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THE JOHN REMUS PHOTOGRAPHY 2014 CHRISTMAS CARD

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“Have you checked our shitters, honey?”

My fifth annual Christmas Card.. Wow. Five years. That’s pretty damn cool.
Originally I had a very different idea in mind for this year. I was planning to go a bit crazier and take my cards to a different level for such a milestone card. However things don’t always go as planned, and I had to switch things up a bit.

“It’s not going in our yard Russ, it’s going in our living room.”


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Starting off the new year with some model shoots

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Well 2014 is off to a somewhat slow start. The race world is very quiet right now with bookings… but I’ve been working with a few model friends the last few weeks for some new images for them. So, instead of cars you guys are getting some girls… not a horrible trade off, right? haha!

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The John Remus Photography 2013 Christmas Card

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Cookies and Milk.

This was definitely the most difficult Christmas card I’ve shot in the last four years.
Milk splash is something I’ve been wanting to do for over two years since I first saw the guys at Aurum Light Studios in the UK posting their splash photography work with models online and it making the rounds in the photo community. I’ve owned all the same lighting equipment for several years. And, honestly, it’s something I thought would not be very difficult with a bit of practice.

Finding models. That was the tricky part.
You’d be amazed at the flakiness of models. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that a test shoot where you’re getting splashed may not sound all too fun. But the results are far better than the same’ol “go to the beach and test in a bikini” type photos.

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So the original plan for this card involved four models – even if it was a lofty goal, I thought “fourth card. four models.” sounded like a great plan. But it didn’t work out that way.
Amber and Elizabeth returned to my card this year again after posing for last year’s Christmas card, which some of you will remember.
And lucky for me both Amber and Liz are incredibly attractive AND keep themselves in shape year ’round. So, mixing two gorgeous women was a fun contrast to my planned Ugly-sweater-vest idea as the Tacky Christmas Party Host.

Hair was done Tammy Nguyen and Make Up by Tina Luong. We shot at our apartment which was converted a bit to be able to handle the mess that milk splash would make.
I probably spent about 30-45 minutes with each model for the splash portion. Post work took me a while because I didn’t want to rush anything and I knew I had plenty of time. The plan of adding two more girls was dropped because as I started to hit up models and ask if they were interested, no one was in bikini-ready shape because it’s winter and they all said they’d been eating too much. Haha! Oh well.

The funniest part of this entire experience this year wasn’t even with the girls and the milk, though. It had to do with the cookies…

I used three bags of Chips Ahoy! cookies for this project, to create the cookie tower you see me holding. So, I posted on twitter apologizing to Chips Ahoy! for wasting three bags for my project. They promptly responded and it was all laughs from there. You can read below:

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Not only were they great sports about the whole thing, but they contacted me and said they’d love to see a copy of this card when it’s done! So, I sent one out to their offices in New York! haha! Can’t wait to see if hear anything back from them about it! LOL

Unfortunately just yesterday my phone had some sort of file error and I lost all the data on my memory card – I’m pretty annoyed. I lost several months of photos from my camera phone that I hadn’t yet backed up. Funny part is that the day before I told myself “Oh, I need to back up my phone this week… it’s been a while…”
The reason I mention this is that I use my phone for Behind the Scenes photos when I’m working on projects, and this means that I’ve lost those images that I was planning on sharing here. Bummer.

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We did take this photo right at the end purely to have one fun Behind the Scenes shot. This doesn’t exactly represent how the shot was created, but you get a bit of the idea. haha!

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Silly shot with Amber when she was done. And no, the irony wasn’t lost on her. She looked down, laughed, and just said “…haa…. jugs.”

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And of course a shot with Liz when she was done, too.

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Love her, she’s always down for any crazy idea I want to try with photos.

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After picking up my massive order of cards when I was in the Bay Area, Stephanie came out over to help me stuff envelopes and fill out addresses.

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The following day TJ came over to help me apply nearly 100 more stamps to the pile and seal nearly 200 envelopes

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Once at the post office I took my usual “here’s the stack of cards THIS year” photo… damnnnnn!!!

So, again, we’ll see if I hear anything from Chips Ahoy! about what they thought.. but so far everyone else seems to like the card.

This year I sent out 225… That’s a 50 card increase over last year’s total. That’s nuts. Next year will be the fifth year of my annual card, and I’m looking forward to coming up with something awesome. I’ve also been keeping tabs on who signed up for which years so I might try and do something special for those who have all four. And this year’s milk splash is going to be very difficult to top.

But I already have one girl who has said she’ll shoot with me again for next year’s card… my other friend friend Amber, who you guys will likely remember:

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So, keep your fingers crossed that it works out that I’ll be shooting with Amber for next year, because she’s ridiculously gorgeous as well.

I have at least one more blog I’ll put together before the year is over next week. So stay tuned for that post if you’re interested. But above all, I hope you guys enjoyed my card for 2013 for those of you who signed up for it. And those who didn’t, there’s always 2014 just around the corner

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Kane Sumabat’s Controlled Labs Supplements shoot

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About a week and a half ago I spent the afternoon with Kane Sumabat, a fitness trainer (and pretty hilarious Instagram personality), who was in California visitin from Canada where he grew up and lives.

Kane and I were put in touch with each other through a mutual Instagram friend, fitness bikini competitor Rae-Ann Camacho who I’ve been working on setting up a photoshoot with. She recommended me to Kane when he was looking for a photographer to shoot with in California for various images.
As it turned out, his supplement sponsor Controlled Labs Supplements was also interested in updated photos of Kane. So after some discussion and scheduling we were able to set up a day to shoot the various images that Kane was looking for for himself AND Controlled Labs. It was a very cool opportunity for me to work with Kane, and as you guys may have read in one of my recent blog posts I was also able to work with Kane on a personal project of mine as well (he was Shredder for my ongoing Ninja Turtles series, full blog coming soon).

My good friend, and usual assistant, TJ Lauters was on hand with me all day as first assistant. He also shot a number of Behind the Scenes photos which you’ll find toward the end of this blog post. TJ also assembled a BTS Video! Check it out

Kane is hilarious in person. His sarcastic humor that he has online is no different than how he is when you’re talking to him. And when it comes to fitness the things that he has the strength to do is just incredible.

Anyway, read on past the break and check out the various images from our shoot. These are the ones I liked and edited. Some of them are pretty straight forward, others may have various effects that I was playing around with on them.

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Some new portraits for the Winter…

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For the most part this year has been off to a quieter start than usual for me. But, I’ve stayed busy doing occasional portraits in the mean time as usual.

Several weeks back I attended a video shoot that a few of my friends were doing in Hollywood. Originally it was planned that I would be doing much more photography than what actually ended up happening. The video crew was busy pretty much the entire day with the models, and each time I was going to do some shooting with one of the girls she was quickly pulled away for video. My favorite shot from that entire day ended up being an image of John, one of the video crew members working that day. He’s in the image above on the far left.
I also did some shooting with Marcello, the male model that was there that day. Amber was also on the shoot – who I’ve shot in the past and is one of my favorite girls I’ve worked with. Sadly I didn’t have any time to shoot with her that day though, oh well.

I also created a new, and somewhat horrifying image of myself one night around 1am when I was bored and felt like shooting something. The upside of remote shooting and plenty of equipment is that I still have myself when no one is around. Haha! Check out the resulting image…

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Not bad, eh?

Anyway, click past the break for a bunch of images from the rooftop fashion shoot. And some portraits of a couple family members I’ve photographed recently, too!

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The John Remus Photography 2012 Christmas Card

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I’m a bit late on this update – seeing as how the holidays are nearly over…
But, for those of you that managed to have missed it, here’s the 2012 John Remus Photography Christmas Card!

This year there was a brief period where I was worried that the card wasn’t going to happen. I’m currently living in San Diego, not Los Angeles where I have lived the last four years. So, I was a bit further from all my model friends. But, more importantly, my main model Danielle was now living in Las Vegas.
Last year Danielle called dibs on being my model for the 2012 card. And I had planned a couple ideas around her being the center of this year’s project. However, Danielle moved to Vegas in the summer and is now a dancer in Jubilee! Which is awesome, let’s be serious. However, it meant she was quite far away from me and being able to do the card easily.

But after my initial frustration of maybe not being able to coordinate a shoot being in different cities, I talked to Danielle and we decided we needed to make it happen.
That same week I was contacted by Liz (center girl in the image above) who was on my card last year. She was having lunch that day with Amber (far left in the photo) who I had met and photographed at the Budweiser shoot I did in February. They were joking that “if I needed two more girls for my card they were available!”.
Well, I was already planning on shooting a Christmas Carol themed card, so, two more girls to round out the “three ghosts” sounded like it could be a cool idea.

Plans were made and all the girls were lined up to shoot. Danielle would still be the center focus of the card as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Liz would be the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Amber was rounding out the trio as the Ghost of Christmas Future!
And for those of you curious about how to get a butt like Danielle (cuz several have asked), she’s a dancer and climbs nearly 750 steps a day combined through all her shows… So, go find a tall building, and climb it once a day.

The hardest part of the entire card was actually figuring out how I was going to set myself up as Ebineezer Scrooge. Ultimately I decided that my costume wasn’t going to be THAT important and simply wore a robe and held a candle. Finding an old fashioned white nightgown that we all know from the old movies for that character was too much trouble and I was more interested in finishing the card than worrying about what I would be wearing in it.

All in all I’m very pleased with how this year’s card turned out. And I actually sent out nearly all 175 cards that I ordered – a 25 card increase over last year, and 50 person increase of new people after several didn’t explicitly sign up for a new card this year.

Click below the break for a few behind the scenes photos from my last big production of the year. And as January gets started I’ll be doing more work on my Ninja Turtles project with the four new models I have lined up for that! My annual end-of-the-year write up will be done in the next few days, too…

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – as humans

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – the four brothers, as humans.

My idea and interpretation of what my favorite childhood characters might look like if it were shot with humans instead of mutant turtles.
A project that has been over a year in the making and still has a long way to go before I would consider it complete.

From left to right: Beau as Raphael, Chase as Donatello, Me/John as Leonardo, and Mike as Michelangelo

The idea stems from two things… First, was my desire and interest in doing a ninja-inspired shoot. I love movie imagery and movie posters, and one of my favorite movies for hard-light, rough imagery, is Ninja Assassin with the Korean pop star Rain. He reached an incredible level of fitness for the role and the movie images were hard and rough – to really accent his physique and darker theme.
The twist of doing turtles came from my friend Katie, who was always a huge supporter of my work and different shoots. She joked one night that I should “DO A NINJA TURTLE SHOOT!” since it was my favorite thing as child. My response was “How the hell am I going to do Ninja Turtles?”
It wasn’t until a couple days later that I figured out a way to mix the two.

I figured that if I could assemble four physically-fit, lean, willing models that all I needed to do was match the weapons to the colors of each brother and people would “get it”. The idea of using makeup/face-paint came from my good friend, Makeup Artist Elle Favorule who casually pointed out in conversation “you can just paint on eye-bands instead of trying to figure out a sash or something”. Boom. Done. MUCH easier.

I knew immediately that if I was going to do this then I would be Leonardo. He was my favorite character growing up… and let’s be real, it’s my project. Personally I’m in pretty good shape year round. For this project I doubled my workouts and the amount of food I was eating. Leo is the oldest of the four and the leader – so I knew I had to not only be at top physical condition, but also look like I should be leading. haha

For Raphael it was an easy choice as well. Beau is one of my best friends and in ridiculous shape. I texted him and told him the concept, and said something like “so… uh… stay in shape…” since I knew he was very likely already where he needed to be to shoot. Plus Beau photographs really well and is always down for whatever idea I come up with. Raph is the hothead of the four with an attitude problem and relies on his incredible strength – and I knew Beau could do attitude for me with this shoot.

Michelangelo was an easy choice as well. For the youngest of the four brothers I needed someone high energy and goofy…. well, that’s my good friend Crazy Mike Gaboff – a stuntman and video personality here in Los Angeles. I’d shot with Mike a couple times and knew his smaller, but super lean build would fit the character great. And I figured he would have a lot of fun with it.

Donatello was the most difficult to fill… I went through a couple models, honestly. Ultimately I decided that I wanted someone taller than I am (and I’m 6’2), someone that was lean and even possibly more bulked than me in the photo was the goal. Donny was the calculated, stoic brother and I had a hard time finding someone that I was happy with the final look. Chase is a model I worked with a while back and for some reason, never considered asking. He randomly contacted me, and after pitching the idea, he was down to shoot and help me round out the group. And at 6’4″ and leaned-out he fit the look I wanted.

So what’s next? Click the break for several photos from behind the scenes at the shoots and hear about the next phase of this project.

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My shoots with the Budweiser Girls

So I’ve done two different shoots with the Budweiser Girls over the last couple months… and keep forgetting to share the images here.
They’re already on my website in my portfolio, and several of you probably already saw them on Facebook if you follow my work there. But, I figured I’d post them on my blog for everyone who hasn’t seen them yet.

Our first shoot was down in Orange County a few months ago. That proved to be a very long day as several of the girls flaked out or were running late. Haha, oh models…
The second shoot went a lot smoother, there were still a few cancellations, which always happens with groups it seems like. Oh well, the ones that made it will have new photos at least. Most of my time was spent joking with Liz (who is an old friend that I’ve worked with several times – you guys got a copy of my Christmas card with her, right?). And as girls were ready we’d do a number of shots to get the poses and variety that was needed, and move on to the next. Pretty simple and straight forward, really.

Honestly, there’s not a ton to say about the shoot since it’s girls in bikinis and corsets on a white backdrop… So, I’ll just get on to the photos. Click the past the break for more..

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Monster Energy Supercross w/ Falken Tire

Ok, so this is clearly just me and the Falken girls… but still.

This year I’ve been contracting with Falken Tire for the 2012 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series! It’s actually pretty great to once again be out on the track working with a major brand such as Falken. Several months ago I worked with them putting together the 2012 Falken Girls poster and promotional images of the girls. Three of them, Brittney Leigh, Julie Galindo, and Mayra Tinajero in the photo above with me. Now I’m handling a small part of their racing photography as well.
And most of you know that off road race photography is nothing new to me – I used to do a ton of it when I worked for K&N Filters. Working with Falken is very different though. I’m actually just as much a photojournalist for the day as I am a race photographer.

During the race day I spend a lot of my time with the Falken team photographing their fans and guests that come by the trailer to meet the models, enter the prize drawings and get more information about Falken products. I’ll typically make my way out to the track several times during practice to photograph Ryan Villopoto – not only the top racer in the series right now, but also Falken’s sponsored racer.

I’ll save all the rambling I could post and just put up some images… they’re more interesting anyway. haha!

Let’s start with the San Diego, Qualcomm Stadium race for Round 6..

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Falken Tire 2012 Promo Model Poster Shoot

The 2012 Falken Tire Promo Model poster has been released! And that means I’m allowed to share additional photos from the shoot with everyone that I created for Falken Tire and their 2012 season!

For those who read my previous blog about the Behind the Scenes from this shoot, you’ll recall that I mentioned the goal of the entire day was the image above. Basically we arrived first thing in the morning – before sunrise – and shot all day until sundown. And then, after 12 hours of shooting we created the image we came for – the poster shot. Seriously. The image we spent so much time planning for was created in the last five minutes of shooting. And was also one of the last 10 photos or so I made with the girls.

But it was worth it. The long day. The lack of food (on my part. I forgot to eat most of the day since I was so busy running around that TJ had to make me stop and take five minutes to eat something at the catering table). I look at photos of me at the end of the day and laugh because I look exhausted.
I did at least 17 shoots that day working with each of the models multiple times and in several locations with many different lighting setups. Everything worked out incredibly well. Falken had a very  aggressive set of goals to complete that day and I’m very proud to say that we met all of them! During the time we weren’t working on group shots the models were in hair/makeup and whoever was ready with their next look would be sent over to shoot individuals.

The individual shots we created are mainly for use on the models profile pages since they’re in no way related to tires or the automotive industry, haha! But part of the reason this location was selected for was for wide variety of looks that could be created around the property.
I had the oh-so-difficult assignment of poolside bikini and exercise photos. Wow. Rough location. Haha!
Throughout the middle of the day and afternoon the girls would be switched out with me to shoot around the infinity pool with all the mountains in the background. Gorgeous. I could easily see why so many magazine shoots are done at this location with this pool.

A second concept for the poster was a composite idea I was asked about. There was some question to the feasibility of doing this shot with six girls and making the shot work at the venue. The one thing there wasn’t much of was large open space and walls. We selected the three-car garage doors as the best spot to create a six-photo composite extra-wide style poster. I think it came out pretty damn good, actually.

Each girls was shot with the same style lighting and power adjusted according to the background, skin tone, or wardrobe. But overall it worked great. I may print a large version of this just for the sake of seeing how it looks. But, the version I’m looking at right now on my 27in screen looks pretty awesome!

Ultimately the pool shot was used for the poster – which is perfect since that was the original idea and goal anyway.

Click the break for a ton of additional photos of the girls… since I know that’s what you’re really here to see.

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