“Black & White or Color”

From a recent shoot in Southwestern Colorado this exterior shot was a composite of ten separate images to come up with the pano. Really interested in the concept of how the image looks in black and white compared to color. I think I will explore this contrast in more detail for future portfolio pieces as well as for a coffee table book of my work that we are working on.

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“Luxe Interior + Design 2014 Winter Issue”

I am very excited to announce that the 2014 winter issue of Luxe Interior + Design magazine is out on the stands. I am also very honored to say that a home I  shot for the magazine this last fall is not only featured in the issue, but my image of the exterior of the home made  the cover. What a great way to start off the New Year here at the studio of James Ray Spahn Photographer!

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“2 am Casion Shoot”

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I was recently on a shoot in Black Hawk Colorado photographing a home for a magazine when during the shoot I received a call from my longtime client Haselden Construction. They wanted to know if I could shoot two casinos for them the following day in Black Hawk and meet their deadline of having the images in hand by the beginning of the next week.

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As serendipity had it and as I told them, not a problem, I just happened to be in all places but Black Hawk already. Sometimes the stars just line up! So instead of loading up my gear and driving home after my shoot for the magazine, I headed to downtown Black Hawk to meet with Haselden and do a walk-through of the properties.

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To photograph projects like these its imperative to do a walk-through. Meeting the GM’s of the properties is also key. Security is tight in casinos as you can imagine so getting clearance is a must. Trust me you can’t just walk into a casino with a camera on a tripod and not expect to be confronted by several security guards with guns.

The above images are from the Mardi Gras Casion, below are from Saratoga.

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I was given strict instructions by the owners of the casinos that I was not allowed to photograph any areas where money was handled (the cage) or photograph any employees, or patrons. Also, I was to be out and finished by 8:00 am, no if and’s or buts.

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So the game plan was to arrive at the first location The Mardi Gras at 2:00 am photograph it, and then walk up the street and shoot the Saratoga. So from when the initial phone call came in from Haselden to shoot the casinos (about 1:00 pm that day) to when I would actually begin photographing  was roughly thirteen hours. Keep in mind I had been already shooting a project all morning.

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So after my walk through and getting clearance the time was now 3:00 PM. What to do what to do knowing I was gonna be on the ground running at 1:30 am.  I did what any other seasoned professional photographer would do. I ate dinner at 4:00 PM, had a few cocktails, found a black jack table (i lost by the way) and was in bed by 6:30 pm.

And that’s how that day began….. and ended.

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“SmartWool Photo Shoot Steamboat Springs”

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I had  the pleasure a few weeks ago of  photographing the SmartWool  headquarters (that’s  right the sock company) in Steamboat Springs for my good client OZ Architecture.

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I also had the pleasure to work with and have on site the lead Designer of the project Christy Headlee from OZ. As I have mentioned in past posts it’s a huge plus  having the client on site to help facilitate, style and share their vision of the project and how they would like to see  the project  captured through the lens of my camera.

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As in all shoots it seems that time is of the essence and having Christy on site was a huge help. We had a ton of ground to cover and unbeknownst to  the viewer the installation was literally going on around us. The grand opening of the project was the following night so it was a scramble to say the least to photograph around the installation process.

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Our persistence prevailed though and we were able to produce the shoot under our deadline without a hitch. Besides the images seen here we shot an additional half a dozen images before the sun went down. As always team work and pre-planning paid a huge roll in our success.

As a side note, a few days after the shoot a package arrived in my mail box with that’s right you guessed it a bundle of socks for moi (it just so happens that SmartWool socks are the only socks I wear). Being one who detests shopping for himself this was a real treat and a great gesture of kindness from my client and SmartWool. I just wish I could wear flip flops right now and not socks and shoes. Will summer ever arrive!

“Sympathetic Addition”

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Now that the new website is completed and behind us I am now hoping to be able to get back to the Blog on a more frequent basis. What better way to jump back into it than with a post on a recent feature of ours that is once again in Mountain Living Magazine ( March/April 2013). The Magazine hired me a few months back to photograph a home located in Telluride Colorado (one of my favorite mountain towns to work in. If you haven’t been there make sure to stop in at “Baked In Telluride” for a coffee and one of their killer donuts that are hot out of the oven at 5am).

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The home was designed by Eric Cummings Architect and the Interior Design was by Catherine Hobbs of Studio Frank based in Telluride. We worked closely with Catherine and her assistant who both styled each shot for us throughout the day. Eric was also a huge help on the shoot when an extra pair of hands were needed. As I always say collaboration is a huge key in any photo shoot and success lies in all of the parties working together with one vision for the final outcome. The final images are a testament to this philosophy and I believe reflect the vision of all who participated in the overall success of this shoot.

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Now all I need is another excuse to make it back to Telluride and “Baked in Telluride” for another one of those killer donuts!

“First post of 2013”

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What a great way to start off my first post of 2013  by highlighting Mountain Living Magazines’s first issue of the New Year that showcases an image I shot for the magazine while on assignment for them. The home was shot specifically for Mountain Living last winter in Aspen and was yet another jewel of a home by Charles Cunniffe Architect. As usual with ML I worked alongside Art Director Loneta Showell who is the stylist extraordinaire. Rebecca Richardson Marketing Director for Charles Cunniffe was also on hand to help with access and to lend a hand where needed. It’s always a treat to work with both of these ladies. The entire home can be viewed on the inside of the magazine.

Happy New Year!

“Mountain Living Magazine Dream Spaces”

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I was in an airport book store a few weeks back and picked up the  latest issue of Mountain Living Magazine and began flipping through it and came across their section “Dream Spaces” which included a two page spread of a home I shot last winter for Charles Cunniffe Architect over is Aspen. Charles Cunniffe also was awarded the honor of “Home of the Year” in the same issue.

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Cunniffe also ran a full-page ad in the same issue featuring the same house as in the “Dream Spaces” section my images were showcased in (above image top left corner  is not mine). It was great to see the exterior of the house highlighted, even more enjoyable was viewing it inside a heated building. Hard to imagine, but when I shot this exterior it was close to ten below and not a very enjoyable enviroment………you gotta love winter shoots!