September, 2012

christine alicino for nordstrom’s

I love getting the post-shoot calls and hearing behind the scene stories from the set. They almost invariably involve inspiring collaboration, tales of great crews, very happy clients and a lot of fun (and the occasional boulder dropping from the sky (click here for this one). When Christine Alicino reached out after her recent Nordstrom’s shoot, I was again feeling that familiar appreciation for the incredible group I have the honor to represent.

Working with long-time client, Nordstrom’s, Christine recently shot the direct mail and web images for their Comfort Shoes campaign. The first image she sent me was a shot of the entire crew, all smiling, pushing a small yellow car. “The day was pretty much all fun,” said Christine.  “Art Director Terri Ewing and I have collaborated on a Nordstrom kid’s shoot previously and we had an A team that are so good at what they do. Most of us have worked together before and keep the vibe in a creative mode.”

It turns out this shot could have been taken at any time throughout the day as they pushed the car around to make room for different sets. “Terri and I both fell in love with the car and christened her ‘Sophia.’”

Produced by Nordstrom Advertising in Seattle, the creative team included producer Stephani Simpsom, Hair and Makeup artist Dale Johnson, Stylist Lani Malone Parker and Prop Stylist JC Molina. The mailer will start arriving in mailboxes next week.

lisa matthews of team one on hiring rj muna for lexus

RJ Muna and I had the pleasure of working with Art Producer Lisa Matthews and the fabulous group at Team One on a recent Lexus campaign. I thought the experience of how he was hired was worth sharing on the blog because it speaks so well to the power of marketing and to the all-too-rare focus on service that RJ and his team provide to their clients.

Lisa Matthews, art producer at Team One, received an epromo (at end of post) from us while she was in the middle of building a list of photographers for an upcoming Lexus job. “I got RJ’s eblast featuring a fashion image and he popped into my head for the Lexus shoot. I went to Art Director Julia Hasbrook and she loved him and we added him the list. I’d always had a good relationship with RJ and the client loved his work.” Lisa is one of the most seasoned art producers we collaborate with. She was able to look at an epromo of a fashion image and be reminded of RJ’s great car work. She is a straight shooter and working with her on budget and approach was seamless.

Not surprisingly, the shoot went off without a hitch and when I called Lisa afterwards, she praised RJ and emphasized the importance of client communication. “One of the nice things RJ did was to spend a lot of time with the client explaining what he was going to do. The days of taking time and getting to know the client are kind of in the past. We’ve lost some of that communication. A month later the client told me she how much she loved the work and that he spent the time with her to answer all her questions.”

Also noted was the end-to-end service delivered by RJ’s studio. “The entire staff was pleasant and delightful and every time I needed something they were right there. For me, all that stuff matters. When the shoot is over, getting the images retouched and delivered on the back end is as important as everything on the front end. And the images were beautiful. They made the cover of one of the brochures.

Thank you to Lisa and Julia for the opportunity. It was wonderful to work together again!

jamie kripke goes hunting for field & stream

Jamie Kripke has written an account and shared some beautiful photos of a recent shoot for Field & Stream over on his blog. Hired to photograph master elk hunter Jack Schoonen in the Montana woods where he’s been hunting for 20 years, Jamie spent many quiet hours walking the woods with him and has written about his very personal approach to finding common ground and the process of hunting for the best images possible through the process of getting to know the subject.

Link to the full post here.


Jack Schoonen for Field & Stream

Jack Schoonen for Field & Stream

from the archives: rj captures burning man

I was on an airplane flying back from Vermont last Sunday and struck up a conversation with the very animated person seated next to me. He was an acrobat and was headed West to perform at Burning Man.

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Burning Man is legendary, but it is difficult to describe. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Burning Man is an annual gathering in the desert. Participants build a city in which they explore themes such as community, art, radical self-expression and self-reliance. In the words of the official website:

“Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind. … to truly understand this event, one must participate.”

Several years ago, RJ Muna decided to see for himself. In honor of this week’s 16th annual Burning Man Festival, here are some of my favorites from RJ’s archives.