Mike Woolf of Beef and Pie

Scott McAfee of Sanders\Wingo