Mondo Wins! Project Runway All-Stars and popchips! by Justin Fritts

So tonight I got to go shoot for popchips at the Project Runway All-Stars viewing party here in Denver hosted by Mondo.  For those who don't know Mondo is a designer who lives in Denver and was on Project Runway a few seasons ago.  Sadly he did not win but got an invitation back to compete with the All-Stars.  Well, congratulations to Mondo as he won this time, winning a much bigger and nicer prize package too.  Here are a few of the photos from the event although this is just the quick cut for the blog, more to come. EDIT: More Photos as promised now available here

Bulleit Bourbon at Interstate Kitchen and Bar by Justin Fritts

So Bulleit Rye (a really delicious rye whiskey) can hardly be found here in Denver right now but it just so happens that there was a wonderful dinner hosted by Interstate Kitchen and Bar here in Denver that I got to attend in its honor.  The food at Interstate was very good and and bourbon complimented it well.  With that said, let's get to the photos. Awesomely done soup of the day, whisky

Bulleit and Interstate Together

More through after the break as always.

Raising a glass

Awesome Food Number 1

Awesome Food Number 2

Spring Back to Vail / Captain Morgan by Justin Fritts

So sadly the majority of the snow season is over, probably no more snowboarding for me even though A-Basin is probably still in decent shape.  I did get to close the season out in style though at Vail for the Spring Back to Vail Festival which was great!  Captain Morgan was on the mountain to help keep spirits high in the dark times of the countdown to closure and to help promote and get the word out about the pond skimming competition on Sunday. I got to follow the Captain around and get some photos, including one in which he actually got the Captain Pose while in the air, it was great!

Then on Sunday I got to go to the Pond Skimming Competition which was amazing.  I've never been to one but it's quite shocking how much skill it must take to do.  You hit a jump which launches you up in the air and then you land on the water.  Gotta have enough speed to make it the rest of the way and hopefully have some experience with water skiing.

The Captain held a competition to see who wanted to dress up as a Captain and take on the mountain.  About ten people wanted to take part and take the Captain's place.  The Captain held a vuvuzela blowing competition, a pose off competition and then a quiz about what you think "your best night out" is.  Of course the Captain is all about drinking responsibly and dropped a few hints about it, two people picked up on the hints but Jimmy took home the prize.  Jimmy got dressed up quickly by the Captain and the Morganettes in the Captain suit and climbed the hill.  If that wasn't enough he totally succeeded at crossing the pond having never done it before and then pulled the Captain pose when back on dry land!  Youtube video here (sorry about the shakiness, it's my video but no tripod).

Photos of the fun event below.


More from the event after the break!

Crown Rodeo for the Stock Show by Justin Fritts

For the past few years Crown Royal has been sponsoring events at venues around the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO.  I did not know this until fairly recently but cowboys love Crown Royal (at least some of them do).  Crown has Stock Show themed giveaways and the girls dress up like cowgirls.  All around fun for all. A row of pool tables all with Crown Royal felt tables and Crown Royal pool lights above them.

A tray of Crown is a beautiful thing

The girls sampling consumers

Crown Royal chaps on a Crown Royal table

Captain Morgan Snow Daze by Justin Fritts

So I got to go up to Vail and take photos for Captain Morgan.  It was during Vail Snow Daze and I got paid to go snowboard for half a day and take photos.  Then I got to go to the Dummy Demolition Derby.  All around a very fun day.  The Captain is holding a drive to get one million poses photographed.  For every pose uploaded Captain Morgan will donate $1.  You can see more on their Facebook page. Here are some of the photos from the day on the slopes.

More after the break...

Seriously good times!

Tebow Follow Up by Justin Fritts

So the photos I took for Nike have made the rounds.  I found them posted on a couple of blogs around the net, pretty much all Tebow.  Have a look around, I google'd Tebow Boom Box and came up with just these couple of links:

And of course a link to my original post here

Cuervo Cue the Epic Night Facebook goes Live by Justin Fritts

So after a long wait the Cue the Epic night Facebook page has gone live, I know, that's what the title said.  I've been telling all the random people in the bars for months that their photos can be seen on a billboard in Times Square and will eventually be on Facebook.  Well, today is the day: it can be found here: and you can vote on and submit your own Epic Pics.  Right now 8 of the Top 10 were taken by yours truly and I'm pretty excited about that.  I'm sure that will change very quickly as people start submitting their own but I'm happy about it. Go, upload, vote, have fun.

Nike Boom Boxes by Justin Fritts

So I got a gig this week, kinda last minute, real quick, real cool. The gig was this, go to the Nike Ambassador's house Tuesday morning, hop in a Lincoln Towncar complete with a driver, leather seats and bottled water. Ride out to the Broncos training facility and take some photos of Ryan Clady and Tim Tebow receiving their Nike Boom Boxes. Pretty sweet.  The Nike BOOM Box contains shoes, gloves, a shirt, belt and a card written for that specific box and college.  They are very limited, less than 100 made in total and each one is individually numbered and personalized with the person's alma matter.  What a fun shoot and what a cool gift from Nike.

Tebow receiving his Nike Boom Box

Tebow Holding up his Gator Gloves

Clady Holding up his Boom Box

Times Square, way better proof! by Justin Fritts

So since flying to NYC to get some photos of some photos wasn't really in the cards financially I put the call out to reddit.  I have been a redditor for three years (according to my profile, I can't believe it's been that long) and was a lurker even before that.  Reddit is an amazing online community, people submit stories, photos, comics, for people to review, comment on and vote on. I've seen people request things from other redditors, a couch to sleep on, a restaurant recommendation, relationship advice, so given my limited resources I decided to try it.  I posted a call out to r/photography and r/nyc asking if any redditors could go get some video or photos of the billboard and the response was amazing.  I had no less than a dozen people offer to help me out.  Jclemon was the first to respond to me with photos and marvelously told me he'd have video posted for me soon.

I'm so pumped, thank you all of reddit for being an awesome online community.

More after the fold...

Times Square Proof, really awful proof by Justin Fritts

So I found a webcam for Times Square.  After watching the webcam for about 15 minutes I saw my photos on a billboard.  The billboard appears to be on a 5-6 minute loop and it is by the Morgan Stanley corner, 1585 Broadway.  The photos aren't my most artistic shots but they are the fun, wacky, party photos that the client wanted.  I'm just excited that my photos are on a billboard in Times Square and I have proof, hopefully better proof to come. You'll have to do some photo comparisons, like I said, hopefully I can get an NYC person to go take better photos or video.

Click through the break to see the actual photos.

It is for real.

Big FrittsPhoto News by Justin Fritts

So this is actually the second piece of news that I have this week but I still don't have any proof of the first. FotoMoto, my printer for all the online prints, has decided to feature my photo from Mallory and Doug's engagement photo session as their photo of the day.  Go to and check it out for Nov 18th.  I have a screenshot cause I don't know how far they go back.

Featured Photo of 11-18-2010 on

The second piece of news is that my photos that I took this last weekend for Jose Cuervo have been picked by the marketing company and ad agency to be featured on and on a billboard in Times Square in NYC.  I was hoping to keep this news under wraps until the photos ended up on facebook or I had proof of the Times Square billboard but with the FotoMoto news I decided I should just do one bragging post.  Hopefully I'll have actual evidence of the other ones soon.

Whoop whoop!!!

Marguerite - All white background photos by Justin Fritts

Marguerite was a referral to me from Ryan Brandle over at She needed a headshot with a white background for her site that is currently under development.  This one was a new one by me and given that I do nearly all available light photography or single flash (Speedlite) photography I knew this would be a challenge.  An exciting challenge though. Marguerite headshot

I ended up with a few reflections on the cheeks and on the glasses but the diffusion of the umbrellas went a long way to helping this.  If you'd like to read more about getting the shot please continue after the break.

I looked on the Internet high and low for help getting these white background photos.  I couldn't find much and what I could find was way more complex than my budget and space constraints would allow.  So...

First I went to my local camera store and bought some continuous lights.  Two reflectors with 250W bulbs, light stands and umbrellas.  This little setup only set me back $100, I figured with those two and the flash I'd be good.  That was until the light bulb in one burnt out 30 minutes in to playing around with the lights.  The next day I went and bought two bulbs, $7 a piece and went home to play some more.  Well, another one went out pretty much immediately.  This wouldn't do so I turned to craigslist.

After two days of browsing craigslist and diamond in the rough showed up (well at least a cubic zirconia).  A pair of Promaster strobes with stands and umbrellas.  This set new runs $300-350 from what I could tell and I picked it up for $100.  Not an amazing setup but a functional one.  I must say, plug in, studioesque strobes are awesome.

After playing around (with a Halloween skull on a barstool as my stand in) I found that placing the strobes with white shoot-through umbrellas at a 20-30 degree angle in front of the person gave some good light, it didn't make the features completely flat.  Now I just needed a background.  Simple as simple could be I bought the cheapest plain white queen sized sheet at Target and tacked it into the wall.  Now I just needed to light up the background.

I used my Speedlite (Canon 580 EX II) with a remote trigger on a tripod for this.  I put the tripod down low and lowered the wide angle flash diffuser.  I have some of the cheapest remote triggers you can buy from although I've seen similar ones on Amazon now and am thinking of increasing my collection.   Luckily for me the strobes I bought have a photo sensitive light trigger so me remotely triggering the Speedlite also triggered the strobes.

I sat on a stool about 10 feet away with my 5Dm2 and my 70-200 2.8 IS L.  I had my ISO down at 250 and the flashes all at 1/8.  I hope this all makes sense, if it doesn't I can give more info or some illustrations.  Please feel free to tell me.

Tanqueray Ten 10 Year Anniversary by Justin Fritts

I was recently hired to take some shots at the Tanqueray Ten 10-year anniversary party here in Denver.  The event was held at Colt and Gray near the Highlands.  Mixologist Sean Kenyon hosted the event and brought his specialty to the party serving delicious cocktails to party. Here are some photos I snapped while there:

Martini Glass on a Colt and Gray Napkin

More after the break...

Sean shaking a cocktail

A guest asking about the cocktails on the menu

The place was filled up, hard to navigate for photos

Tanqueray Ten bottles on the mantle as decoration

Full set of photos here:

Day of the Dead and Halloween by Justin Fritts

Happy Day of the Dead and Happy Halloween!  To celebrate this year other than going out to the Alice 105.9 party I got to take some photos for a Jose Cuervo party.  The event, Subterraneo, took place on Tuesday this last week and was a huge event, place was packed and going crazy (on a Tuesday mind you!).  It was held at the Church here in Denver, CO and the place was packed.  Skeletons, face painting, good music and DJing, creepy face projections, low riders, 12 foot puppets, oh and free booze for all, absolutely killer. Some of my favorite photos from the event...

This was the creepy projection and the shadow people on the couch

More after the break...

A nice tribute to Jose Cuervo (in the painting)

More of that creepy projection and the girls painted for the occasion.

Like I said, it was packed

Ghostly low-rider

Seriously, 12 foot puppets

Feel free to go to the client gallery here to see more, way way more.

Ron Zacapa Rum - Beaver Creek by Justin Fritts

So one thing about doing photography for work in your freetime is that sometimes you work all day and then you have to go work.  It can be tough, especially when you have a 2.5 hour drive to get there, really kills the whole day, luckily I enjoy the work. So Ron Zacapa, a 23 year old premium rum from Guatemala, had an event up in Beaver Creek.  It was an event to celebrate a successful promo / winter season up in the mountains that had many promotions.  A lot of people from the resorts and bars around the area were invited to sample some cocktails, have some food and just all around have some fun.  They had giveaways, a photo booth and a DJ.  All around a fun night for everyone.

I luckily carved out a space at the bus station in the kitchen to store my equipment, I carried with me my 5D2, 24-702.8, 70-200 2.8 , 50 1.4, and my 580EXII.  Happy that at any given time I just had to have the camera with the lens and the flash.  I also carried my flash bracket with me but when I was setting up my TTL cable broke, the part of the cable that mounts into the bracket was on a swivel, no good I the flash can rotate in any direction it wants to.  I had to skip it as a result and am now in the market for a new TTL cable.

Zacapa in a glass illuminated from below

More after the fold...

Zacapa pour

Photobooth image outputs by the photobooth

One of the many fun character at the event posing for a photo

Another group posting with a bottle of Zacapa

This next image I tried to get about 20 times from about 5 different angles with about 20 different exposure / flash settings.  What a challenging shot, I still didn't get it the way I wanted to.   I really needed to have my flash off camera, off to the side and maybe even two flashes hitting it from each side.  Not exactly something you can stop and set up for in the middle of a crazy event.  Perhaps I'm wrong on the setup, maybe someone can enlighten me.

Every event has its challenges, with this event I had to go out of my way on several occasions to have the patrons grab a bottle, hold a box, stand by the photobooth and any other trick I could think of to get some branding in the shot.  As time goes by I'm more and more comfortable doing this as it turns out, I have yet to have a single person not want to do it or even care that I asked.

Oscar Party by Justin Fritts

Alright it's been a little while since my last post I'd like to say I've been too busy but really I've just been lazy. Plus it hasn't helped that I picked up a Nexus One. The amount of time I can spend personalizing a new gadget, setting up new apps, tweaking things, making it mine is a little ridiculous. This is especially bad when I'm replacing a gadget that has been so integral in my life for three years, the iPhone. Sadly I'd just had enough of the iPhone and of Apple, I needed something new and fun. I'm really enjoying the new phone, better screen, more open architecture and apps and it has a much better camera, not sure how much use it will get still. So cool, just need to find replacements for all those iPhone apps, most of the games can't be replaced. So anyway back to the photography thing. I was approached about doing an Oscar viewing party. It was sponsored by Moet, the official drink of the Oscars. It was a new concept, one that truthfully I wasn't sure could be pulled off.  (Alright, up until this point I typed the whole thing on the phone, trying out Swype the keyboard from that commercial about setting the record for the fastest text message ever, I'm not that fast with it still, time for a real keyboard)  The concept was to have a red carpet outside and have some photographers out there shooting photos like crazy, flashes going off, etc, give it that red carpet feel. The problem, I was supposed to figure out how to make that work. Luckily I had two friends willing to come out and help and even more luckily one of them had his own SLR to shoot some photos with.

Once inside people would stand in front of the Moet / Academy Awards wall and get their photo taken. I'd work inside and take some photos of people enjoying themselves and some of the surroundings. Still I wasn't sure two people would be enough to give it that "red carpet" feel.

Luckily the response was great, two cameras / cameramen were enough to give people that wow feel. While my two buddies worked the crowd outside I offered up photos to all that wanted them inside. During down times I walked around and snapped some more photos of people and once the party was really started I got to kick back, relax, drink some Moet and Belvedere and eat some delicious food. After some relaxing, back out there to shoot a few more photos. All in all it was a really fun party, branding wasn't as easy to come by as the 42Below event which meant the photos and angles weren't nearly as easy to come by. Here are some of the results:

Bottle of Moet on Ice

More photos and final thoughts after the fold…

Moet by the Oscar Books

Photo of a yellow brick road with Moet on it

A couple dressed up holding a bottle of Moet

Another bottle of Moet

Bartender pours a glass of Moet

There are many more photos to be found, especially of attendees, I am hosting them for all the party attendees for the next three months. Not every party can be as decked out as the 42Below event but its in the job description to make it work and to find the angles.

Joslyn Chace by Justin Fritts

Baby photos... babies are like dogs, they don't like to cooperate for photos.  "Look this way," "Open your eyes," and the ever so hard "Smile!"  Babies are also not quite like dogs for many reasons (one I noticed is that they can't run away from photos, depending on age) that I'm sure many parents could tell you about, that's not my role. I now have two close friends that have had kids, I must be getting old.  My friends TJ and Kathy invited me up to Longmont to take some photos of their newborn.  I went up within a few days of Joslyn's birth and got some photos in the hospital and then went up that first weekend for a more intimate photo shoot at home. The wonderful thing about baby photos is they have such a more significant meaning than a lot of other photos, at least for a few people.  They will be photos that end up in albums, and Christmas cards.  They are a capture of that moment in life, which I guess is what all photos are, but we aren't all growing at a ridiculously high rate looking different every day.

Pretty much with no idea what to expect I took every lens I have. 5DmkII, 24-70mm 2.8 L, 70-200mm 2.8 is L, 50mm 1.4, 100mm 2.8, and the 580EX II.  I'd like to share some of the photos with the world.


More photos and final thoughts after the fold...



Finally after some food and some napping Joslyn opened her eyes for some photos.

I bet I can eat my whole hand, baby tries to eat hand

Overall, I was happy with the results.  Haven't taken many baby photos, don't spend a lot of time hanging out with babies you see.  And a guy with a large camera and telephoto lens can't exactly just walk up and take photos of babies, culturally that is.  That would just be weird.

42Below World Cup Denver Competition by Justin Fritts

So out for happy hour I met a guy (his name was Justin too) who represents several brands including 42Below vodka. We got to talking and he started about an upcoming event he had, the Denver 42Below Cocktail World Cup 2010. A local band the Swayback would be performing and about 15 local bartenders would be mixing their own unique cocktails for a panel of judges to review. The top two winners would then get to go to the nationals in New York City. The top 2-3 winners there go to compete at the World Cup in New Zealand. Anyway, just so happens that no photographer had been booked for the event. I pulled up on the iPhone and gave him a business card.  A few days later I had officially booked the event. Justin wanted photos of everything, the decorations, the promo girls, the bartenders, the judges, the cocktails, everything.  It was going to be a long night. The event went off without a hitch though although it did run a little long.

I carried two bodies, my 5DmkII, 40D, 24-70mm 2.8 L, 70-200mm 2.8 IS L, 50mm 1.8 and my 580EX II as my extra light and a monopod.

Photo of a 42Below bottle with someones bartender kit with 42Below in lights on the wall behind.

More photos and final thoughts after the fold…





Tiki glasses and flowers were in favor

A true 42Below cocktail, sprinkled on top was cinnamon and nutmeg over a stencil.

Hosea Rosenberg, Top Chef Season 5 Winner, and other judges ask questions of one of the competitors.

The Winner of the Denver competition

The top three of the Denver competition. Center, Right, will be going to compete in New York.

More photos from the event