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A Man Poses For A Portrait By A Hay Bailing Tractor In Howard Colorado

The Beauty and Grit in Hay Baling (portraits)

When I am shooting a story it is often of people with a job to do, which means they can't afford to be distracted from their work. So I've become skilled at keeping out of the way and being as inconspicuous as possible. Such was the case with the hay-makin' story I wrote about in my previous post. But in addition to the story, I wanted to get portraits of each of the three people I was documenting. Elaborate setups…

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A Man And A Woman Stack Hay On A Hay Farm In Hay Farm In Howard, Colorado

The Beauty and Grit in Hay Baling (story)

My dad spent a lot of time on a farm in Wisconsin growing up and seemed to try to turn every yard of our suburban homes into one when I was a kid. I got put to work often raking dirt and picking rocks, something I hated then but now enjoy. So this year I was thrilled to make friends with a family that owns a hay farm. They let me come out and soak it in during a recent…

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A Girl Waves Out Her Window

New Story-Based Video for Iowa Nonprofit

"You did it again, Doug! Gave us the chills and the feels." That was the response from my client at the Short Years Partnership when I sent her the first draft of this video last week. She is a client I have worked with for several years in Colorado. Two years ago she took a position at a nonprofit in Iowa. “Give me two years,” she said. In June, exactly two years later, I got an email from her asking…

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Denver Health Hospital Patient Is Medivaced From A Helicopter

On the Helipad for Denver Health Medical

There's nothing like the rush of adrenaline I feel when I'm around a helicopter landing. As a professional photographer I find myself in a lot of exciting situations. This time it was an assignment for Denver Health Medical. I was hired to create a number of images, including of their air medical team. The team had better things to do (you know, the whole saving lives thing) so I had a very short window of time in which to execute…

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Portrait Photography Of Denver Lawyer In Hollywood Style

The Hollywood Lawyer

One of the first things I ask for when a photo editor reaches out to me for a magazine photo assignment is the article or story that the photo will be accompanying. This helps me learn about their subject and what their story angle might be. That way I can start thinking of visual ideas that will help support the person and the story. Most of the time I am told that is not available, either because it hasn't been…

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Portrait Photography Of A Woman Farmer Poses In Front Of A Bail Of Hay On A Colorado Farm

Hay-Makin’

Last week I spent some time on a farm in Howard, Colorado, and shot three people as they worked to bail hay. It was a lot of fun and I'm very excited about the images I came away with. I'm still post-processing the set but here's one I wanted to share now. More to come!

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Portrait Photography Of Denver Teacher In His Classroom

Bookends to a School Year

Last August NEA Today Magazine assigned me to create portraits of a Denver elementary school teacher (below). When I met the teacher I could just feel the stress sweltering out of her. The start of school was a week away. She was in the middle of creating a long list of videos for students choosing to learn from home. And she still needed to transform her classroom, including adding plexiglass to every desk. A couple of weeks ago NEA Today…

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The Appraisal Foundation Vice President Lisa Desmarais

Portrait for Valuation Magazine

Valuation Magazine reached out to me again this month to create a portrait of a vice president at the Appraisal Institute for their upcoming quarterly issue. I had a great experience creating portraits of their new president last year so I was happy to work with them again. Whenever I do a magazine shoot I always like to see the story ahead of time to get ideas that will resonate visually. Unfortunately, that wasn't available yet. I asked if it…

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Virtual Fundraiser for Meals on Wheels

I've had the pleasure working with a Meals on Wheels chapter in Boulder County for the past five years to create story-based videos for their annual fundraising event. Late in 2019 their director moved on to another chapter of her life and was followed by a new director, Lark Rambo. I was looking forward to working with her but when Covid-19 hit they cancelled their fundraising event. This spring they decided to bring it back - virtually. This has become…

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Zoom Setup On Steroids

An Unmatched Zoom Setup

Sometimes a scene for a fantastic image just jumps out at you. Such was the case with Craig, who owns a company that makes videos for vets. I was working in an adjacent office for portrait photograph when I wandered in Craig's office to say hi. What I found was Craig in the middle of a video call via a Zoom setup on steroids. He had obviously taken full advantage of his video production tools, including a KinoFlo light, which…

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Hot Off The Press!

I was thrilled to receive a copy of a magazine I created the cover photo for last summer. It features new Appraisal Institute president and Denver resident Rodman Schley. Rodman appraises commercial buildings and so it made sense to try and shoot his portrait in a commercial building setting, something he and the photo editor leaned on me to secure. Well, finding a location indoors is a significant challenge in covid times. Most building managers are wary of allowing in…

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Pike Place Market – A Search for the Truth of Aloneness

Earlier today I was talking to someone about the album of movie ticket stubs I have kept since I was 11 years old. It made me reflect on the reasons why I started it and have kept it going for so many years. Other than my love for film, I think it has a lot to do with the tangible nature of the stubs. Time is intangible and measured only because we chose to measure it, making it something of…

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Fall Color Brilliance at Vancouver Botanical Garden

In October of 2017 I took a trip up to Vancouver to see one of my favorite bands—Broken Social Scene—play a two-night show. Vancouver was in the midst of fall season, which is my favorite time to visit local botanical gardens. So I spent a day exploring Vancouver's VanDusen Botanical Gardens with my camera. The landscape was rich with color and shapes and, oh boy, I went crazy. I love abstract art and I like to apply that ethos to…

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Divorce Matters Commercial

Creating a Broadcast Commercial During Covid

Over the summer I was contacted by a creative director at an agency in Florida who liked the emotionally driven strength of my portfolio and thought I'd be a good fit to create a broadcast commercial for a client of theirs in Denver. That client is Divorce Matters, a Denver law firm specializing in divorce, a sensitive subject to be sure. I agreed to take on the project and created (serving as director, cinematographer, and editor) the 30-second broadcast commercial…

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Totally Under Control Film

Shooting A Documentary During Covid

Back in July I got a phone call from a producer in New York at Jigsaw Productions, Alex Gibney's production company. Alex Gibney gained notoriety 20 years ago with his documentary, "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room." He has made several documentary films and series since, often on high profile subjects. His latest project was a film about the government's response to covid-19. They wanted to include an interview from Max Kennedy Jr. (grandson of RFK), who happened to…

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A Mom And Her Daughter Water Plants At Habitat For Humanity House

Habitat For Humanity Goes Virtual

Many nonprofit organizations hold an annual in-person fundraising event where they raise the bulk of their funding for the year. Videos are often shown at these events with the goal of engaging prospective donors on an emotional level. Over the years I've created several such videos to great success. I focus on the stories of people who have benefited from my client's services. And I use a documentary and observational style to tell those stories in an authentic and humanistic…

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Crush Walls 2020

My office is in the RiNo area of Denver. Until recently, RiNo was largely a run down area littered with warehouses and manufacturing buildings. Over the six years I've been there I've witnessed it transform. Many of the warehouses have been demolished and replaced by apartment and condo buildings. Others have been transformed into market halls and offices. And walls, lots of walls, have been beautified by spray paint artists. Crush Walls was founded 11 years ago, right around the…

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Portfolio Video Cover

Getting Creative About Marketing During Covid

I recently completed a new print portfolio and was all excited about being able to present it to current and potential clients and then ... covid. Sigh. Since so many of our interactions have gone virtual, I thought, why not a portfolio presentation, too? So I enlisted the help of my girlfriend, who always has great ideas, to help me think of the best approach. I set up in her nicely decored office and asked her to direct me. She…

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Denver Teacher Sits At Her Desk Preparing For Covid School Year

Portraits for NEA Today Magazine

Rachel Sandoval is a teacher in the Denver Public School system. I met up with her last week to create photos for a story about her in an upcoming issue of NEA Today Magazine, the publication produced by the National Education Association. Like many teachers preparing for school during Covid, she is working hard getting ready for the upcoming school year. When I met her, she was busy recording videos with her computer camera for students choosing to learn from…

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Rodman Schley Editorial Portrait For Valuation Magazine At Taxi In Denver

Portraits for Valuation Magazine

If you meet Rodman Schley and ask him, "what do you do for a living," be prepared for a long answer. Rodman is a national TV host, a keynote speaker, a serial entrepreneur, real estate expert, and published author. Phew! Oh wait, I forgot to add television producer. His expertise in real estate is what caught the attention of The Appraisal Institute, which produces Valuation Magazine, a monthly publication for real estate appraisers. Rodman is based in Denver where I…

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The Action Center Nonprofit Fundraising Video

How I Put Color Back in Maureen’s Life

I've been making films in one form or another for 20 years. You would think I have seen it all. But every project I take on has something unique about it that requires thinking of a new solution or approach. I suppose that's one of the reasons I still love doing what I do so many years in. Such was the case with the latest video I created for The Action Center, a nonprofit in Lakewood, Colorado, that provides immediate…

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Napa Valley Vineyard Owner Tends To Grape Plants

Is THIS the Most Interesting Man Alive?

Jim Fresquez grew up in an East LA gang, worked in the animation department of Walt Disney, then trained raced horses working with the man who was part of the team that trained Seabiscuit. Today, he still trains horses and has added vigneron to his long and varied resume. He and his wife operate Rust Ridge Ranch and Vineyard in Napa Valley.  They include an B&B, which is where I stayed after doing job in San Francisco. Their vineyard is…

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A Home For Gerardo

Jerry Caruso had a very successful business remodeling kitchens. It allowed him to have a nice house. Cars. Pay for his children's education. But it wasn't enough. Something was missing. I need to find a way to give back, he thought. One afternoon he met with with a doctor at Children's Hospital. Jerry asked him if he knew of something that needed help but is often overlooked. The doctor told him that there was a lot of assistance out there…

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Marathon in the Dark

In the spring of last year my friend Carey emailed me from her home in Maryland. "Denise and I signed up for a half marathon in Joshua Tree in November," she wrote. "Do you want to come?" My response: "Do they have an eighth?" I was not adverse to running. I'd run track and cross country in high school, but the max distance for any one of those races was 3.1 miles. In my adulthood, I prefer to run when…

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A Holistic Portfolio is Born

Apologies if you felt a breath of air come from your screen after landing on this website. That was just me blowing off some lint after rubbing in the final polish on what is a brand new website for me. I began my career in Washington, DC, where I worked primarily as a freelance director of photography. I shot a ton of VIP interviews and content for documentaries and broadcast television. It was fun and rewarding, but after 10 years…

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