“Smith Fork Ranch Shoot”

"Needle Rock"

Recently we were contacted by the Smith Fork Ranch out of Crawford Colorado. The Ranch rates as one of the top ten family/dude ranches in the state. They offer fishing , horseback riding, corporate retreats, weddings and guided hunting trips to name a few. The ranch is located by a famous landmark in the area. “Needle Rock” which you can see above sticks out like a sore thumb for miles around and is the first thing you see on the way to the ranch.

Mary Clare on the right and my gear loaded in the gator on the left

The owners of the ranch were looking to re-brand the ranch with new images for a newly developed web site and marketing collateral. This is where we came in. We worked very closely with Mary Clare the ranches marketing director (She can be seen in the above image on the right). Mary Clare also provided all the styling for the shoot. The ranch had several structures on the property that needed to be photographed. There was the cookhouse, main lodge, two main log homes and three smaller cabins that were only about 300 square feet. The cabins can be seen below.

Exterior of the small cabins and larger log home

Because of the amount of photography requested by the client it was determined that we would need two days to shoot. The structures were spread out over several acres on the property so there was lots of walking back and forth with gear and props. In some cases a gator was needed as seen above to haul the gear around. Below are a few images of the River House.

Interiors of the River House

We utilized dusk as much as possible as you can see in the images above as well as the shots below. These bottom shots are of the game room on the left and  dinner hall on the right.

Elk Lodge and Dinner Bell

The smaller cabins were a real challenge to shoot. Again their spaces were only about 300 square feet if that. We had to get real creative with camera angle and lighting since movement and space was limited. We shot all of the smaller cabins with strobe and natural light.

300 square foot cabin

A second cabin

These interiors are from the larger guest house on the ranch.

Larger guest house

This shoot is just another example of the diversity of shoots that come our way and why clients hire us  for our expertise, skills and problem solving abilities. No two shoots are ever alike and this one proved it.

“Cheyenne Mountain Resort Photo Shoot”

The following images are a just a few of the many we captured during our recent photo shoot at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs. I was originally contacted by Michelle Maestas lead designer on the project from the firm Ricca Newmark. Michelle and her firm had just completed the renovation of all the rooms at the resort as well as all of the ballrooms, meeting rooms and boardroom. Besides needing the imagery for their portfolio they also wanted to submit the images to an upcoming design competition. The deadline with the competition was tight so time was of the essence. Besides working with Michelle we worked very closely with Heath Patrick the Director of Conference Services and Catering at the Resort. In shoots of this magnitude its a huge asset to be working with a great team. I can’t say enough for the help, energy and hands on approach that Michelle and Heath provided for the shoot. Anyone who gets up at 4:30 am to accompany me on a morning sunrise shot is ok in my book!

Besides the Ricca Newmark and the resort there were several other contractors and manufactures involved with the photography. This is  a perfect example of combining more than one party in a photo shoot. A cost share is a great way to bring the cost of a shoot down for all participating parties. The model is real simple. The more entities that are involved in a shoot the lower the cost for each party. In this case not only was the interior design firm and resort a part of the shoot, but so was the flooring, lighting, and furniture company. This being said, as a photographer one has to take each vendor into consideration when setting up the camera for composition as well as lighting. It can be a challenge at times when everyone has different needs, but with lots of pre-planning any hiccups can be greatly avoided in advance. This brings me to the preliminary walk through of this particular shoot. Michelle, Heath and I got together a week or so before the shoot and spent several hours doing a preliminary walk through to come up with a solid shot list that entailed time of day for each shot, camera angle, furniture, lighting, props and staff needed. Without this prior walk through I would have been blind coming into the shoot. Planning is everything with this type of work!

We began shooting on a Sunday morning. Michelle and I arrived the night before to do a final walk through. The first shot was planned at 5:00 am on Sunday. I was able to setup my lights and  rough in a camera angle the night before so we would be ready to roll when that magic time starts to happen. You use only have about fifteen minutes to get what your after if your going for this blue window look. The results of this shot is below!

After this shot was completed we were able to move the gear next door and capture a queen room. No windows were visible in the shot so time was not as crucial!

This dining room setting was shot that evening and took several hours to setup and a staff of about ten to put together. Here again the client wanted to have the nice blue window evening look as we achieved in the morning with the king room. The flooring company was involved in the shoot so we really tried to highlight the carpet!

Now these two images were shot the next day. They are of the same room. One as you can see is setup for a dinner and the other a classroom. These shots were critical to the resort because they sell the room as two seperate venues. We shot the dinner setup first and then had to wait for the staff to break the room down and turn it into the classroom you see at the bottom. About a two hour turn around! Like I have always said with my line of work. “It’s like watching paint dry”! At the end of the day though when one is  able to step back and look at the completed images its always worth the effort that went into them. I will have to remind myself of this on my next shoot when I have to set my alarm for 4:00am once again…..


Here again we really tried to showcase the carpet….