The Power of Visual Storytelling and the Dual Craft of Photography and Cinematography

Still photography? Video? In the studio? Outdoors or on-location? There’s a lot of overwhelming options, and often the answer is yes to all. As a product photographer, cinematographer, and content creator, I’ve found that each option has their unique advantages. In the studio, you have complete control over lighting, props, and backgrounds, allowing for a consistent and polished look. On the other hand, shooting on-location or outdoors brings authenticity and a natural feel to your product, especially for action and lifestyle content. Ultimately, the decision depends on your brand’s specific needs and the message you want to convey to your consumer.

For a successful product launch, I like to mix things up by creating hero still images in the studio to ensure a clean and focused look at the product and its features. Then capture images outdoors or in specific scenes to provide context, lifestyle, in-use and add variety.

“Video is no longer a nice-to have; it’s a must-have with 91% of businesses using video to engage and convert audiences.”

Video is simply a photograph in motion. It’s obviously a bit more complicated than that, but there’s no doubt that shooting video of a product in the studio, and in its intended environment, helps to tell a diverse and compelling story. Video also tends to out-perform still photography in social media engagement and visibility.

By combining all of these elements into a cohesive package of e-commerce imagery, glamour imagery on the product page showing details, lifestyle imagery to keep things alive, a background video for captivating motion, social media reels for advertising and engagement… now we’ve unlocked a captivating product campaign.

“Before your work, people used to tell me that our products looked surprisingly better in person than in our photos. Not anymore.” -Niner Bikes

Projects that I work on generally fall into one of these buckets:

  • Studio product photography: This can encompass everything from a product on a clean white background for e-commerce website use, to much more creative techniques including styled faux sets, fog, dramatic lighting, dark backgrounds, ghost mannequin or models for apparel, light painting, stop motion animation, etc. These types of images are usually highly retouched to create the perfect representation of the product.
  • Outdoor studio photography: “Outdoor studio” or “outdoor glamour” is a term I use to describe using studio strobes and techniques, but outdoors on-location to combine a higher-end, dramatic look with an outdoor environment. I use this often when photographing bikes, accessories, or apparel. Ideally natural light always works best, but often during scheduled shoot times, the weather isn’t cooperating—in the arid West, this usually means full, direct sun— or we want more control over the resulting image.
  • Outdoor action and lifestyle photography: Where the studio imagery is all about showing the product itself, the action and lifestyle imagery is all about showing the product in-use. This can be of a rider on a bike, modeling apparel at a trailhead, seeing a tool used in a shop—generally anything where we see the product in its natural environment. A lot of photographers who use wide angle and landscape-style where the person is generally smaller in the frame and the product may not even be recognizable. Much of the ad imagery I see in the outdoor industry is so vague that without a brand logo or ad copy, you wouldn’t even know what that ad is for. Is that an ad for that trail destination, for a helmet, for a bike, for a shoe? I take a different approach. By using long lenses and tighter composition, I try to make the product the hero of the image— and then mix in wider shots for setting the scene and providing context.
  • Product video and motion: This is a broad one, because generally anything I shoot still images of, I can also shoot video or motion assets of as well.  Video projects tend to need a lot of footage from various types of shooting. This can include: outdoor “action” and using the product, lifestyle and setting the scene, studio and close-up static b-roll of the product, and talking head narration. For example, for a product-based YouTube video like this one I created for Niner Bikes, all of those elements would be combined, with the host narrating about the product while various b-roll elements are shown. Deliverables for video can be vast, from simple cinemagraphs (moving photos), to short social media clips and Instragram Reels, to longer form YouTube episode content.

Above all, I want my work to meet your brand’s goals and expectations, and ultimately, to move your brand forward in a positive way. If something doesn’t look right, or isn’t working for you, I want to fix it. I love to collaborate, be a part of the team, and feel invested in the success of project.

Why Work With Me

I produce beautiful, world-class work— on time and in budget. Period.

With 20+ years experience in photography and motion, I tend to let my portfolio do most of the talking. Over the years I have been in the trenches as a creative director, graphic designer, retoucher, production artist, web developer, packaging designer, illustrator, videographer, cinematagrapher AND photographer. Because of this, I have a very good understanding of the timelines, potential difficulties, requirements, and goals you may have with your project.

  • I prefer to work with clients that are interested in building a long-term relationship. It’s not fun to continually search for new clients. The more we work together, the stronger my work becomes for you. I like to feel invested in my clients and passionate for the success of your brand.
  • My experience and style are my two biggest selling points. I’m a safe bet when you need high-end work, while still meeting deadlines and budgets.
  • I am a perfectionist and strive to get technical details, image coloration, and lighting just right. I have a strong eye for detail and take immense pride in my workmanship and creating that perfect image (moving or still).
  • I have the proper tools for the job to get high-end results quickly and effectively.
  • There will always be someone willing to do the job cheaper. That’s okay. Doing great work in this industry takes experience, skill, and loads of expensive equipment. You get what you pay for.
  • I am a curated member of the Wonderful Machine network of photographers.

How Much Will This Cost?

I fall into a unique spot: solo work often on a professional level on-par with larger agencies or studios, but at a much lower cost; but definitely higher in quality and cost than “hey, I know a guy” territory.

Budget and pricing is often the hardest part of a project and generally includes: a creative or shoot fee, editing/processing time, usage/licensing, equipment usage/rental, and any expenses travel, expendables, talent/model fees, etc.

The creative fee can be based on the number of images to be created, video shooting time needed, post processing and editing time needed, estimated shoot length, project deadline, complexity, location, and other factors. Depending on project specifics and client-preference, projects can be priced based on a day rate or a flat all-inclusive project amount.

For projects that have a very defined scope (e.g., 6 images of this item, in the studio, on white) all-in project pricing works great. For more open-ended projects, a project with many variables, as-we-go pricing tends to be easy and low stress.

Depending on the project, a license/usage fee may also be needed, based on how the images or video will be used.

A project can be broken down into three core phases: planning and pre-production, the shoot itself, and post-processing/editing/retouching. Often, advanced image post-processing like retouching, compositing, or clipping paths are essential to polish an image and complete the original project vision. Same for video editing on motion projects. This phase is highly variable and often requires more time than the shoot itself.


I have been lucky to work with a huge swath of clients, from little guys to massive corporations. Some big projects, some tiny.

  • Niner Bikes
  • Feedback Sports
  • American Classic
  • Dispatch Custom Cycling Components
  • Guerrilla Gravity
  • REEB Cycles
  • Batch Bicyles
  • VAAST Bikes
  • OtterBox
  • Outside Magazine
  • Paradigm Cycle Works
  • Yeti Cycles
  • DesFit
  • Colorado State University (CSU)
  • Ascent Studio Climbing + Fitness
  • Adidas Outdoor
  • Black Bottle Brewery
  • Liberty Firearms Institute
  • Thermo Fisher
  • The State of Wyoming
  • TecGnar
  • Organic Climbing
  • Brinkman Partners
  • EPIC Insurance Brokers
  • The Center for Fine Art Photography (C4FAP)
  • Kodak
  • Warehouse 21
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
  • Dynamic Lures
  • Fishful Thnker