We are working with First Descents to make an adventure film that helps redefine what it means to out live cancer and life in general, and we are really excited about it. Part of creating something incredibly unique and over the top incredible, is gathering clips that we aren’t even aware exist. So, we’d love to invite all of our friends and colleagues to participate by sending us a few clips of something fun/wild/adventurous/crazy/awesome that you’ve captured on your iPhone, GoPro, DSLR, Red Epic, or any other recording device.
We are looking for clips that are in the general realm, but definitely not limited too :: adventure (hiking, bon fires, rope swings, road trips, ziplines, etc.), sport (rock climbing, yoga, skydiving, surfing, kayaking, etc.), happiness (laughing, dancing, singing, smiling, running, etc.), just plain awesome/fun (anything else you can think of that is outliving it, flipping pancakes, dogs splashing into lakes, kid running with a cape, etc.).
This will play at the First Descents spring ball in March and then appear online after that on various FD channels (youtube/vimeo, instagram, website, blog, etc.).
The credit involved on this one is helping a non-profit that we believe strongly embraces the values and a brilliant attitude we seek to achieve every day. Below you’ll find a submission form, feel free to upload your clips that are up to 1GB in size each, or if you want to load them on a google drive/dropbox folder, fire off an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love it if you’d limit yourself to your best 10 clips. Submissions will close Sunday, March 1st.
We can’t thank you enough for your help as we create a short film that will impact and draw attention to not only the organization but also encourage everyone fighting cancer or not to out live it.
When we look at where we are and where we want to go both personally and professionally, we put a few things on the table. Obviously, growth (continuing to push our abilities to better serve the clients we have today and the clients we are striving to serve one day), relationships (learning how to best love on and be in relation with those who we work with and are around), and learning how to work harder and more efficiently, will always be atop our list. However, we also feel lifestyle is and should continue to be one of the strongest drivers of our decisions. We believe that by living a life that enables us to be our best selves we can then learn more efficiently, grow stronger relationships, and be able to work harder when it’s go time.
As some of you may know, Shaun and Kelsey have recently moved from the city of Denver up into the mountains a half hour west of Boulder. And Mike is in the process of transitioning from northern Los Angeles back down to San Diego where we originally met and worked together. Both of the decisions were based on the lifestyle we want to live. Neither of the moves will slow us down, but rather we believe they will not only make us better suited for the clients we have, but also position us for the clients we want.
I recently came back from eight days in Africa filming and gathering stills for one of our non-profit clients, Plant with Purpose, back in January, and parking between the trees that split our driveway and stepping out to the fresh air and quietness that surrounds our home, was an instant hit of reprieve. The excitement for what this time up here in the mountains will bring is overwhelming. And I look forward to passing on the benefits to our clients
And along the same lines of lifestyle and being able to serve today and tomorrow’s clients, we are beyond psyched to welcome Tyler Boyd to the team. Tyler, who is fresh off a long stint at Factory Design Labs, will serve as our main editor and occasional camera assistant. He brings the attitude and energy we pride ourselves on around here. As well as the excitement we have for the talent and skillset he brings, we are equally as stoked on his priority for lifestyle as well. If we get an edit out at 1-2am the day before it’s due, you can blame it on the fresh powder Tyler will be shredding in the backcountry in the morning. The exact thing we encourage, which pays dividends to the work we produce.
In the coming months we are going to refresh our site, reel, and be able to give a better glimpse at our capabilities. But until we get all the 1’s and 0’s dialed in, here is a quick peek, a glance per se, at what we do/love. Stoked beyond measure for what’s ahead of us. And are more excited than ever to tackle every project with a new energy and sense of purpose. As we say often on our daily conversations: Here we go.
Without diving too deep into the individual projects, we wanted to toss out an update, a quick hitting insight into our late spring and summer, as we head toward fall.
MICROSOFT ONE DRIVE | VOX MEDIA
Shaun shot 2nd camera for Vox Media on their Microsoft One Drive campaign, featuring Todd Jones from Teton Gravity Research.
ALUMNI PROFILE | FIRST DESCENTS
As previously seen on the blog, we worked with First Descents, a local Denver non-profit working with young adults who are fighting or have dealt with cancer. This was a quick short about what helped Beast during chemo. We are heading into the rivers of Montana with them next week to capture a few more stories that should be coming out in the fall.
SILVERTON SCHOOL | COLORADO EDUCATION INITIATIVE
Spent practically the entire month filming, which made us really really happy. Here’s a quick screen grab from a shoot with Colorado Education Initiative. This shot was created at 6:15am in Silverton, Colorado. The weather was 19 degrees and our Los Angeles based Michael Grace absolutely loved/crushed only having a light fleece and lukewarm coffee.
SPROUT AMP | PS AUDIO
We also managed to wrap a kickstarter video for PS Audio’s new Sprout Amp project. We normally don’t do kickstarter videos, but kickstarters normally don’t yield 414k off a 36k goal either. We are incredibly psyched to be on board their incredibly successful kickstarter/launch campaign. Here’s the video we created with Scott and the PS Audio team:
BLOG CABIN 2014 | DIY NETWORK
Wrapped up fifteen Blog Cabin 2014 online videos for DIY Network. Got to fly the MoVi M5 for the first time and had a great time with the crew. Also, loved working with local designers Jonathan and EB Combs from The Whistler and the Well to help create a fun title and lower 3rd look/feel. Here’s a quick peek at one of the videos and a couple fun BTS shots.
Kelsey finished the second issue of Fellow Magazine as Editor and Chief, which turned out to be a stunningly beautiful 144 pages, with over 30 contributors. Shaun and Adam both photographed stories, and one of our beekeeper story images landed on the cover. (magazine cover photo: Shaun Boyte / photo of woman holding magazine: David Fiser)
And at the end of June, Kelsey and I tied the knot! Photographed by Hugh Forte and David Fiser. A quick peek below from David.
MLB ALLSTAR GAME PROMO | FOX
We were asked by Fox to film Troy Tulowitzki for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game intro, our first national tv appearance. Don’t have the piece anywhere online, but here is an iphone shot we got while watching.
URBAN MATTRESS | GOOD APPLES
We’ve been talking with the fine gentlemen over at Good Apples for a few years, looking for a project to collaborate with them on, and finally we found one. We shot the first location of a series of stills to be used for Urban Mattress for their campaign theme, “wake up well.” The photos will be finding their way into the world soon, but here are a couple iphone behind the scenes captures to give a very small glimpse into this project.
FD1 CAMP | FIRST DESCENTS
We were lucky enough to get to spend a week near the Clark Fork of the Columbia River in Tarkio, Montana with our friends, First Descents, filming an FD1 camp and helping to capture their brand story. Even though we were there capturing video assets, I could resist grabbing a few stills as well. Here are two of camp mom Goose and founder Brad Ludden.
FIREBALL WHISKEY | ZEHNDER
Got called upon by Zehnder of New Orleans to help direct and shoot a :30 second online commercial for Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey. We had an absolute blast, and while the production is still in post, here are a couple early, ungraded frame grabs. Shot on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.
BALL INTERNAL “WHO WE ARE” VIDEO | CARBON8
We were incredibly psyched when we got the call from Carbon8 to film around Ball Corp for the day and capture a few interviews plus broll for a Who We Are internal video. Here are a couple fun BTS stills of Mike in his full PPE (personal protection equipment) gear and an incredibly talented driver, showing off a little for the camera, in the plant.
WHY COMMUNITY MATTERS | KARSH/HAGAN
We love working with Karsh and to combine that with capturing stories about why the community matters, we couldn’t have asked for a better day. We filmed two new stories in Estes Park and Loveland for the Community Matters Series. Here’s a quick BTS shot from the foundry, showing all the jackets that have been charred while on the job over the years
We are also currently wrapping up a few projects. On the next press run (on final approvals now): three 30 second broadcast spots and a two minute web video for Visit South Walton, another project we are working on with Zehnder (frame grab 1 below) and a 3 minute overview/brand piece covering our time in Nicaragua with Brown Water Coffee (a still from the project, 2, which was also featured in Fellow Magazine issue two).
Thanks for taking time to check out what we’ve been up to recently. Looking forward to an incredible fall of working hard, doing great work and taking care of our clients/friends!
Mike and I just got off the phone, where before we dove into the prop list we still need to acquire before our shoot in a couple days, we took some time to reflect on a piece I just wrapped up. The piece above was the video we were referring to, which is a short piece we created for First Descents. We talked about quality control on our public spaces verse sharing things, regardless of production value, with a story because they are important to us.
Originally, we had interviewed Beast for a separate project. But during the interview it became clear that snowboarding was a huge staple in her life during her journey with cancer. So naturally, I jumped on the thought of getting out for a day to capture some snowboarding and tie the interview back in. With the brand mantra of First Descents being ‘Outliving It’, they were psyched about the idea. So I went up to the mountain solo, on a snowboard and got a couple runs in toting my camera along. No monitor to actually see was I was shooting, no slow motion to pull little selects out of crappy shots, no assistant bouncing beauty light, just a simple attempt to capture enough footage to help tell Beast’s story.
Then, when I cut back into her interview, because we weren’t originally going for this story, I couldn’t find a way to have her phrase it the way she mean’t it. So I felt it would be a bit better to write her words out the way it made sense and have her read them back. Personally, I like things naturally over being staged or read, but hey, this is a quick and dirty and what the project and timeline offered us.
To me it’s rough, not produced at all, just a thought that came to our heads and with quick execution with little planning. And that’s where the conversation started.
It’s an important part of our brand to do pro-bono work. To give back to the community around us, both locally and internationally. Yet where the brand question comes in is where do we display these not quiet up to par on the production side of things pieces but incredibly important to us on the story side.
And Mike and I decided they belong front and center.
That’s what we are about here and that’s what we always want to be about. We don’t want to only be about showing off our best images, only the things in slow mo on the best equipment and the most refined and produced work. We are about telling the best stories possible, regardless of the guidelines and limits we are given. Yes, we are going to do our best with what we have to work with, and when projects call for it, we are psyched to use the best equipment budgets allow. But, at the same time, when projects that mean a lot to us come around, regardless of production outcome, we want to share and be proud we were called upon to do something important.
We will continue to produce the best work we possibly can, and sometimes, with the limits given, it won’t be our best work. But that doesn’t take away from the care we’ll put forth and the respect we’ll have for what it means to us, and to everyone involved.
I wrote three different drafts of this blog and gave up. Here goes nothing but a stream of consciousness and probably the least effective of the four. The topic I was drafting was the difference between self-confidence and self-importance in the media world, or more specifically in my small photographer world.
Photographers, we are not the shit. It feels like this new wave of us (yeah, me and my young 3 year career included) thinks because of our hoards of instagram followers and tons of facebook likes per post, we can act like we are the hottest thing in town. Let me be the 15th person to remind you that it’s all fluff. A great image isn’t an iphone photo with symmetry and a VSCO filter framed at 16×9 with a white box around it, it’s one with a story. And just because you have a fan club online, doesn’t make you hot stuff. We need to humble ourselves and actually do shit that matters.
You may recall seeing a viral video of the Ira Glass words about his experience or lack of in the industry. About how he had taste but no ability to express it the way he knew would tell the story he was crafting. It took years and years (yes, 12 months requires patience, now multiply it) of shipping content. Failing, shipping, failing, shipping. “A large volume of work.” Well, let’s take a second and reflect.
Here we are, in a world of 20 second attention spans and no discipline to listen. Stop.
If we want to differentiate ourselves from all the noise and lack of actual substance in our daily intake, then we need to listen. Ask questions. Engage in someone else. It’s not often I am in a conversation with meaningful questions. I feel like I travel a decent amount, tallying up somewhere close to 150 flights in the past 3 years. And I am constantly in conversation with different clients, other photographers/crew members, random people on the plane. And though this thought is much more broad than photographers, my conversations rarely include dialogue I remember. And what a HUGE opportunity this presents us, if we can be the ones who listen.
Imagine if we really cared about others, craved to go forth with a selfless and others before ourselves approach. Not self deprecating, selfless. And that’s the circle that delivers us to the difference between self-importance vs self-confidence. We should carry confidence with us, all the best do. Know that what we dig and our taste has a purpose in this world (hint: most clients seem to have respect for confidence in moderation). But let us all be conscious of feeling like we are more important than anyone else. Did you save a life today? Cause my sister-in-law is a doctor and if not today, she did at some point this week. Did you help the government keep people honest with their taxes so we all pay into and benefit equally from the current structure? Cause my aunt called and had to deal with that dude for the 4th time to let him know his tax avoidance is going to suck soon. Did you labor your ass off to pull oil out of the ground so the world can function/transport goods and manufacture things like your gear/camera equipment? Cause my three uncles and grandpa (pictured above) did today and I got nothing on them or how hard they work. We all play our part, but that’s just it.
Our photographs are important, but know this, they are a very small part of the much grander picture. I love my job/work and absolutely love the lifestyle it allows me to live, wouldn’t trade it for anything. But the industry as a whole needs to be very conscious of the world around us. Outside of the top 10% and few really good journalists still in existence, our work is very replaceable. Let’s start telling meaningful and important stories.
And my small social media pet peeve: we all need to stop relying on our instagram likes to boost our self confidence and start developing real, meaningful relationships. And occasionally tell someone else how rad they are. Try this: let’s turn off any social media notifications that are based on ‘likes’ and instead spend time each week telling others how impactful they or their work is for us.
We have a mantra that we do our best to live by at Boyte Creative: work hard, do good work (do the best you can), and make people happy (care more about others than ourselves). I am more confident today, than any other, that if we can do those three things collectively and consistently, we’ll always have the trust of clients and our peers. I personally can do a better job of all of this, and definitely fall under the age old saying of ‘you preach what you need to practice’.
So, here’s my call to action for myself and fellow image makers: less self-importance and more selflessness, which will hopefully lead to meaningful work and deeper relationships.
Picture above :: one of the most humble men I know, Grandpa Driskill, in Alaska a couple summers ago.