Mitch Ranger


January 12, 2016  |  Behind The Scenes

For years I've been thinking about reinterpreting the bizarre fairytales we've all grown up with. They are so twisted, abstract, and creative. Screaming for a photographic interpretation. 

When I was younger, commercial work and what I'd frame on my own wall were two separate things. I'm happy to say that's no longer the case. It's great to be able to explore personal ideas, even better when you get paid for them.   

We did this shoot on a Monday afternoon, and it was as fluid as jazz. We had prepared with a fitting. I wanted the wardrobe to move in the air to show a clear sense of our action and whimsy, so we ran around the studio in different outfits while Michael snapped photos. I felt like a kid. My first ever cameo in my own imagery. We couldn't stop laughing.

The next step was to capture all the elements. Something that's important to me during the creation of composite imagery is to do things as naturally as possible. When I lit the subjects, I lit them like the scene. Exactly like the scene. When I put the elements in set, I used the backdrop so our tones blended naturally. We created bounce light that bled the scene's colors naturally onto the subject. We created a similar 3D groundcover on top of the backdrop ground so the colors and textures blended seamlessly. We created a light tent out of the actual backdrop so that the scene was naturally shown in the reflection of the metallic elements. It's all about the right ingredients. All shot exactly to perspective, height, and angle. 

I'd like to thank Amy, Wendy, Mimi, Wes, Jesse, Marco, Chad, and Michael. I couldn't have done it without you. 

Here's the dish ran away with the spoon. The first of many more...


Founders All Day IPA

January 26, 2015  |  Behind The Scenes
I'm happy when creating...happiest when delivering. From sketch to execution the Founders Brewing All Day IPA campaign is top notch. This project happened with vision and support from John, Jamie, Dave, Mike, Mimi, Leslie, and Glen. Along with coordination from the VanAndel Public Museum. Thank you all for the tremendous effort. It’s been endorsed with numerous awards, including the Graphis Advertising Annual 2014.  

So how did we do it? After the sketch there are many decisions to make. Do we shoot in studio? Do we shoot on location? How do we actually do this? I started with the decision to do these as naturally as possible. Shooting a bunch of elements and retouching in photoshop for endless hours to create what would essentially be a collage piece just seemed like too much assembly. It also felt untrue to the company we were creating this for, a company that prides itself on naturalness and craft. So with the trust and guidance of the art director and a talented crew we assembled this home brew from scratch. We photographed the actual IPA glass bottle, and put an overlay on our screen so we could literally stack, saw, glue, chisel, force, finesse, and hammer the exact shape together. Well…damn near it. 

In the end it took about 6 days of work. And if you really want to know, Contax, 80, Phase One, 6 eggs, 5 spotlights, 3 grids, 2 beauty dishes, 2 Octa’s, and a lone wolf.