Category Archives: Client Projects

Handcrafted video for a handcrafted company

If you are one of the lucky ones, you are blessed with fond memories of swapping stories and tall tales around a crackling campfire after a camping, fishing or hiking adventure ‘Up North’. How then, in our busy lives surrounded by technology and the constant state of connectivity, can we find more of those simple and carefree times?

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Frost River, a Duluth MN based maker of hand crafted leather and canvas soft goods, gets to share these types of memories and tales every day with long time customers in their workshop and storefront on West Superior Street.  In order to bring the story of their company and its heritage products to others, long time partners Frost River and Gamut One Studios collaborated to produce a video that recounts the history of their company and its enduring, generation-proof soft goods.

Videographers, Dewey Koshenina and Jeff Schmieg couldn’t have been more perfect for the job.  From multiple wilderness locales, filming the true beauty of the land and the leather and canvas products in action to Frost River’s workshop, where Dewey and Jeff captured the Frost River artisans carefully crafting each piece into what would soon become a family’s cherished heirloom.

We invite you to relax with a fresh cup of coffee or a frosty mug of beer and experience the tale of Frost River as told through the eyes of Gamut One Studios. You will quickly see how something new can become a tradition-rich favorite, full of experience from generations past and present.

G1 Studios and Frost River from Gamut One on Vimeo.

Be sure to check out our friends at Frost River for yourself the next time you are in Duluth, MN.

2015 Project Highlights –

Bill Bartlett Embraces the Cold!  Exterior Shots in Extreme Conditions

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From his mild mannered and gracious disposition, you‘d never guess that Bill Bartlett is G1’s go to guy when we need a tenacious, unshakable shooter with some spectacular photography (and meteorological) skills.

Again proving that there is no such thing as ordinary in his photography, Bill tackled dynamic “landscape” images for Guardian Energy throughout the Midwest.  Fingers numb in blasting arctic winds and below zero temps,  Bill managed to snap awe inspiring shots during early morning and late evening hours to maximize the existing interior/exterior facility lighting and dramatic sky scenes.

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As if the weather and early hours, weren’t enough, Bill was hoisted high on a scaffolding precariously waiting to catch just the right angle and lighting for the perfect shot.  And, as you can see from the photos, Bill scoffed at the conditions and pulled out some amazing shots in spite of it all.

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Who doesn’t love a cute animal photo? Gamut One Studios’ Greg Kamin taps his ‘animal’ side to capture the shots.

Social media sites are constantly flooded with cute, funny and sweet pet photos that keep us smiling, make us laugh aloud or at least give us a break from our daily doldrums.

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Which is why it is always a treat for Gamut One Studios to shoot  both four legged friends and human subjects for Patterson Companies, a market leading dental and animal health company based in St. Paul, MN.

While those adorable and hilarious social media pet photos are a blast for blowing off real work, professional images of animals are a whole ‘nother game of fetch.  After working with Patterson Companies’ animal health division for over 15 years, our own resident animal whisperer/photographer, Greg Kamin, is a master at capturing images that convey the quality and professionalism Patterson delivers for their customers.

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While on location in Chandler, Arizona, Greg photographed Andrea Stickland DVM, the staff, and a host of fuzzy felines and canines for Patterson Vet magazine.  Sounds like cuddly good fun but, did we forget to mention the iguana?

 

Dewey Koshenina’s Take on Video:  Did You Just Ship Your Prospect an $80,000 proposal?

Consider the infinite number of times each and every day that videos are seen on You Tube, Vimeo and other channels around the world.  What would it cost to reach those same viewers with a printed and shipped version of the same content? $80,000? $100K? Fortunately, Gamut One Studios’ videographer extraordinaire, Dewey Koshenina has a better way to reach your prospects.

With a recent video shoot at Meier Tool, a manufacturing facility in Anoka, Dewey and his team were able to communicate more than just the capabilities of the company.  With passionate Meier employee interviews and cleverly captured facility shots, G1 produced a video that showcased the company’s culture and its number one asset— its people and the pride they take in their work. In addition to visually featuring Meier’s people, culture and capabilities in a succinct and effective video, nobody had to spend $80K to send the message.

And, for the record, Gamut One Studios has produced stunning, high end videos as well as cost-efficient ones, too, but we’ve yet to be Oscar-nominated or bill $80K for one video.  Of course, we are open to either option!

Dodging Darts & Drones: How Jeff Schmieg’s ‘Dad’ Experience helped to Corral the Chaos on the Hovertech FX shoot.

When Marketing Architects brought their Hovertech FX shoot to Gamut One Studios, we knew Jeff’s calm, cool and collected manner would be the perfect match for capturing the action with a gaggle of boys shooting dart guns and piloting drones throughout our studio.

 

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Sure enough, the multi-day shoot for Marketing Architect’s newly launched retail website, was both crazy and fun.  Jeff proved once and again that his keen photographer’s eye and ‘child management’ skills worked well together to capture both the boys’ bona fide grins and rapid pace of flying darts and drones!

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Then, taking a full 360, Jeff completely changed up the studio’s wild and crazy atmosphere to set the stage for Marketing Architects’ Bright Eyes shoot featuring adorable ‘bright-eyed’ stuffed animals and sweet little girls. Lights were dimmed and dreamy bedroom sets in candy colored pastels made for some incredibly cute photos of girls and their Bright Eyes stuffed animals.

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Just like the Boy Scouts are always prepared and the National Guard is always ready, always there, experienced Dads like Jeff make extraordinary photographers!

Red Hot Trucking!!

Smokin’ hot!  And, our red-headed model is equally sizzling!  We know, not everyone oohs and ahhs over a Cummins ISX15 550 HP Diesel Eaton Fuller RTLO1891B 18 speed so to create a little flair, Gamut One’s Dewey Koshenina and the team at Zip’s Truck Equipment, glammed it up with some eye-candy images to enhance Zip’s new website re-design.

It’s always fun photographing dazzling models in a sea of dramatic smoke, but getting your boots dirty out in the field shooting the Zip’s fleet in action is even more exciting!  Zip’s was looking for more stylized images, so Dewey and the team opted to photograph the trucks in a variety of outdoor light on location at an airfield near the Zip’s facility.

Using separately photographed background locations, the trucks and backgrounds were composited to create drama and action.

With a little additional lighting and a lot of patience, Zip’s headquarters becomes the iconic facility that New Hampton, IA residents and Zip’s customers are very familiar with.

Steel and glass can be tricky to photograph indoors or out. However, when properly executed, lighting can heighten the quality of a shot to evoke a high end feel. Mission accomplished!!

Finally, our model and one of Zip’s spectacular trucks walk the carpet to visually create the sentiment that customer service and quality are what set Zip’s apart and ahead…an esteemed mode that Gamut One fully employs as well!!

Food Photography on the Fly

Recipe for Success

If you’ve been to the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport lately, you know that the Minneapolis Airport Commission (MAC) is pulling out all the stops to keep travelers entertained, well-fed and happy. Gamut One Studios’ Jeff Schmieg, our food shooting specialist, has been part of that project for over fifteen years now.  MAC’s most current promotion is a bi-monthly coupon book called Eat, Shop, Relax. Each cover of this book is an entree image shot by Jeff from a MSP restaurant, such as French Meadow Bakery, Ikes, Axel’s BonFire Grill, TGI Fridays, and more.  Working with Kate Dougherty from MAC Marketing, and food stylist, Laurie Goeman, Jeff uses his years of food photography experience to create mouth-watering images for the featured restaurants with such detail that visitors and travelers can almost taste them!

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Of course, every project has different challenges and this is where Jeff’s extensive experience shines. Whether it’s planning a location shoot at the airport or trying to simulate the atmosphere of the restaurant in studio, there are issues and details that need creative solutions.  Props, backgrounds and table top surfaces are cleverly chosen to enhance each image aesthetic and theme as well as addressing height and size challenges like a horizontal product needing to fit the Eat, Shop, Relax book’s narrow, vertical layout.

“Their creative, professional and detail-oriented approach always produces gorgeous looking photos. One thing that sets Gamut One Studios apart, aside from their vast amount of experience, is the extensive prop and background collection that is available.”     ~ Kate Dougherty, Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport Marketing

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Food related issues are worked out as Jeff, Laurie and Kate communicate with
the restaurants to learn the specific details of each entree and how those will affect the shoot. Is the entree going to arrive par cooked or does it need to be created fresh on set? Do we need some fresh cilantro to top the dish? Working with a flexible and experienced crew helps in creating a tasty and successful image.

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And even with all the preparation, Jeff knows better than anyone that photographing food almost always involves some ‘tricks of the trade’.  Keeping that bowl of soup or mug of beer looking like it is fresh and ready to be devoured can take tricks ranging from food replacements (hint: marbles hiding in the soup) to fast hands bringing in a new batch every few shots.  Gamut One Studios creates top-notch food images with help from food stylist, Laurie Goeman.  Laurie’s eagle eyes and quick hands work their magic while Jeff perfects the lights, angles, and focus for achieving the ultimate fresh food image that fits perfectly into the layouts.  In addition, partnerships with clients like MAC’s Kate Dougherty whose hands-on approach and upbeat attitude, help move a time-sensitive and demanding photo shoot along.

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After all that goes into the photo shoot, the final result is an appetizing photo that draws customers into the restaurants. Next time you’re at the airport, pick up one of the Eat, Shop, Relax booklets and see for yourself how Jeff’s food photography looks good enough to eat!

Problem Solving Photography

With an aggressive, long term marketing plan in place,  Medivators’ Creative Director, Sonia Leonard, wanted to capture a variety of images on location including people and environment as well as complex product photography at their Houston, Texas R&D lab for use in an array of marketing applications.  Recognizing that Medivators’ image needs were widely varied in theme, style and final use, Gamut One knew that all images would still need a consistent, finished result from an experienced, versatile photographer.

In order to streamline the process for our busy client (recent merger, new product line), Gamut One photographer, Bill Bartlett, who has over 25 years of expertise photographing medical products and more, helped Medivators set an efficient photo shoot agenda for a rigorous five day shoot.

Bill designed a plan with the Medivators’ marketing team that would create a substantial library of proprietary images in a broad range of themes and styles that could later be used individually or combined in detailed composites to control position and focus as well as allowing flexibility in the future to re-configure the elements for a unique finished image.  This is an effective way to visually create and express a marketing message such as showcasing Medivators’ high level of personal service and detailed product in a single composite.

For example, in the below image, the model, background and product were all shot at different times with their own precise staging structure to ensure the perspective, lighting and composition for both images flowed with one another.

Gamut One Studios and their clients often find exceptional value in this approach for building a client’s internal library that can be used in a variety of applications for long-term use.  The opposite approach, where companies purchase stock images will often result in inefficient spending, lack of personalized images also commonly used by competitors and poor usage options for long-term, multiple uses.  Gamut One Studios’ photographers will always work with our clients to meet all their needs in a carefully planned and efficiently executed photo shoot.

Additional to thorough planning, pre-production meetings and shoot day execution, the final piece of the Medivators’ photo shoot involved Bill’s evaluation and adjustments of images to create an essential compilation of finished, professional images.  Medivators now has a collection of high quality, original images that will be useful long term in diverse applications.

Do you have a photography dilemma or are you wondering if a photo shoot could be in your budget?  It will be worth your time to contact us at Gamut One Studios and we can walk you through the various options for achieving the best value and the highest quality, custom images that your business needs.

Capturing the Screams

Put yourself in Bill’s shoes. Recently he set out to photograph the atmosphere of Nickelodeon Universe, a world-class amusement park. The best way to comprehend the challenge Bill faced is to visit the park at Mall of America. As proven in Nickelodeon’s 2012 marketing campaign, “We Want Your Scream,” the place is an overwhelming, kid’s nirvana. Bill’s recent assignment was to capture it all.

As you may know, the campaign went on to become an award-winning success. Just how did Gamut One contribute to this brand-building blockbuster? Well, Bill’s photography figures prominently in the campaign. Here’s how he operates…

First of all, Bill plans everything possible. Clients often ask: What contributes to a successful photographic shoot? The answer: Technical execution is critical, but the key to great photography and successful integration with the overall marketing campaign comes down to planning.

At Mall of America there were time constraints due to scheduling. Additionally, Mall of America’s enormous skylights change the lighting minute-by-minute. Navigating the model group through the rides required upfront planning and careful on-site management. Timing was a constant consideration. Allowing a motion sick kid to take one more “drop” on the Rock Bottom Drop (it’s exactly what it sounds like!) wouldn’t get Bill the shot he needed. Because the opportunity to capture genuine emotion is fleeting, successful shots don’t just happen, they are planned.

Understanding the key client objective is critical. During pre-shoot discussions with the client about the goals for “We Want Your Scream,” the mandate became pretty clear: capture the scream. To do so, Bill pushed the limit. Since he was dealing with high speeds and excitement, he had to board the rides. Riding backwards on a roller coaster eight times to get the perfect shot? Been there. Done that.

When Bill walked through the amusement park for a pre-shoot visit he was immediately struck by the magnitude of technical aspects the job would face. Each ride presented different obstacles and opportunities due to the layout and pure emotions of the ride models. Through utilization of stop action photography techniques, Bill was able to freeze flowing hair and capture peak emotions. Tactics such as slow shutter speed and effective panning illustrated the speed and raw power of the ride experience.

When Bill starts having fun it’s contagious. By participating with the group he gained insight into their experience and captured the unique essence of each ride. At Gamut One, having fun is more than a method of meeting client goals, it’s a competitive advantage.

And that’s the story of how Bill took more speed than a photographer can handle (to this day he can’t look at the Splat – O – Sphere, without getting “that sinking feeling”). To keep up with our adventures in photography subscribe to our RSS feed.

Hangin’ with the Prez

Gamut One Studios had a brush with fame last Friday when photographers Jeff Schmieg and Dewey Koshenina had the unique opportunity to photograph President Barack Obama.  President Obama spent the mid-day touring and speaking at Honeywell while our swift and skillful photographers captured it all on camera.

The President has an extremely tight schedule, so when you are photographing him, you’ve got to be quick and on your game.   Gamut One Studios, a contracted Honeywell vendor, was brought in to photograph the President’s visit and provided Honeywell with over 400 press ready images within hours of the event.  Images were uploaded to a private web gallery where the Honeywell staff could quickly access and distribute images as needed for public relations, documentation and promotion.

Seeing how the whole White House machine operates behind the scenes was very interesting.  It was a complex process but most notably, a very well oiled machine that is highly choreographed for maximum efficiency and security.

As you can probably imagine, the day was full of protocol, politics and stoic secret service agents. That doesn’t phase Jeff, our ‘nerves of steel’ photographer who has smoothly photographed tactical response teams while expert marksmen pointed automatic weapons at him.  Provided with White House Press Pool credentials, Jeff followed the President as he toured parts of the manufacturing floor and met Honeywell employees.  Jeff was then allowed inside the rope-line to photograph the president up close during the speech.

Rubbing Elbows with the Associated Press and White House Staff photographers who cover the president every day brought new insight into the workings of this political operation.  Dewey photographed the event from the main press stage for another view point of the action.

Capturing the spark and excitement that people had when meeting President Obama made our job even better.  The kids (and many adults) in attendance were beyond excited… beaming with perma-grins as they showed off their autographs and photos while they soaked in the whole experience.

We got some cool press pool badges that make great souvenirs from the event.  I think Jeff and Dewey will wear them all week…you just never know when you may want to impress someone!

Robots, smoke grenades and paint bullets

It’s easy to stay passionate about a job when you work in vastly different environments each day.

Often, we’re in the studio lighting and shooting products, many times we’re on location in offices, factories and at events. And, sometimes we have tactical response teams pointing loaded weapons at us.

That was Jeff’s shoot out in Alameda County, California for Recon Robotics. He has been photographing their products in studio and location for the past five years. Jeff’s extensive knowledge of the product and close working relationship with Recon has now provided more unique location photography opportunities.

A recent assignment took Jeff to Urban Shield, a SWAT and Tactical Response Team training and evaluation event with teams from California, Israel and Jordan competing.

SWAT Team Photography

The event ran for 48 straight hours with 27 different scenarios.  Recon Robotics sponsored one scenario in which the teams could utilize the Scout XT Robot to be more effective.  Recon wanted photos of the teams using their robot in training situations and to build their corporate image library.

Jeff liked the fast-action shoot and seeing the teams from Israel and Jordan. He says, “Having expert marksmen pointing loaded automatic weapons at you will always make you think twice, even if it’s just paint.”

Gamut One Studios - On LocationAnd, sometimes the perks are nice too. Jeff got to ride in this $170K Tactical Response Vehicle, aptly called the BAT.

In the last few weeks, he’s traveled in and out of state to photograph several different uses of Recon’s products. He worked with the Minneapolis Bomb Squad photographing the robots being used to help identify and scout police scenarios with possible explosives.

The latest shoot took Jeff to Fort Ripley near Brainerd, Minn. with a National Guard Squad.  The military uses the Scout XT to help units with reconnaissance missions where they can remotely deploy the robot into buildings, around barriers and in the identification of suspected improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The project was very successful.  We look forward to providing Recon Robotics with more great images while they build awareness of their great products.