WHAT I DO

Commercial photography is a broad category that involves creating images for other businesses for use in advertising and marketing. It can encompass a wide range of types, subjects, and industries.

For me, this generally means some form of product-based photography or videography, whether that is in the studio or lifestyle or action shoots on-location. I tend to gravitate towards the outdoor industry because that’s where my personal passions lay: mountain biking, rock climbing, camping, hiking, etc. This is not a limitation or rule though. I have produced stellar works in many other industries including: beer/beverage, internal corporate, insurance, mobile technology, electronics, local business, and more.

I want my work to meet your 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 know. I love to collaborate with my clients so that you feel involved and comfortable with the creative direction of the project. It’s also important in the process to experiment and take creative risks. That experimentation is what can take a project to the next level.

The state of professional photography is a mixed bag these days. Not everyone who owns a decent camera is a professional. I don’t believe in hiring the cheapest person you can find to do a “good enough” job. I focus on the world-class quality of my work and the value of the experience and skill I bring to any project. Competing to see who can do something the cheapest is a red flag that quality is not important.

Why Work With Me

I have 20+ years experience in photography and videography and tend to let my portfolio do most of the talking. I have been in the trenches as a creative director, graphic designer, retoucher, production artist, web developer, packaging designer, illustrator, videographer AND photographer. Because of this, I have a very good understanding of the restrictions, potential problems, requirements, and desires you may have for your photo or video project.

That said, here’s some thoughts:

  • I prefer to only work with clients that I believe in and am interested in supporting outside of the job. I like to feel invested in the work I produce for you, and rep your product and brand.
  • I prefer to work with clients that are interested in building a long-term working relationship. It’s very hard to continually search for new clients, and my work only gets stronger for you the more we work together and our visions align.
  • 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. No nonsense. Let’s get down to it and create some amazing imagery.
  • I have a strong sense of detail and pride in my workmanship. I enjoy creating that perfect image. I’m proud of the time and quality I invest in a project and prefer to use my experience, capability, and vision to create high-end results for a reasonable cost. If you’re interested in quick-n-dirty projects on a low budget, I’m probably not a good fit.
  • There will always be someone willing to do the job cheaper. That’s okay. If low cost is your #1 driver in selecting a creative, I’m probably not a good fit. This is not to say I’m incredibly expensive. I’m happy to talk budget and get creative in how we figure out how to work together so that we’re both happy. I like to bring a ton of value to the table, just not at a cutthroat price. Photo and video work at this level is incredibly deep in terms of the equipment, software, and knowledge required.

I have an arsenal of camera, studio, and lighting equipment on-hand for just about any scenario. For everything else, we can rent! Big and small studio strobes, including battery packs for location shooting, all manner of light modifiers and grip, continuous lighting for video, gimbal for smooth shots, GoPro for action, backpacks for getting out in the field, and multiple camera bodies and lenses. I’ve done shoots all over the place: on a trail 20 miles from civilization, in a live manufacturing shop, out of the back of a moving car, and in a hotel conference room.

A lot of my work is out on the trail, and for that, I’ve got portable equipment that I pack in a backpack and can jump on a bike to ride with everyone.

Whether it’s a video or photo project, I have a full roster of specialists that I collaborate with… including stylists, makeup, illustrators, copy writers, web developers, social media/PR specialists, and more.

To be honest, pricing and negotiating project terms is often the hardest part of a project. There are numerous ways to price a project, some of which include by retainer, per image, per project, or per minute of video.

I tend to prefer all-in project pricing if the scope is solid, or per image or video minute. I try to avoid pricing per hour or via a day-rate unless the scope is unknown. Depdning on the project, a usage fee  may also be added that is dependent on how the images/video will be used (see the Image Licensing section below), and any specialty equipment, supplies or other expenses necessary to complete the shoot.

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, I may price based on a day rate, per image, or a flat all-inclusive project amount.

Normally, a shoot can be broken down into three core phases: planning/prep, the shoot itself, and post-processing/editing. Often, advanced image post-processing like retouching, compositing, or clipping paths are essential to polish an image and complete the original project vision. This phase is highly variable and can be just as time-intensive as the shoot itself. Same for video editing.

  • Basic image processing for stills (white balance, brightness, color accuracy)
  • Fully cut and edited video
  • Digital image capture (45mp for stills; 1080P / 4K for video, 8K possible)
  • Output of proofing images/videos for review and approval
  • Output and upload of final deliverable files to web server

 

Potential Add-ons

  • Higher resolutions for still or video
  • Image retouching, composites, clipping
  • Studio usage/rental cost
  • Lighting and equipment usage/rental cost
  • Image licensing/usage
  • Camera equipment and lens usage/rental
  • Set design, construction, props
  • Expendables like backdrop paper, studio supplies
  • Travel, meals, parking
  • Models, assistants, stylists

According to US law, a photographer automatically owns the copyright to any images they create. The photographer then licenses specific usage rights, by means of a contract, to a client  based on how/when/where they want to use the images.

Image usage fees are generally based on industry-standard guidelines that include the following criteria:

  • Number of images: Quantity price discounts
  • Media: Print, web, television, advertising, social media, etc.
  • Distribution size: Number of copies printed, or viewing audience size
  • Geography: National, regional, international, etc.
  • Exclusivity: Exclusive or non-exclusive use
  • Length of use: 1 print run, 1 year, 2 years, etc.
  • Prominence of display: 1/4 page, 1/2 page, full-page, front/back cover, home page (web), interior page (web), etc.

Depending on the project, I sometimes waive the usage fee to include 1 year usage for website and social media, non-exclusive, with photo credit to JMV Digital or Justin VanAlstyne (where reasonable). Any other usage, including a longer duration or for use in advertising, typically requires an additional negotiable usage fee. Larger companies who may expose the image(s) to a large audience should expect industry-standard usage fees.

Use of my images is not allowed in any form unless expressly granted.

I like to keep communication and expectations on the up-and-up, and thus, as boring as it is, a signed agreement and deposit is typically required before the start of a project. The project balance must be paid in full before final delivery of the project files and before any usage rights transfers are complete.

CLIENTS

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

  • Guerrilla Gravity
  • Niner Bikes
  • Outside Magazine
  • Paradigm Cycle Works
  • REEB Cycles
  • Yeti Cycles
  • DesFit
  • CO Active
  • Colorado State University (CSU)
  • Integro Insurance Brokers
  • OtterBox
  • Ascent Studio Climbing + Fitness
  • Adidas Outdoor
  • Black Bottle Brewery
  • Liberty Firearms Institute
  • The State of Wyoming
  • Organic Climbing
  • Brinkman Partners
  • Marsh Insurance Brokers
  • The Center for Fine Art Photography (C4FAP)
  • Kodak
  • Warehouse Twenty One
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
  • Dynamic Lures
  • Element K (now Skillsoft)
  • Performance Design Products (PDP)