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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 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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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 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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Portrait shots of Vaughn Gittin Jr, Chris Forberg, Ryan Tuerck, and Bil Baldwin

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When I’m asked what I like shooting most of all my answer would be portraits. Which is saying a lot because I have the opportunity to shoot a LOT of different things from models to racing to weddings.
And while all those other things are a lot of fun, coming back around to portraits is where I always end up. It’s wonderfully simple an they’re WAY more interesting than a racecar on a track I feel like.

The Formula Drift season just kicked off for 2013 – and I’m sure many of you likely saw my blog post earlier this week about it. And during Round 1: Long Beach, I was on assignment from K&N Filters and AEM Intakes. One of the things I was required to shoot was headshots of various drivers that they sponsor. I immediately thought “Awesome! Now I HAVE to get photos with three of the busiest drivers at the track: Vaughn Gittin Jr., Ryan Tuerck, and Chris Forberg.
Now I’m not saying these guys won’t give you the time of day – that couldn’t be further from the truth. However as a photographer for one of their sponsors it’s much easier to get a few minutes of their time set aside specifically for you to photograph them.

Each of my portraits of these drivers only took me about 5 minutes to create. So long as I have nearly all my camera settings dialed than it’s just a matter of lighting being balanced, a few test shots, and a couple “real ones” where my subject can smile or do whatever they like…. then I’m done. Out of their hair AND I have both headshots for my clients along with an image and I can edit into the portraits you see above.

I also met and photographed Bil “The Bearded Man of Drift” Baldwin, who’s become a bit of a legend in the Drift world. I actually had heard of him through a friend of mine that knows of Bil from the “Beard Life” community, haha!

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Me and Bil, right after his portrait the morning of the race!

Anyway, click past the break for the portraits I created of Vaughn, Ryan, Chris and Bil – along with some Behind the Scenes that my buddy Rex shot while I was working with Vaughn!

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The Vaccaro-So Wedding, San Jose

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I just returned from San Jose where I shot Phil and Jacque’s gorgeous January wedding.

It was a cool weekend up in the Bay Area, but the weather stayed clear and sunny long enough for the So wedding ceremony to be comfortable despite such a chilly week leading up to the event.
I’ve known Jacque years now… since high school. Actually it was after high school that her and Julia and I started hanging out more often. Up until I moved to SoCal years ago we would get together occasionally for dinner or drinks or coffee at Santana Row. So it was very flattering with Jacque got ahold of me to tell me she was engaged and interested in me shooting her wedding weekend for her.

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The last time I had seen Jacque and Julia was at Satana Row, of course, when we met up briefly for dinner one night.

And now we’re just barely into January and I found myself returning back to the Bay Area after having just been in town for the holidays. The weather was freezing… literally freezing. Night time lows that week were in the mid-to-high 20’s! In the Bay Area! Friday afternoon I went out to Cinnabar Golf Course to meet up with Jacque and her family for the rehearsal. I had shot at this location about 18 months ago – so I was already familiar with the grounds and how they do their weddings. Mostly I was just there that afternoon to shoot around to get a few “practice” photos for the family to have. Rehearsal was fairly quite and most people seemed to understand it well enough. Though to be honest I think everyone was getting too cold out on the patio to admit anything if they were confused about the order of events anyway.

Afterward we all went out to dinner, courteous of Phil’s family.

The next morning started as every wedding does for me, with hanging out as the ladies all start their hair and makeup. The girls were all getting ready at the venue so that certainly made things much easier on my end. The men all arrived a few hours later and prepped in the men’s locker area themselves. For the most part the whole morning was very smooth. Although Jacque later told me, while laughing about it, that she did have her own small panicky moment that morning right before getting her dress on. But hey, she’s all married and things are fine so clearly it was all good. haha.

The ceremony was gorgeous and despite it being very chilly out later in the evening, the afternoon sun was warm enough for people throughout the vows and pictures afterwards.

I’ll save the rest of the various details for photos below.

However I do want to share something that Jacque said to me at the end of the night when things were winding down. While talking with Jacque she thanked me and said “There was no question that you were going to do my wedding photos. When I got engaged I knew it was going to be you, so, Thank You.”

Those kinds of things mean so much to hear, especially from old friends. I’ve been very lucky to shoot for several old friends over the years and to continually have others book me and be pleased with their decision is a wonderful feeling.

So, click past the break to check out just over 200 additional photos of Phil and Jacque’s wedding in San Jose. I know there are various friends and family that couldn’t make it, as well as Jacque’s brother who is currently deployed. For those that couldn’t celebrate with everyone here’s my view of the So wedding last weekend.

 

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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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Formula Drift Finals 2012

Last weekend was the Formula Drift Finals in Irwindale, Calif.
I was invited to attend by Falken Tire – one of my clients who I’ve done a lot of race work for this year. I actually hadn’t shot Drift in a couple years; not since my days handling K&N Filters photography when I was on staff with them. So I jumped at the opportunity to go out and shoot a bunch of new images as well as hang out with my friends on the Falken staff.

It’s funny that after living right next to Irwindale for two years and never doing any shooting there that I would have the chance to do so right after moving to San Diego for the remainder of the year.
I was able to stay with friends in OC, so it was just a brief trip right up 605 to get to the races.

I didn’t shoot this event the same way that I cover Le Mans. So unfortunately I do not have a bunch of behind the scenes photos and stories for everyone like I usually would. Since I was a guest of Falken rather than there working I did my best to stay out of the way as much as possible.
So, scroll down after the break and check out shots mostly from the track of the various teams ripping through the turns and destroying their tires for sport.

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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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American Le Mans 12 Hours of Sebring w/ Falken Tire

I love Florida. I used to live there… years ago. And I don’t get back nearly as much as I would like to.
But last weekend I was back out in the Sunshine State for the 12 Hours of Sebring – the kickoff to the 2012 American Le Mans racing season. I was shooting for Falken Tire.

It’s been a month since I’ve posted a new blog. I’m so incredibly behind on updates, and I feel terrible about it. I know there are quite a few people out there who do read my blogs and are genuinely interested in my stories. Over the last month, in addition to shooting more Supercross for Falken, I have also worked with several models on different shoots as well as a full shoot with the Budweiser Girls in Orange County. I should probably create blogs with those photos for everyone, too.

But, anyway, I know thousands of people follow my work between Twitter and Facebook, and knew I was out in Sebring for a little race photography.

Ok. Let’s be real. It was a LOT of race photography. I was there to make sure that Falken had plenty of images from the race of their brand new 2012 Porsche on the track. I spent about four days with the Falken crew between traveling and shooting. I always enjoy the chances I have to work with their team. They’re amazing people. I was particularly interested in meeting their ALMS race team. I had been in loose contact with someone who handles their @FalkenALMS twitter feed. Whoever it was was someone that was very interactive – a trait you RARELY see from industry people. Turned out it was their PR Rep, Kelly. She’s awesome if you ever meet her.

I also got the chance to see two of their models again; Brittney and Melanie were both their to support the team this past weekend. I hadn’t had a chance to see Melanie since our shoot in Malibu several months ago – and this was the first opportunity I would have to get her to sign my poster. Haha! Brittney and I saw each other at Supercross. So now, after this trip, I have my poster complete! Silly things like getting signatures from models on pieces of my work mean a lot to me.

Most of my weekend was spent on foot though. I was walking around the track numerous times trying to get an idea of the corners and locations. I had never been to Sebring so I wasn’t familiar with the layout. The downside to all the walking was the 30+ pounds of gear I was carrying. On the one hand I could have left most of it in the rig at the paddocks. On the other hand I was out at two or three hours at a time and rather have all my stuff with me so I wouldn’t have to keep leaving the track.

I had an amazing time out at Sebring. I took a bit of video, too. I was hoping to do some behind the scenes type clips to show everyone what it’s like to see the race how I see it. However with all the gear I was already carrying it was too much to also try and get video and I didn’t come home with as many clips as I would have liked.

I shot over 2,500 photos over the weekend. I threw out 500 or so yesterday. And from the remaining I made a selection of about 60 to share with you guys below. So, click past the break… check out my weekend at the races.

Oh, and I promise I’ll get back on top of my blogs in the next week and have an update for you guys with other recent work of mine.

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