Thursday, November 8, 2012

That's Gonna Hurt

Three Advertising and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta asked me to photograph some more of their ads - thrilled to work with them again!

The five ads we shot have been well received and CHOA wanted to put together some more.

The brief was straightforward... "capturing that moment before a kid gets injured doing what they do."
For obvious reasons, I wasn't able to actually photograph the moment prior to impact - so images were pieced together.
Knowing that there were design elements in the ads that required me to create compositions within a fairly tight space, I came to the shoot with a strong pre-visualization of how I would choreograph the athletes.

With the football and lacrosse imagery I photographed individual players, with some of them launching themselves from a small trampoline (not to worry, we had them land on a large safety pad!).

The cheerleading image came together real smooth.  We had a large trampoline delivered to the set and when we were ready to shoot, we turned our "flier" loose.  I shot images of her jumping... actually, falling would be more accurate.
And in no time at all, we found ourselves with more images than we knew what to do with.

Element one was a wrap.

Onward to the second element which involved some creative choreography.
Picture this... my assistant perched on a twelve foot ladder, throwing a heavy cushion to where I directed.
We made sure it had an awkward shape and with enough girth to make catching it difficult too.  I had him add a little spin for good measure and with that, we had these young ladies lunging to catch it as though it were one of their own.

It worked like a champ and the pieces all fell into place.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Adirondack Region

Imagery from a wonderful project for an agency that I've been wanting to work with for a while.
When they contacted me & sent the layouts over... you can imagine how stoked I was!
Anyhow, I pitched them on the idea of shooting the project in upstate New York - for a variety of reasons. All of which made sense to them.
We worked with a scout who knew the Adirondacks like the back of his hand & he managed to secure a slew of wonderful locations.
And as it usually does, the weather just kind of worked itself out.
I'd have to say that one of the most memorable moments was when a pair of loons swam into the composition while a flight of geese flew overhead (all of this in the midst of fall color).
A huge thank you goes out to Tonya Rinehart & John Rosato @ Mullen for giving me the opportunity to create the imagery.
And as always, thanks to Jon Heglund & Pat Blewett for being a part of the process too!
One last thing... a great place to stay when driving thru Pottersville, NY.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Very Big Deal

"You have to love dancing to stick to it.  It gives you nothing back. There are no manuscripts to store away,
no paintings to show on walls... ,  nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive."

- Merce Cunningham

We have a ballerina living in our home.
She's creeping up on fourteen and is madly in love with dance.
To her, dancing isn't something that can be explained, it has to be... danced!
Truth be told, no explanation is needed because when you watch her onstage, it is absolutely beautiful.

We are truly blessed to have a daughter who is passionate about something so early in her life.
My wife use to tell me that the baby inside of her hadn't stopped dancing for months and that we're probably going to be having a dancer in our family.
I guess it was inevitable.

"For a ballerina, the pointe shoe is more than just a tool of the trade.  It's more than a tradition and it's more than a costume. It's an extension of her body, intimately related to her profession and her art.
It's the essential tool that makes her dancing possible"

- Gaynor Minden Pointe Shoes

Advancing to pointe is a significant event in the life of a young ballerina - which was unbeknownst to me.  Recently, one of my clients was asking about my daughter and how her dance was going.  When I casually mentioned something about her advancing to pointe... her eyes grew big and she told me straight up -
"I remember when I received my first pair of pointe shoes, Eric - that was a very big deal!"

She went on and on about her experience with dance 30+ years ago and I could only smile as it was obvious that she was once a passionate dancer as well.

I'm guessing that she tracked down her old pointe shoes when she returned home.
And if she did that, then she most certainly retraced the steps of a past recital too.

Friday, September 21, 2012


En • deav • or :  to attempt by exertion of effort
     (to finish the race)

- my old Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

Felt a bit patriotic this morning as I watched the Space Shuttle Endeavor do one final lap above our planet - albeit ratchet strapped to the back of a 747.
It's final destiny will be a museum near downtown Los Angeles.

It seems like it was just the other day when I watched the launching of the first Space Shuttle.
We are definitely at the end of a special era and I was glad to photograph it - for posterity.

The Space Shuttle Endeavor as it passed over my neighborhood just a few hours ago...

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Pretty Good Run

"I've got a '69 Chevy with a 396, Fuelie heads and a Hurst
on the floor. She's waiting tonight down in the parking lot..."

- Bruce Springsteen

"Racing in the Street"

Just rolled back into town the other evening from a shoot that planted me in Wendover, Utah.
The Bonneville Salt Flats to be precise.

It was the annual gathering of men strapping themselves into their machines and hauling ass down a never ending straightaway in their quest to set a land speed record.
I've come to the conclusion that the ink in the record book never dries - as new speeds were being conquered left and right. A couple of vehicles traveled down that lonely track at 400+ mph. Hell, 200 mph is pretty fast in my book... now double it and add a few more.

The moments did not unfold too fast for this kid to capture and I think it would be fair to say that we gave it a pretty good run.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Missed Opportunity

"Opportunity always looks better going than coming."

- Unknown

So I was in the front yard the other day when the UPS truck came to a screeching halt. Out jumped the driver that I've known for close to 15 years and instead of his usual "hi guy, how's it goin?"
he said with a beaming smile -

"I'm done."

"You're retiring?"

"I am indeed... on May 1st."

"Well I'll be go-to-hell."

And with that I gave him an enormous handshake (I sensed he wasn't the hugging type so I left it at that). He told me he was doing one last hot lap in our neighborhood - hoping to catch a glimpse of his favorite customers because he wanted to tell them that he would be turning in the truck keys at the end of the month. The red in his eyes told me that I wasn't his first stop.

"So now what?"

He was wearing an enormous smile on his face when he told me that he was headed to Doheny to surf one last time with the locals who had been sharing the water with him for over 40 years. Then he's headed to Alabama for a couple of years... and then on to Hawaii.

So no more schlepping of cases and portfolios labeled "Eric Schmidt Photography" for him.
And no longer will he be sharing his enormous heart and positive spirit with everyone in our neighborhood either.
I'll most likely never see that man again and truth be told, it's bittersweet.
As he drove away I said to myself, "for fucks sake, why did I not take a picture of him?" I would've loved to have had one tangible image of that man but unfortunately I let it slip away.
The image is imprinted in my mind, so that will have to do.

Cheers to you my friend... wherever you are. And may you have a very healthy and happy retirement! It's well deserved.
You've touched more lives than you probably realize and I know you'll continue to do so wherever the road of retirement leads you.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Rough Idea

"Ideas are one thing and what happens is another."

- John Cage

In the beginning of my career, most of the assignments called for me to create photographs that depicted a client approved layout. Some were merely doodles by the creative director while others were a bit more than that. My favorite layouts were closer to a doodle than not as there tended to be more wiggle room for my interpretation.

Rough layouts are less common nowadays, primarily because of:

1) the popularity of shoots that are all about creating a library of images, and

2) the endless amount of stock photography which is utilized in layouts

I recently wrapped up a project that was layout driven and I thought it might be of interest to share a couple of the initial layouts plus the final results from two of the five ads that I was commissioned to shoot.

I collaborated with Three and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta... about as nice of a group of people as one will ever get to work with.

Check 'em out...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Graphis Advertising Annual

A bit of good news that I'd like to share...

I found out yesterday that a campaign I photographed was awarded a gold in the Graphis Advertising Annual.

A big congrats to Carter Weitz and Ron Sack at Bailey Lauerman.