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Ragnar Trail Relay – Lake Tahoe

Ragnar Trail Relay – Lake Tahoe 2016

So this was one of the three main races I was hoping to complete this year. (The other two were Escape From Alcatraz Tri, and Half Iron Michigan that I opted out of in favor of a full Iron in December)
Ragnar was first introduced to me through a buddy of mine in Florida. He had brought up the possibility of doing a relay with our group out there in the Keys. But that was the road relay. Ragnar has two styles of races. Point-to-point road running, and multiple-loop trail running and camping. As I looked at the two different options I found their Tahoe race that immediately appealed to me _because_ it was in Tahoe and I knew it would be hard.

 

I’ve lived and trained in Tahoe two different summers for Ironman Tahoe. So I knew exactly what this race would require from me.

But I didn’t know enough people to assemble a team on my own. And frankly, at the time of this writing in July, I have competed in 11 races that I can think off the top of my head. Ragnar didn’t look like it was in the cards for me.

And then I randomly found a team last minute..

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Escape From Alcatraz 2016

Everyone calls this race a “bucket list” race. Personally I think that term is ridiculously cliche and can’t stand it. I would prefer just to say “Yeah, it’s definitely one you should try and do if you’re interested”. And there’s currently a solid argument to be made that the 40% increase in cost this year is due to every triathlon writer calling this race “bucket list”.

I had first heard about Escape from friends. And then looked it up online back in 2014 for the 2015 race. I entered the second drawing, but was not selected. However I did get selected to race in the 2016 race in the next drawing that was held.

Reading about the race online was interesting because you see everyone’s underlying panic when they ask questions in forums or discuss it online. I didn’t consider the race distances to be difficult lengths. It was a 1.5 mile ocean swim in the Bay, 18 mile ride through San Francisco, and 8 mile run – including a beach section.
But my background with triathlons includes Ironman Lake Tahoe – so I now compare nearly every race to that one. People were particularly scared about the water, but when I lived in SoCal before recently moving back to the SF Bay Area I would train in the ocean. So waves don’t really bother me, nor does the salt.

And when it came down to the actual race, I knew I would have a fun time racing with minimal struggle throughout the day if I wanted. My goal would be 3hr 30min. And when race day came around I managed a 3:35:06

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The #PrincessMen return to Disneyworld’s PHM Weekend

 

It’s already been a year since our appearance as the #PrincessMen at the Disneyworld Princess Half Marathon weekend in Orlando. And while this year was much smaller than last year in terms of the size of our group, it was arguably a race we were looking forward to even more.

(For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my huge writeup from last year here: Princess Half 2015 )

Planning this year’s race was somewhat tricky in the sense that, well, Life happens. And what I mean by that is 50% of last year’s group wasn’t going to be attending. This was a huge disappointment for me because I knew how much the other runners were looking forward to our return. As I wrote last year, a lot of ladies out on the course found extra energy to continue running and paced with us for a portion of their race. And I knew they were looking forward to us coming back again.

…we even made Buzzfeed this year

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So Buzzfeed reached out to me several days after the race. We were featured in the Top 10 list of Best Costumes from the race. We came in at Number 1! How awesome is that! Thanks for the support everyone! We’ll be back to full-strength in our numbers next year!

…and on the topic of the smaller-group thing…

Half the group

This year we would be missing Charming, Mulan, Anna, and Beast. For various reasons they couldn’t make the race work with their schedules. Whether it was due to travel during that timeframe. Scheduling and simply not having time to train. Or in the case of Charming, running elsewhere in the race and not with us this year.

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So this was going to be the group.
Smaller, yes. But we were still going to have a great time.

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The runDisney Princess Half as the #PrincessMen

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The impact we had on others during this race was an unexpected, flattering, and emotional surprise for all of us. What started as a silly joke to laugh at ourselves ended up encouraging others around us through our humor and energy.
It was never about getting a medal for our group. It was about the laughs. And I’m glad we were able to bring that to so many others.
The kind words from everyone, the many posts online of and about us, and the overwhelmingly positive response made our decision to continue this idea next year and beyond an easy one.

So I just recently returned from Orlando where I competed in the DisneyWorld Princess Half Marathon. I know a lot of people laughed when I said I would be doing a race that was such a short distance, and also a Disney race.
For those who don’t know me, I’ve never been big on the idea of “Pay to Run” (by myself). And the races I have started to compete in recently are 140 mile Ironman triathlons – I have three Iron races I’m doing later this year, actually.

The reason I’ve never been keen on paying to run is because I don’t feel like going and running a race by myself just to get a medal, and my newer hobby of triathlons is ridiculously expensive. But as an ex-cast-member the appeal of doing a Disney race with my old lifeguard buddies was still there.

Click the break to read more about our experience as #PrincessMen at runDisney’s Princess Half Marathon!

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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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Ninja Turtles: A Re-Imagining. TMNT as humans

It’s been a long time in the making, but I’ve finished my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Re-Imagined poster!
And here it is.

From the first photoshoot (Raphael) to the last shoot (Splinter) it officially took me 27 months to photograph everyone. But there is a long explanation behind why it took me so long to complete this project.
So go grab yourself something to drink, maybe a slice of pizza, and get ready for my extremely detailed story behind this project, why I created it, and what went into putting something like this together.

Oh! but if you’re just here to pre-order you copy of this poster, you can do that right now..

You’re going to need to jump over to my online store here: http://www.johnremus.com/store
$30 for a 20in by 30in Glossy full-color print on heavy photo paper, shipped to you. Payable through Paypal.

Otherwise, click past the break to read on!!

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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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Last year of the world! Hellooo 2012!

Twenty twelveeeeeeeeee!!!!
The world is gonna end! Oh nooooooo!

I have a feeling that this will be the running joke throughout the year for me. However, in my annual end of the year open letter as I take some time to look back at 2011 I find myself at a bit of a loss for words.
This year seemed to go by much quicker than last. Sure, we all say that at the end of each year, don’t we?

But this year was such a mix of running around SoCal working on personal projects with various clients mixed in between that I’m finding it difficult to find key points to talk about as I reflect on my year.

Growth. Let’s just go with a cliche choice on this one, shall we?

I could support this two ways…
The first is that I watched many of my close friends, family, and even past client’s lives grow as people had children and added to their families. I became an Uncle this year when my little sister had a daughter mid-summer. Later in in the Fall my oldest and best friend had a son, too. So I’m an Uncle twice this year. Maternity photos I shot last year were now baby photos this year. I was booked by past families to do new rounds of family portraits as kids were older and new images were needed.

I took my work a new direction with a portrait series that I started work on in the Spring. I began creating images of people in and around my daily life. Some images were planned out in detail prior to the shoot, while others were created right there on the street with people I had met only moments before. This series proved extremely popular. I showcased the series during an art show in Hollywood – my first time every displaying my work publicly in a gallery setting.

I continued to travel all over the US for weddings. I kept my self-promise of always extending my trips to see local friends in the areas that work would take me.

I gained several new, major clients as my business grew and projects that I worked on became bigger and more important. My biggest of which are actually continuing into the new year and I will finally be able to share them in the upcoming weeks.

Twenty Eleven was a great year. And although I could go on and on about each detail and event that made it great I won’t.
My life grew with new members of families around me. My clients grew as I expanded my business. And my work grew as I developed my own style and took my photography to a level far beyond where I was just 12 months ago.

Let’s get going with 2012! I can’t wait to see what’s ahead.

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John Remus Photography Christmas Card 2011

The 2011 John Remus Photography Christmas Card is here!!!

The Second Annual John Remus Christmas card has been completed and is going out in a limited run of 150 this year!

Last year was my first attempt at doing a somewhat high production Christmas card. I wanted to do something that wasn’t the typical and generic looking holiday card. After quickly sending out all 100 prints that I made it was clear that this year I’d need to step it up.

There were 110 carded spoken for before I even finished shooting this year!

So if you’re lucky enough to bump into me, or have my cell phone number, better call me up if you want to get your hands on one of the remaining 2011 cards!

Merry Christmas!

John Remus III