San Francisco Headshots • SmartShoot

Last week I had the privilege to take headshots for the team over at SmartShoot.  SmartShoot connects its network of filmmaker and photographers with businesses and individuals all around the world to create amazing visual content.  They wanted to have fun with the photos but still maintain a slick, professional look.  So I brought in the Profoto strobes and set up a black seamless backdrop and went to town.


After we finished the formal headshots we had some fun!  The idea was that on the their “about” page on their website all the formal photos would display normally but when your mouse rolls over a photo the fun one would appear.


And of course we have to wrap up the shoot with an epic group rooftop photo!


Big thanks to SmartShoot for such a great shoot!

Lawyer Headshots Walnut Creek California

James is a good friend of mine and just graduated law school. I was happy to help him out with a headshot for his LinkedIn profile. We went to a bridge in Concord and used the industrial vibe to create some nice images. I worked with two assistants, Josh and Brian. We used a diffuser to create a soft warm rim light from the sun and then used an off camera speedlight with a shoot-through umbrella for a soft key light.

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This is my favorite shot- the expression on his face combined with the strong pose and red tie? Bam!James-78 James-98

We had a great shoot and it was a ton of fun! Big thanks to Josh and Brian for their help!

Rebel Unit • San Francisco Portrait Photography

Yesterday I had the privilege of taking portraits for the team over at Rebel Unit Media in San Francisco.  We took an individual portrait of every person on the team on a white seamless background.  Each one shows everyone’s unique personality.  Here is one of them.


I used 4 strobes: beauty dish with grid on camera right, large softbox on camera left as the fill, strip light on camera left behind the subject for the rim light, and an umbrella to light the background from overhead.


Rebel Unit has a great office on the top floor on a building on California street.  We brought some chairs and props out on the roof to really create a unique group photo. I used a just one softbox to light the group. The sun made a beautiful hair light!


Here it is unedited and without any additional light.


Bam! Here it is with light.


Here is a pulled back view of the setup.


Josh and I just lounging around before the shoot!


Big thanks to Rebel Unit Media for making it a great shoot!  It was a lot of fun and their personalities really shined through in the photos. And of course a big thanks to Josh Currie for helping on the shoot.


I wanted to share some of the photos I took while I was recently down in Tijuana.

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Every day when we would drive back to the campsite in Redondo Valley we would pass an elderly gentleman sitting in a field with a few cows.  Day after day he was still there.  He looked like a really interesting character and I wanted to know his story.  On the last day I went with a friend that was fluent in Spanish to see if he was still there.  And of course, he was.  He said his name was Juan and he was very kind and willing to talk to us.  My friend asked if I could take his picture and he replied by apologizing that he was not very handsome.  After I took a few shots we asked him more about his life.  It turns out he is 84 years old and he has lived in Redondo Valley, in between Tijuana and Tecate, his entire life.  He raises cattle for milk and then sells them for beef.  When he’s not milking the cows he sits in the field all day.  This way he can keep an eye out for predators and make sure nobody steals his cattle.   In fact, he often he watches the cows while he sits crouched on the ground like a child.  At 84 years old! Occasionally he will take his cattle across the street to feed on their grass if his fields are running low. He told us that he didn’t make very much money but he agreed there are better things to life than money.Mexico-2013-533Mexico-2013-534


The Launch 2013 • 286 Headshots in ONE Day • San Francisco Photography

The Launch is  where start-ups all over the world come to present their new innovative ideas to others and potential investors.  The companies range from betting on the future success of YouTube videos to robots with an iPad that can put you anywhere in the world. I had the opportunity to provide headshots for the companies and attendees.  We shot 286 people in one day.  For moving so quickly I’m really happy with the end result.  Below are just a few from the conference.  Big thanks to Josh Currie for assisting on this job.


RainStor • Headshots • San Francisco

RainStor is a database designed to manage Big Data for large enterprises at the lowest total cost.

They saw a previous job I did and wanted to have me in to take headshots of their upper management while they were all in San Francisco.  They liked the look of some earlier portraits I did on brick and wanted to do something similar. Their office is on Pacific Avenue and actually used to be Charles Schulz’ old studio.  It’s a beautiful brick building with lots of interior brick walls as well.  So we set up to use the brick as the background.

Below is a shot of our setup.  On the right is a beauty dish with a grid for the key light, a big soft box of the fill, and a strip light soft box for the hair light. We actually had to shoot over some desks to get the right angle on the brick, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. Below is my assistant Josh, posing in a pulled back shot of our set-up.



Big thanks to Josh Currie for helping out on this job!

Opower • Employee Spotlights and Headshots • San Francisco

You have probably utilized Opower’s creations, even if you’ve never heard of them.  Opower is the market leader in customer engagement for the utility industry. When you log in online to view your smart meter power usage – you’re looking at their design.  Opower contacted me wanting to make a series of “employee spotlight” videos to roll out in a social media campaign for recruiting purposes.  The goal of the videos was to be less about Opower as a company and more about the individuals that work there.  I thought that it was a great idea, and definitely in line with the new media landscape. Companies are distinguishing themselves not only by their work in the way they always have, but by the people that make up their company, making them unique.

Below is the combined video of all the employee spotlights merged into one.

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While we were there we also took the opportunity to take some pictures to accompany the videos.


We were able to do the interviews and photos all in the same day by having both lighting set-ups ready to go.  We chose to use a neutral gray as the background and then create a gradient on it.  For the videos we did a left to right gradient and for the photos we created a circular gradient.  We had the strobe lights for the photos and video lights set up at the same time so all we had to do after the interview was grab a different camera and turn on the strobes. Below is a shot of our setup for the interviews.


We rolled three cameras to capture a close, medium, and wide of the interviews.


Once the interview was done we would remove the stool and bring in this light to create the circular gradient on the background.


I would have the talent stand in front of the light to block it and and snap away.


The goal of the photos was to create something fun and capture the personality of the employees, not just a formal headshot.  I could not have done this job without the help of Alex Collins– DP/Camera Operator, David Helling – camera operator, and Cooper Groosman – grip/PA.  Everyone we worked with that day was engaging and fun to work with!  I hope to do more work like this soon!


Conference Headshots • San Francisco Bay Area Event Photography

Last week I took headshots, with the help of Josh Currie, for some of the attendees of the Brand Innovators – Consumer Engagement conference hosted at Zynga.  We chose a backdrop in their building that not everyone might has chosen for a professional portrait, an arcade.  Yep, an arcade, the bright lights and colors of the arcade machines really created a nice bokeh (soft/out of focus background) that pops.  The other really cool thing about this shoot is that I only used one light and it’s positioned behind the subject.  My speedlight with a shoot through umbrella us just over their right shoulder to create some separation on the them from the background.  The key light is actually a wall that was indirectly lit from a bank of fluorescents.  Taking these headshots was a lot of fun because  had to think outside the box to light it in a way to make it look like there is more to it than their actually is.  Would you use a headshot like this, with and arcade in the background, on your LinkedIn?