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Just a short 26 hours of flying away……….A South African Trip with the Crue

Africa BTS Blog_11

At this point we have abondoned the idea of tracking our miles travelled this year. ¬†A novel idea at first but just too much work ūüôā ¬†Last week we caught a whole bunch of flights and hauled hundreds of pounds of gear to the other side of the world. ¬†With both Dustin and I both having travelled to South Africa before we thought we knew what to expect. ¬†What we forgot was we were travelling with the Kjos Outdoors crue and there is no chance of predicting what is gonna happen. ¬†Let’s just say that at one point I literally thought I was going to break a rib laughing. ¬†We worked long days and on two occasions decided to just live through the night as well. ¬†Only one chance to party South African style, well this year anyways ūüôā ¬†We are thankful for the people we have met and dig the oppurtunity to push ourselves to tell better stories through imagery. ¬†Next week we split, Dustin going North to Minnesota and me going South to Papua New Guinea. ¬†Cheers!

Matt

 

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My favorite image of my brother…..and some words too

I wanted to share an image that is possibly my favorite image of my brother to date.  I also wanted to share the thoughts that ran through my head while retouching it today.  The image is Nick in a place that is now and always will be one of the happiest places in his world.  Sitting next to a tremendous whitetail surrounded by his family and friends.  Photographing people in an environment that is that important to them is a privilege I do not take for granted.  Everyone has their thing and Nicks is bowhunting.  Been that way for 17 years.  I have seen many interests come and go in his life but bowhunting has never faltered.  He works hard, not only for himself but for his friends.  I would say he has put more people on big bucks than anyone I know and all for not so much as a dollar bill.  In a world full of guide services and big money for big deer Nick is rare.  I too have benefited from his hard work.  I am thankful for the brothers I have been granted, always will be.

Matt

A truly great Director can control the weather……Kansas Wildlifer Shoot

The title obviously is a joke but has some truth to it also. ¬†When we went down to Wichita to work with Burly Studios for the first time we went with some nerves. ¬†At the time we were not very accustomed to working with professionals at this level. ¬†I didn’t know what to expect not only from the shoot but from the personalities we would encounter. ¬†The shoot revolved around kids letting their energy loose on a mudpit. ¬†Chaos in itself! ¬†Our nerves quickly washed away when the director Chad McClure looked at us and simply said “Do your thing” ¬†To us those three words are among our favorite. ¬†What they mean is that the person saying them trusts you and your ability to do what it is you claim you can do. ¬†The shoot was rocking along and then it happened. ¬†It started raining giant raindrops while the sun was fully out. ¬†Everyone was shaking their heads in disbelief while at the same time rolling 240 fps footage of the event. ¬†So while Chad may not have summoned “The Perfect Storm” he does control the weather in a different way. ¬†He controls the morale of his set by letting his crew use their creative talents to push the imagery to where it needs to be. ¬†This affects everything in a positive way and takes his work to a new level. ¬†The combined talents of Justin Cary, Evan Senn, and Chad McClure are beyond strong and we always jump at the chance to work with them. ¬†Check out the rest of their work at http://www.burlystudios.com and enjoy the spot below.

EXPANDING HIS FAMILY ONE CLASS AT A TIME…….Shane Cordell and his legacy

It seems everyone will have a legacy. ¬†Most of ours will be only known to ourselves and those immediately around. ¬†Others like Shane Cordells are a public legacy known to many. ¬†This portrait is a tribute to that legacy and was created for all of those he coached and mentored during their high school days. ¬†I too was part of that legacy for four years on the football field. ¬†Mr. Cordells success to me was visible and very simple to wrap my head around. ¬†It was about work. ¬†Countless hours of work pointed directly at winning. ¬†It truly left a mark on me I know. ¬†Work hard enough and you will always find yourself at the goal you set. ¬†Shane devoted so much time to his players it is only fair that they be considered part of his extended ¬†family. ¬†So every year he would expand his family with a new crop of freshman eager to play for the man they watched since childhood standing on the sidelines. ¬†I am calling this image “HOME” . ¬†It only seems fitting. ¬†A great man with a great big family ūüôā

 

Matt

It’s all in here……..the indirect message I took with me

The time has come to share one of my favorite portraits I have done and pay homage to someone that has already and will affect many of my decisions till the end. ¬†Doug Ellwood taught for 40 years. ¬†That number is a big number but one that I still can’t really wrap my head around. ¬†Kinda hard it’s twelve years longer than I have been around. ¬†I would venture to say that in that forty years you can’t find a single student that didn’t leave with a positive outlook toward the man. ¬†I have always thought and still do even while writing this that you will never make everyone happy. ¬†He is the contradiction to my steadfast belief. ¬†Maybe that’s why he has such a powerful affect. ¬†Contrast. ¬†He is contrast to normal behavior. ¬†Infectiously happy and interested in every story. ¬†He is a student of everything while playing the teachers role. ¬†LOVE IT! ¬†If I had it my way everyone I know would get the chance to meet him. ¬†Not possible so you will have to see him in a still frame of his life. ¬†The thing he left me with was there is the whole world right in front of us all the time. ¬†It lives in the literature that we so easily overlook. ¬†You will find knowledge, adventure, and even tragedy from a safe place inside the pages of any book. ¬†I’m truly grateful for him allowing me to photograph him. ¬†I will never forget it.

Matt

Shifting Focus……nothing to do with a fancy lens :)

There are a lot of different ways to learn. ¬†No need to list them everyone knows. ¬†For us it seems that the best way has always been go do, make mistakes, do again, make more, and so on. ¬†Photography and filmmaking have too many details to think your going to read a book that covers them all and then go make perfect work. ¬†To us there is no better training grounds than weddings. ¬†They are fast paced, stressful, and full of one chance scenarios to get your shot. ¬†I see them as boot camp for any aspiring image maker. ¬†They also teach so very well the other side of this business which is personal relationships with your clients. ¬†Most brides are not used to being in front of a camera and getting them comfortable with you must happen before you get them comfortable with the camera. ¬†Weddings are also the most abundant source of paid work for anyone starting out. ¬†At first I saw weddings as a tool to help me make money to buy gear. ¬†What happened is they taught me more than I could ever imagine. ¬†Not only behind the camera but in post production as well. ¬†So I guess we owe weddings a thank you. ¬†We are not phasing them out of our working environment because we don’t like them. ¬†Looking back through this reel I can’t help but smile and put myself back in those places in that time. ¬†The bittersweet fact is all things change and we must change with them. ¬†Cheers!

Dustin and Matt

Portraits for an Opera Singer…….Taken way off the stage

Recently  our creative chops were challenged by a friend.  The friend does not have what you would call a normal story.  She is an opera singer.  Not like the rest of us in the shower but like the ones that travel the world and perform in front of hundreds of people every show.  She wanted some imagery for her portfolio that would stand apart from others in her field.  Our idea was all about juxtaposition.  Stage look but taken in front of no audience.  Danielle eased right into her role as a model like she had done it before.  Of course standing in front of a couple guys with cameras is probably much easier than standing in front of hundreds who are waiting to hear your voice.  I love being pushed to do things I have not done.  We should be uncomfortable if we are ever to get better.

Matt

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