Standing on Hollywood Blvd and looking up to see my photography (and me) eight stories tall is a trip. Many thanks to the good people at GoPro for trusting in me to get the shots they wanted. This photo is on the front of the packaging for the new GoPro Hero3+ Music Mount camera as well as the new Hero4. It stands proudly on all their billboards and social media.
Getting the shots took a month of very hard work for not only me, but my band and my family. We scouted locations, paid for locations, borrowed locations, experimented with lights, learned what worked and what didn’t and fought the frustration of some nights where nothing worked at all. It takes some learning to shoot stills with this camera because the iris is automated based on what amount of light the camera is pointed at, much like your smartphone. GoPro sent me four Hero3+ cameras to work with as well as a whole slew of mounts including all their new prototype music mounts that had yet to come out like the sticky mounts, jaws clamp and microphone stand mount.
Our first set we borrowed Iacon Studios big recording room and attached the cameras in different spots while we recorded our set. While the room is nice and spacious and professional the lighting in there makes everything pretty flat and less interesting from a photographical sense. On to the next spot.
As we scouted possible spots to borrow, we rented the big room at Rock n Roll San Diego and turned on their par cans. I also brought some extra little LEDs for fill. We invited our friends down and performed a concert for them. This is where I got the money shot used on the packaging and billboards. On this day I think I took over three thousand photos on time-lapse mode.
Our next location was borrowed. We decided to illuminate the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park in San Diego with colorful LEDs and haze. It looked fantastic, but the dynamic range of many digital cameras doesn’t play well with LED lights and the fall off between gradients gets ugly and not smooth. So while the shots were cool, the lights were a no-go.
A friend owns El Camino, a restaurant and bar in San Diego’s Little Italy so we asked if we could use the location for a shoot and thankfully they were fully supportive. I then asked our good Friend Brian Sheerin of the band Mower who has been featured in one of our songs in the past to come down and shoot with us. Some of these shots turned out really great. I worked hard to diffuse some of those LEDs to make them a little smoother on the walls and ceiling and we again brought in a lot of haze.
My contact at GoPro requested a shot at a bonfire on the beach at sunset would be a great shot to focus on and we shot bonfire shots several times, working to try and get it right, One day, the sunset was looking to be epic so I posted up down at North Beach in beautiful Coronado, CA to get a good pit. My wife and son came a long on this one as well as the singer of my band, Asher. One of the shots taken here is currently a featured shot for the GoPro Hero4 and also featured in the 2015 catalog.
Really good friends of ours have a beautiful home right on a golf course in Leucadia, CA with an epic pool and hot tub. One day while sipping some margaritas by their pool I asked them if we could use their yard for a shot, which thankfully they obliged. I had my GoPro with me anyway to shoot my son in their pool and they had this cool old Ovation acoustic guitar so all the elements fell nicely in to place. Add two hot chicks to an already beautiful setting and you most certainly have a recipe for success. This photo is featured on the side of the box for the GoPro Hero3+.
Over the last few years GoPro has contracted me to shoot product-focused photos showcasing their mounts and how they can be used and tons of shots using children, since I have a little one. Shots of my son have been used several times on the GoPro website and many others are in their queue so be on the lookout.
The GoPro Hero cameras have always been my camera of choice for shooting stills or video of my son as he’s grown up. They are indestructible and can go anywhere, including the pool. I don’t have to jam a camera in his face as I can just mount it somewhere close and free myself up to take part in the action. If you are a parent and don’t have a GoPro you are doing yourself a disservice!