Well it has once again been a while since my last update from the road… So what have we been up to? Summer came and went by in a flash and it was probably the busiest summer I’ve had in 20 years. Since my last post we have been nonstop with one project after another. The last two months alone I’ve crisscrossed the country from corner to corner multiple times crossing the Mississippi 12 times for various projects. We’ve been to Arizona, California, Maine, North Carolina, Jamaica, Florida twice and back to Oregon on projects for Huffy Bikes, Merck Pharmacueticals, Miami Cancer Institute, Vista Print, High West Whiskey and Alaska Brewing. Most of these projects are still in post production or not yet released to the public so I can’t show them yet, but I’ll post them as soon as I am allowed.
It is hard to believe but it has been a full year since we first left on our journey across the country. It has been a whirlwind trip so far and we have no plans to stop for the foreseeable future. To date we have logged close to 16,000 driving miles and I’ve flown well over 30,000 miles on various jobs that happened over the last year as well. See our Google MyMap to see where we have been.
It’s been the experience of a lifetime…. we have been to some amazing places and met some really great people along the way not to mention shooting a zillion photos. I have to thank my wife for pushing me to do this as if it weren’t for her persistence we never would have left on this trip and the opportunities and projects that have come from it probably never would have happened. My American Worker Project took off with a bang and continues to garner great exposure. Back in July we shot hot air ballooning in Sedona Arizona and most recently I shot in the Firestone Walker Brewery in their wooden barrel aging plant. A few new proposed shoots to continue the project include potential shoots with the US Coastguard training at Cape Disappointment in Washington and also shooting with the brave men and women who fight the wild fires out that have been raging throughout California this summer. We have also been shooting a ton of travel related subjects featuring the many amazing locations we have had the pleasure of visiting.
Some of the best and most epic locations we had the pleasure of visiting included Monument Valley, The Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree and Yosemite National Park. We took advantage of all these locations for the High West Whiskey project which is currently in post production and creative stages with the ad agency. I am very excited about the images we have created here and can’t wait to share them with you. For now these teasers from my Instagram will have to do.
As we steam headlong into fall things are continuing to look good as we are being considered for assignments and image uses for various projects for Chase Bank, STP, Fidelity Investments, and Orvis Fishing. Fingers and toes crossed on these as they look to be some really cool projects!
Stay tuned for future adventures as our fall calendar is packed with travel to Washington, up into BC Canada, (around Vancouver up near Whistler) and returning back down through Oregon… With later plans taking us back into California, Utah and Colorado over the winter.
We recently had the opportunity to shoot at the Firestone Walker Brewing Company in California. Firestone is a cool up and coming company in the brewing world. Founded by Adam Firestone, great grandson to Harvey Firestone of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and his brother in law David Walker. Firestone Walker has a unique brewing process where they age their brew in oak barrels during fermentation. This renders an oaky taste to the brew which is unique in a beer.
In our shoot we focused on the various processes from working the initial brewing vats through quality control, sampling the raw brew stock to labeling and packaging.
I had the pleasure recently to travel back to Jamaica on an assignment for Vista Print. I always love going to Jamaica. The people there are always so nice. We’ve spent many a month down there traveling to all corners of the map on assignments for Superclubs Resorts, Jamaica Tourism and the like….
This particular assignment was for Vista Print. We were tasked with the mission to go to their international call center and photograph some of their most valued employees for a new customer service oriented campaign. These are the people that man their call centers and are responsible for sales and customer relations and support. Having a call center based in Jamaica is a bit out of the norm these days as most are hosted out of India. The folks that work at this particular call center are a special bunch. They all seem to genuinely love their jobs and it shows in the way they treat their customers. Customer service is job one but it goes beyond that. They have been known to develop ongoing relationships that go beyond what you would expect of even the best customer service employees. One of these fine ladies actually had someone bring her cookies when she was taking a vacation to Jamaica with her family. She tracked her down took time out of her vacation and brought her cookies! Safe to say they are very likeable.
Because of that, and the fact that they provide a quality product a very competitive prices, Vista Print enjoys a large percentage of repeat and loyal customers. The picture shown above is one of the many people we had the privilege of meeting and photographing. Her name is Saju. She had an amazing energy and was so pleased to be a star for a day for us.
Hi there… me again. Thanks for coming back for Part 2 of my “Update from the Road” Spring 2016 edition. When we left off earlier this week I was recounting the various shoot projects from our stay here in Park City from the last couple months, but that is just part of the story. For those of you scratching your heads wondering “how the heck is this guy able to do this?” I thought I’d share a little insight on what it takes to make it happen… No I didn’t hit the lottery, nor was I born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Just good old hard work and careful planning & budgeting…
So what does it take keep this journey successful and profitable? It is no different than if I were in my office back home in Florida. Well it is different in that my view outside my office window is always different. 🙂
Day after day in between shoots and when we are not traveling, I put in the long hours that feed the machine and do the things that make it all happen. Like any small business owner I wear many hats…. The producer hat- This entails countless days on the computer and the phone planning and producing our next project. The retoucher hat- There is a ton of post work from shoots past…. processing of images that need to be retouched, color graded and finished. The marketer hat – Once the images are finished comes the job of pushing these images out to the various portals such as online portfolios, websites, stock agencies, social media, getting new work to the reps and working on creating new marketing materials. I’ve doubled down on my advertising budgets and am going heavy with my media buys this year. We have just finished sending out our next three spreads in The Workbook for the book that comes out this fall. Also we are going to be advertising in Communication Arts for the Photo Annual that comes out this summer. I’m also very excited about the direct mail piece we are mailing now…. It is a 28 page 6.5 x 8 inch printed booklet of images from my American Worker Project that is hot off the press at the printers and is mailing this week out to 3000 creatives and other clients across the country. Click the image below to thumb through the booklet.
I also printed 5 hard cover books of images which are a Volume 1 of the American Worker Project… That will serve as a supplement to my printed portfolios for in person showings.
It Takes A Team: Last but certainly not least are the people who support me… All that I mention above is just part of what it takes run the biz… I am fortunate to have a great team behind me and there is no way I could do all this without them. My reps Blake and Glen at VISU are busy making the rounds with portfolio showings at advertising agencies all across the country from NY to Detroit, Chicago and on to Minneapolis this month and they will show in the west from Dallas, on to LA, San Francisco and Seattle later in the year.
I’ve also been working hard with my my marketing partners at Wonderful Machine getting some great press and establishing a ton of new contacts. Working closely with Alex (pictured left and center below) we have implemented a whole new marketing plan…. She has been busy creating new, targeted lists and then promoting to those people by sending out emails and working the phones, getting people to look at the work and setting up meetings for me to show the work when we get to various cities around the country.
Meanwhile I’ve been working closely with my publicist Jessica (also from WM – pictured on right below) to put together a press release announcing the work we are doing with my American Worker Project. She then sent them out to a targeted list of about 40 photography trade publications and we have had a fantastic response from them. To date we have had about 8 interviews and articles written about the project. You can read some of them here. Future plans are to broaden our reach to include various photo blogs and podcasts and outward to the advertising trades, consumer magazines and newspapers as well.
The proof is in the pudding: Judging from the analytics that report activity on my website and blog, we are doing something right… People seem to be liking what they are seeing. Traffic on my website and blog over the last month has spiked as much as 15 times my normal daily traffic after some of the articles hit and my overall average has just about tripled on a day to day basis in since the articles ran.
The results of all this hard work: It is very rewarding to see that all this work is leading to positive results…. The calls are coming in for bunches of cool projects. Most of which I can’t give you the details of as we are under NDA’s. But what I can tell you is that we are up for a shoot with global reach for a beverage company shooting with an international sports star shooting in late June in Orlando. I also had a call this morning for a job for AirBnB.
Jobs that have been awarded…. We have also had the good fortune to land a few really great gigs that are happening over the next two months… One of these jobs is an awesome sports lifestyle oriented shoot with a large Pharmaceutical company that will have us shooting in the mountains of North Carolina early next month.
I am also extremely excited to be working on a project with a legend in the advertising industry, on some really exciting work for a Whiskey distiller. This is an ongoing project that I will be shooting at various points in the upcoming month as we travel across the west from here in Park City on down through Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, back through Sedona and then westward to California. Should be some killer stuff that hopefully will catch the attention of the awards shows when finished.
Next week we are heading down to Jamaica for a quick job for Vista Print. Should be cool, it’s been a few years since I’ve shot in Jamaica. Will be great to get back.
And last but not least, getting back to what I mentioned earlier in Part 1, I’ve just returned from Florida where we shot a tandem Print and TV shoot with Huffy Bikes alongside the talented director Ernie Mosteller of Fried Okra Entertainment. Fun Stuff!!!
Wrapping this up…. So that’s it for now. Thanks for following along, if you don’t already follow me on Instagram, please do… my Instagram handle is @petebarrettphoto and is chock full of interesting shots from our adventures.
Don’t forget to check back in!!! – Stay tuned for more great adventures from the road in the coming months as we press on up the coast of California and north up the Pacific Coast Highway up through Big Sur, Yosemite National Park, through big sequoia country and northward through Oregon, Washington and hopefully British Columbia!
This entry into The American Worker Series led me way up high to some of the very best back country skiing terrain available in the country. I was very fortunate recently to have been invited to join the guides of Park City Powder Cats on the beautiful 1000 Peaks Ranch in the high Uinta Mountains just east of Park City Utah for two days during a storm that dumped well over foot and a half of fresh powder on of some of the most epic terrain I have ever ridden. Over the two days I met some amazing people and got some really great photos while getting access to some of the most epic skiing and snowboarding terrain one can find. *Note- Some of these images need to be seen large to really get enormity of the terrain…. click the image to see a larger version.For those of you that have not heard of back country Powder Cat skiing, you don’t know what you have been missing. Instead of skiing within the boundaries of a ski resort and being herded with the hoards and masses up ski lifts where you are lucky if you get one un-tracked line on a powder day, you are instead being brought up a private mountain in a heated Powder Cat coach that delivers you and 9 or 10 other lucky skiers and snowboarders to the top of some of the best un-tracked terrain in the country. At Park City Powder Cats they have over 43,000 acres of private land to choose from. That is an area larger than Vail, Aspen and Killington Mountains combined. What that means is you can go for days and days and never have to ski over someone’s tracks if you choose not to. We are talking HUGE bowls of steep and deep riding in some of the lightest and fluffiest powder I have ever experienced, which says a lot as I have well over 20 years on the snow.
A warning though…. a few good days here will literally ruin your experience at even the very best ski resort out there. It sets the benchmark way high and everything else pales by comparison. 🙂
So epic skiing aside, my reason for being here was to shoot the people that make it all happen at PCcats. I wanted to document the hard working ski guides, snow safety and drivers that take people out day after day into some of the most incredible, (yet potentially dangerous) areas to feed their nonstop craving for fresh un-tracked powder. Over our two day shoot I had the pleasure of shooting and riding with their amazing guides Johnny, Jason, Chris and Nancy. These folks have the best jobs in the world and they are very good at it. Their ever present positive attitude is infectious. Though I guess it would be easy to be positive given the venue in which they work!
It’s not all just “atta boy’s and good jobs” though, in addition to making sure people have a great time, this hard working team’s most important job is one of making sure your experience is a safe one. You have to remember that this is the back country and it can be extremely dangerous if you do not respect it and know what you are doing. Avalance potential is ever present in the back country and it is paramount that you know what to do and not to do. Every skiier is given an avalanche beacon and a safety briefing in the morning before leaving base camp. Before each individual run, they tell you exactly where to go, or (more importantly), where not to go to keep you safe. The guides work very closely with their expert snow safety patrols. Together they constantly assess the conditions and determine where their next run will be and exactly what parts of each peak will be not only the best run, but also how to best approach these runs to get everyone down safely without incedent.
Their snow safety team are constantly out on the various parts of the mountain during the day cutting new lines, knocking down dangerous cornices and throwing the occasional explosive charge to help mitigate much of the avalanche risk. They work hand in hand with the guides to help them to craft the perfect day for their guests and keep them out of harm’s way.The image above shows snow safety patrollers Dave and Wes setting a charge to help shake loose any dangerous snow that might potentially be a problem to their guests. This particular shot was from Day 1 of our shoot way up high around 11,000 feet on a seriously steep grade with a dangerous cornice during one of the only moments where the visibility was good and not a complete white out. Nothing like heading out to the top of the world and throwing explosives, all in the name of safety! They have to be on top of their game and have razor sharp focus as without what they do, as the guides would have no way of knowing what each face is doing on that particular day without them.
This is General Manager and head honcho Ron. This guy is amazing. He is quite literally everywhere doing every conceivable job you can think of… from helping coordinate guests, to running a cat up the mountain to groom the cat trails so that the drivers can get the guests to where they need to be, to shuttling people out on snowmobiles that need to get to different areas around the mountain, to coordinating with a production company filming a movie on property. He does everything and all with a constant smile on his face! With him running the show and his amazing “Can Do” attitude it is no surprise that he has such a well oiled and positive team. Good management filters down through the ranks and it shows throughout their entire operation.
Last but not least are their team of talented powder cat drivers. Without these guys at the helm they wouldn’t be able to deliver their guests to these amazing spots. Make no mistake, their job is not easy. They have to be experts at what they are doing. These are large, HEAVY pieces of machinery, they do everything from crossing running ice cold river beds to climbing up super steep grades and chugging through giant snow drifts that can take 5 or 6 tries to get through. There are many times on any given climb when you look out the window and realize you are motoring up a steep grade riding on only a tiny ridge line with no room to spare on either side, and thousand foot drops to your right and left. These guys do it without breaking a sweat!!
If you are an advanced skiier and you’ve never done this before, you owe it to yourself to save up and go out and do it at least once. I guarantee when you leave, you will leave craving your next opportunity! You can reach them here to book your next trip!!
The earlybird catches the wake skater! Got up early on this morning to shoot wake skaters at Camp Modin. Nothing like waking up at 4:15 and on the water at 5:00 am on a crisp 52 degree summer morning in Maine. These kids braved the cold and never once complained. When it’s chilly like that the water actually seems really warm!
Well summer is finally here and let the fun begin! Schools are out and it is time for kids everywhere to get out and enjoy all the things that kids get to do in the summer. As many of you know every summer we move our base of operations to Maine to the quaint little town of Belgrade Lakes. See the enclosed link to see some of the fun stuff we shot last summer and featured in a recent direct mail piece that went out to about 3,500 creatives at advertising agencies and client direct clients around the country. Click here or on the image below to see the mailer
This year we are looking forward to doing more great stuff. Shooting several new projects both in video and stills of everything from a beverage project of teens enjoying a day of rope swinging at the lake, to a video project of a grandpa and grandson out fishing and other fun lifestyle scenarios. I am also planning to start a personal series documenting real people such as river rafting guides, fishing guides, boat builders, commercial lobstermen and other local flavor.
I am looking to collaborate with as many people as I can on these projects so if you are a creative person or someone in the industry such as crew or talent or just want to come out and lend a hand and learn how we do what we do, give me a call at 305/557-0694 or drop me an email at email@example.com
So my most recent lifestyle portfolio project is one that is all about color and energy. Back about a year ago, I was shooting at the Color Vibe 5K run and got some good images but thought that it would be even better to come back, and this time bring a handful of young models along with me to recreate the scene, but with a bit more control. This way I could provide them with direction and guide the energy the way I truly wanted it. It also gave me an opportunity to throw in some products and skew it a little more toward the commercial side so that it’s appropriate for my potential clients. This one ended up targeted toward Coke, as I and my reps have had several RFP’s and estimates this year for several large Coke projects, both for national and international campaigns. We’re actually up for two more as we speak. (fingers crossed!) The idea for this latest project was inspired by the traditional spring Holi festival. See below and more images to follow:
The inspiration for this event was of course the Holi Festival. It started as a celebration of the victory of the good over the bad and the beginning of the spring in India. It also happens to be super fun and has evolved into events ranging from private parties to festivals. People have just taken the idea and run with it, which has turned into a fun thing to do.
In this case, we used a Color Vibe 5K Run as our backdrop so that we could get the depth and volume of people to add to our background. Having shot the event last year, I knew there were going to be thousands of people there covered in color and getting crazy in the after-party of the run. I just brought in seven of my own millennial, ‘twenty-something’ models, our own giant box of multicolored powder and put them in the middle of the masses and directed them to have a great time. They kept throwing color and dancing to the music of the DJ that the venue had on the main stage. The models were awesome and really had a fun time with it.
I am planning a follow up to take this project one step further, shooting a motion version, all in variable speeds ramping from normal speed to extreme slow mo. The inspiration for this (more for the effect of the powder not the actual subject) is a great video on Vimeo that the folks at Variable did https://vimeo.com/40123818 I’ll be sure to share the results once we shoot it!”
We recently had the opportunity to shoot the “Microsoft In Education” global print campaign. It was an awesome gig which had us creating 45 shots over the course of a fast paced 3 day shoot. Talent on the shoot ranged from young grade school kids up through collegiate age students and teachers. All in all the production from casting, scouting, prepro, shoot and post lasted just over 2 & 1/2 weeks. The Microsoft in Education program is a program that gives computers and software technology to schools around the world so that students of all ages can learn and grow. Working with an awesome team we were able to create a large amount of quality images in a short amount of time. Thanks go to our awesome clients at Microsoft, NHS and FCB. I wish all clients were as great to work with! Also could not have done it without my amazing crew! Here are a few of the first shots of some of the older students. More to come…..
I just started a new Instagram page as a place where people can follow a mix of my personal work and some of my book work with a twist of personal flair. I’ll be adding images daily. I hope you’ll FOLLOW me… click here and then click Follow.
Here is a compilation of video taken from the spots I recently directed for Pure Protein.
Client: Pure Protein
Director: Pete Barrett www.petebarrett.com
Cinematographer: David Hall www.iphotoinc.com
Editor: Emily Mitchell www.filmsaboutfamily.com
Here is the 2nd Commercial I directed for Pure Protein.
Here is the 1st commercial I directed for Pure Protein for Moosylvania.
Just wrapped an awesome shoot with St Louis based Moosylvania and Pure Protein! We spent the better part of a week in production shooting a series of 5 print ads and 5 commercials for Pure Protein to be released in the coming months. I can’t show anything just yet but we did some killer stuff! Shooting all sports and active lifestyle. Great clients and a fantastic crew, Thanks everyone! Images and footage to come as soon as I can show them.
We recently did few shoots for Sports Illustrated for an advertorial for McDonalds. This first one was with pro tennis player Jack Sock. The assignment was to take him out to a location with a “Florida feel” and capture him in various action poses while dressed in his street clothes. There was an accompanying interview article with Jack about his background and his quick rise to fame within the pro tennis world.
Jack was really great to work with. He gave us his all despite it being quite hot on the beach and having to jump many times in jeans and a button down shirt. In the end it made for a nice shot. This is one of my favorites from the shoot. The magazine went with a slightly different angle where he was performing his signature serve. This one feels a bit more dynamic to me.
We had the opportunity a while back to shoot some Nascar racing at the Homestead Motor Speedway for the Dodge Race Team. If you’ve never had the opportunity to get right down in the hot zone on Pit Row, I highly recommend it. Super cool to see these crews at work. They are a well oiled machine. Everyone has their specific job and when that car rolls in, they jump to it and zip zap, the car is jacked up, all 4 tires changed, fully fueled, windshield cleaned and water for the driver… all in a matter of seconds. While he is out screaming around the track at over 200 mph, the crew is hard at work, scraping the tires to analyze the rubber to see what the track condition is doing to the wheels and a team of guys watches on screens, monitoring the car and keeping in constant contact with the driver. It is awesome!
Also, there is nothing like Nascar Fans… these folks are die hard, hard core fans. Everyone has their favorite and there is no telling them otherwise. In their mind, that person is a king Sh*t racing legend and is GOING to win this time! Nothing like a hot afternoon, cold beer and fast cars.