Aerials

Having posted the photographs that I chose to display in my office, I wanted to share some background information about one of the shots – specifically, the last image, which is an aerial over Lincoln City, located on the Oregon coast. Last summer (July 2007) Phil was commissioned by Lincoln City to shoot some commercial photography. Much of his time on this project was spent in a helicopter, shooting aerial photography. Phil not only came out of the project with some stunning images but also an awesome experience. Some of Phil’s images are currently featured on www.oregoncoast.org.

More images from the shoot:

aerial2.jpg

aerial1.jpg

aerial3.jpg

aerial4.jpg

aerial5.jpg

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Updates

Heading into the middle of February, we are running full speed at the photo studio. Business is continuing to move in a new, progressive direction, and we are thrilled with everything that’s been going on.

Kate and I are currently working on a number of marketing projects, one of which is our newly released monthly e-mail campaign. The first edition of our e-newsletter was sent out in January and featured an image from our last creative shoot. She and I are looking forward to sending out the next issue in a couple weeks.

Meanwhile, Phil has been working nonstop on commercial photo projects (lately consisting largely of product photography, both on location and in studio, and event photography). In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, Phil has been tossing around some new creative concepts, and we are all contributing to the revamping and altering of the studio.

This week we are finishing up the mounting process of our new wall art. Several of the images are large scale, including a 44 x 60 inch abstract print. The majority of the new art has been mounted and placed on the walls of the studio. Personally, I’m digging the new atmosphere. I handpicked three of my favorite landscape images from Phil’s image library to print and hang in my office.

Mt. Hood

Pamplin Vineyard

Lincoln City

Over the weekend, Phil spent some time in the photo studio, painting the floor and walls of the white side to bring it back to complete white. (This paint retouch occurs every month or so, depending on how many in-studio shoots we’ve done and how many products, sneakers, or high heels have shuffled across the floor.) The next change that we are initiating will require some amount of technical configuration but will eventually allow further flexibility in the photo studio and more shooting space.

In addition, we are making changes to our website, www.photophil.us, adding, reorganizing, and updating information. Suggestions or requests? Shoot us an e-mail at [email protected]

More news soon. Stay in touch, and thank you for reading.

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Exciting News!

Over the holidays, a billboard campaign intended to raise awareness of domestic violence was launched in the Portland area, featuring Philip Burnett’s photography and design work. We are overjoyed to see this image publicized, as its concern should be one of extreme importance to our community and others. As a professional photographer, Phil often donates his time, effort, and artwork to supporting children’s issues. He is thrilled that this campaign is getting started and is also happy to see this particular photograph displayed. Phil describes the process of creating this image (of a young girl’s teary eye witnessing an act of domestic violence) as complicated and requiring many steps. The final photograph is a culmination of several photo shoots with different models (both children and adults) and various experimentations. While there were minor post-production enhancements, Phil stresses the intricacy of placing the violent image within the child’s eye using only models, props, and his camera. The display of this image and its principle give us great reason to celebrate.

This is going to be a great year for Philip Burnett Photography.

Think about it!

A special thanks to Bradley-Angle House, Raphael House, and the Rotary Club of Portland for teaming with Philip Burnett Photography to break the silence!

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Welcome to ’08

After a restful holiday season, we are all back in action at the photo studio. Personally, I am ecstatic to be back at work. In speaking with the team, I know we’re all ready to push our limits in 2008…

Phil, Kate, and I are currently working on changing out the photography on the walls of the studio space. The idea is to update the studio environment to display Phil’s more recent work. (The artwork displayed will be of several natures, including fine art, location, and product photography). It has been an exciting process so far. We spent hours perusing Phil’s extensive digital image library and pulling our favorites. After separating those images into sub-folders, we made over seventy test prints and debated amongst ourselves which images would look best on our walls, to us, but, more importantly, to our clients. The test prints will remain on our walls during the final printing process, allowing us to change and shape our decisions as we go.

One of our picks within the fine art genre.

Davis, CA

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The Shoot. Part 2

Pop! Pop! The shoot had begun. Fog seeped out of the dry ice machine and filled the floor of the set with clouds. The model sank her high heels, feet, and lower legs into oblivion and caught the light with the curves of her body. This is the thrill of the job. The shoot was turning out perfectly, and the entire project was becoming everything Phil had imagined.

As I watched Phil’s shots come up on the monitor of his laptop, I was amazed; every shot was stellar. I could see that he was equally as pleased. The lighting was perfect, our model was sexy in her silver get-up, and everyone on the set was excited. Energy filled the photo studio.

When Phil had finished shooting on the set, we moved the model to the white side of the photo studio. She grabbed her silver ray gun and struck another set of poses for the camera. The lights popped and flashed a few more times, and we adjusted the setting from white to dark gray.

As we wrapped up the shoot, all of us – including the model and makeup artist – expressed our excitement and pride in its success. The photographer’s job here was done, and it was time to say goodnight.

I walked into the photo studio the next morning to find a print from the shoot sitting on the front desk. Flawless, I thought to myself. Lorie, another employee of Phil’s, came in shortly after and observed the print. “007,” she said, and left it at that. Phil had nailed this project.

Images from the shoot.

Shoot Image I Shoot Image II

Model: Rebecca Palmer | MUA: Sabrina Cayne

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The Shoot. Part 1

I met Phil at the studio Sunday morning for final preparation. This would be our first shoot together as professional photographer and assistant. We sat down, each with our cup of coffee, and discussed the specifics of my job as his assistant. My job during a shoot is basically to allow Phil to direct every ounce of his attention to the client. Essentially I am a ghost; my presence should be everywhere, but I should be seen nowhere. I need to have incredible attention to detail. I observe Phil, his model(s), the lights, and the entire set, ensuring that every tiniest detail is continually worked to perfection. Finally, Phil and I each expressed our excitement for the culmination of this project and our individual aspirations for the day.

The makeup artist arrived on-time and began setting up her space in the studio dressing room. Shortly after, our model arrived, prepared with several large bags of outfits, shoes, and accessories. Immediately I began recording the process on camera. We quickly learned that the model, although prepared in her own way, did not have an outfit exactly fitting with the ideals of this shoot. It was time to brainstorm. While the makeup artist worked the model into strong, dark makeup and sexy hair, Phil and I scratched our chins and looked around the photo studio. He asked me, “Do you have any silver clothing?”

I joked in response, “More than you can imagine.” In reality, I own not a single piece of silver clothing, nor does he. The solution: create it. Phil found a large piece of white satin material previously utilized as drapery, and we decided to spray paint it metallic silver (with the same can of paint we used on the ray gun) and cut it into strips, which we would then wrap around the model’s otherwise nude body. As a plan B, I left the studio and headed to a clothing store where I purchased a plain white bra and boyshort set. When I returned, Phil had finished painting and cutting the cloth, and the model’s makeup and wardrobe artists were forming the strips into an outfit. After a collaborative effort to stretch this outfit to its fullest potential, the model ended up wearing a strip of silver fabric wrapped around her neck, pulled over her breasts, and tucked into a pair of silver, spraypainted boyshorts. Additional accessories were added by the wardrobe designer.

Click below to view images from the makeup process.

Prep Image I Prep Image II Prep Image III

Model: Rebecca Palmer | MUA: Sabrina Cayne

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Testing to Perfection

Phil spent hours constructing an impressive futuristic, spaceship-like set for our model. Materials included various kinds of metal and plastic, wood, rubber, and aluminum foil. One of the most effective materials on the set was acquired from a construction site in the neighborhood.

Phil and I spent Saturday adjusting every aspect of his set to perfection. Beginning with lighting, we manipulated direction, tone, and intensity. I served as Phil’s model while he configured the most desirable lighting situation and exposure for his images.

As soon as the lighting was dialed, Phil and I moved on to testing the fog machine. I dropped five pounds or so of dry ice into the machine and inserted the hose through the back of the set. We quickly realized that there were too many escape routes through which the fog could dissipate. Phil’s solution was to create a dam, about two feet deep from the floor, to prevent the fog from seeping out of the front or back of the set. The plan worked successfully, and after a few more minor adjustments to the set, we were almost ready for Sunday’s shoot.

The last step of the preparation process was to set up the white side of the photo studio (The “white side” is a seemingly endless white room with no edges or corners). Phil arranged a relatively simple lighting situation with a soft box in the front and a harder light that would hit the model at an angle from behind, separating her from the background. After model testing, Phil decided to add a white reflector on the model’s right side as well as a light that would hit the back wall to create a completely white background. Phil planned to shoot the model on the set as well as on three different solid backgrounds of white, gray, and dark gray. Those images would later be used for compositing.

At this point, both sides of the studio were ready for Sunday’s shoot, and Phil and I were beyond excited for everything to come together…

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Day 1

The three of us shuffled into the giant “prop shop,” filled with tools, toys, and all sorts of gadgets and glitter. The space was cold, but the creative energy and the excitement for this project fueled the moment. We were searching for a necessary piece of the puzzle – a ray gun for Sunday’s shoot.

“007 meets Buck Rogers,” Phil proclaimed as he explained his intentions for the photo shoot. We needed to find, in this garage of endless opportunity, the absolute perfect ray gun. It needed to be cool, tough, and sexy… Philip, Kate, and I rummaged through every possible handle, trigger, laser, and barrel that we could find. We shaped the image in our minds of this perfect weapon and sifted through metal, plastic, and glass objects. We played together, collaborating with the intent of creating the sexiest prop possible. The end product? A pertinent piece of the photograph that would add a spark but not detach the viewer’s eyes from the subject of the image.

A piece of wisdom from the professional photographer himself:

It is often that we take an idea and stretch it as far as our mind’s can handle. And then eventually we realize that our initial idea, as basic and simple as it was, may have been the most effective.

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The Magic and the Story

The end product is a photograph. It is no ordinary image but a product of something magical. Philip Burnett is a creator. It all starts when a light bulb shines in the photographer’s mind. It begins with a concept. This idea eventually becomes a visual culmination of lights, colors, reflections, and creativity…

This is the magic, and it all happens right here within my reach. I am not the magic, and my fingertips don’t touch the camera. I am merely a sidekick, observing the wonders of Philip Burnett Photography, and this is my story.

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