Behind the scenes of our commercial photography shoot at the Hard Rock casino & hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Recently we at Shipman Photography wrapped on an incredibly fun and exciting commercial photography project in our hometown of Tulsa Oklahoma.   Hard work, but man was it fun!

Our production team and the talent crew from the 2018 Hard Rock shoot

We were honored to be selected as the photography/production company to shoot fresh marketing assets for Tulsa’s Hard Rock Casino and Hotel, and a few days ago we put the wraps on more than 4000 proof images and contact sheets which was then sent to Red Square, the coordinating ad agency.    After receiving word from the agency that they had received the proofs and were thrilled with them, we officially high fived ourselves and celebrated a job well done!

This is me… I had a pretty easy job thanks to the hard work of my team!

While this was by far, our largest commercial project to date, in reality it was simply a series of small projects that we’ve shot a thousand times.   What made this different was the scope, the pace and the multiple moving parts.

Destry was always ready with hair and makeup!

I will in a future post show some of our finished portfolio pieces and some of the agency’s actual production art, but that is for a future time once I’ve completed the retouching and editing on their forthcoming selections.    We don’t want to show finished pieces until then, but along the way I did get various production shots of our team doing it’s thing, and those I definitely want to share!

Paul and Emily Eyeballing the scene

I would like to dedicate this blog to our photography and production team.  Without them, this would’ve been a very intimidating project, but with them I had a very simple job to do because they made that possible.  They are absolutely the best commercial photography team in Tulsa.

First and foremost, I would like to thank our producer Jennifer Shipman who in the end was the architect of a shoot which was organically described by talent as: “This was one of THE MOST organized and professional crews I’ve ever worked with as an actress/model for TV/film!  These last 4 days have been absolutely incredible!  I can’t wait to work with you all again soon!” ~ Kim Martin, actress   and….   “Kim hit right on the head!  I couldn’t agree more!  I’m thrilled at the idea of working with all of you again!” ~ Clinton Harris, actor.

These unprompted remarks just reinforce what I already knew to be true – my wife Jennifer is a rock star (literally).   She put together and organized this project and put all the pieces in place, overcoming any challenges and keeping us on schedule.

Our art director Paul Woodard was brought in as a veteran commercial shoot director and he proved to be incredibly valuable interacting with talent, crew and staging scenes.   Paul is also a great guy who added perfectly to the chemistry of our team from day one. His eye for detail was an amazing asset on this project.

Talent wrangler & hair/makeup artist Destry Davis, as always, did a fantastic job of getting our talent pool ready and on site day after day.   Destry does amazing work every time and is absolutely a rock solid pro that I am proud to have on my team anytime!   She is one of our core group of pros on our team that I can’t imagine tackling a project like this without.  Much thanks to her and her assistant Susan Yoder.

My number one assistant Braden Cox is literally my right hand man who usually knows what I need before I know I need to ask him for it.    An emerging young photographer in his own right, he has a knack for everything that needs to be done so I don’t have to get out from behind camera and can instead focus on framing the shots and seeing the details of the image I am trying to capture without worrying about anything else.   Braden is my go to assistant on every project we have, and I’m sure one day he will have his own photography business.  I want to do anything I can to get him there, but in the meantime I sure am thankful to have him on my team!

Braden headed up our photography assistant crew of Emily Doss, Ethan Kearns and Reilly Jacobs.   And from the opening morning of our first day, these guys and girls were on point getting our gear from point A to point B, setting up, tearing down and being on hand to help me any time I needed anything at all.  I just couldn’t be more proud of them and was absolutely blown away by their professionalism and work ethic.

Two aspects of necessity regarding this shoot were made clear to me early on – as a production, we needed to delivery #1 quality images, and #2 capture these images with speed and efficiency, so we could stay on track to a very tight and full schedule.   There was a shot list to get and time was money, so I am incredibly proud of this crew for the speed and efficiency with which they set up and tore down every scene.

Lastly, two young women who worked hard behind the scenes to keep everything on track were digital tech Jolie Hossack and Jennifer’s personal assistant Annastasia Root.

There are many more people to thank who were not directly part of our crew, including the 10 incredibly talented actors from Magna talent agency, and all the extras who populated our backgrounds.   I hope to work again with many of these outstanding people again on future projects.  They were all professionals but also contributed greatly to the fun of simply creating art with us!

Lastly, a heartfelt thank you to both Red Square and to the Hard Rock & Cherokee Casino & Hotel marketing department, security, chefs, servers and other employees. We were made to feel welcome and treated professionally and courteously at every turn.   I could not be happier with our experiences with everyone we worked with on this project.     4 day shoot, 4 days to prep proofs and now I look forward to performing the post production on the final selections.

My main man Braden, standing in for staging the lighting…

Thanks again to my team – I would put you up against any commercial photography team in Oklahoma.  I am still simply amazed at the incredible professionalism and production quality you all brought to the table every single day – and these were long, hard work days.     But it was fun!

In fact, B was too good at looking like talent, and almost found himself in some scenes!
Clinton and Kim armwrestling… because that’s how we roll
Clinton always had the best outtake shots…
zoolander level blue steel right here, I tell you what.
Destry and her kit where never far away when needed!
Paul staging the scene!
Destry getting Brooks and Leah ready for their close up!
Ethan, Reilly and Emily standing in for talent while we stage the scene