Wine Spectator Oregon Story 2017

I always love photographing the Oregon story for Wine Spectator – hard to believe it’s been over a decade I’ve been photographing these features, and how much the Oregon wine industry has succeeded and grown!

Here’s tearsheets from the hot off the press March 31, 2017 issue:

Stoller Family Estate,  Wine Spectator, Oregon Wine, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

Stoller Family Estate – Opening Spread of Wine Spectator Magazine’s Oregon Wine Feature story, March 31, 2017

Bergstrom Winery & Eminent Domaine ,wine, Wine Spectator, Oregon Wine, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

Bergstrom Winery & Eminent Domaine – Page 3-4

Willakenzie Estate & Lingua Franca -page 5-6 of Wine Spectator Magazine's Oregon Wine Feature story, March 31, 2017

Willakenzie Estate & Lingua Franca -page 5-6

BJÖRNSON & Walter Scott Wines , wine, Wine Spectator, Oregon Wine, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

BJÖRNSON & Walter Scott Wines – Page 7-8

Wine Spectator Washington Wine feature story 2016

Congratulations to the wineries featured in the latest issue – love photographing these stories, hard to believe it’s now been a decade photographing the great Pacific Northwest wineries for Wine Spectator magazine.

Opening spread, Rick & Darcey Small of Woodward Canyon Winery

Opening spread, Rick & Darcey Small of Woodward Canyon Winery

Chris Figgins of Figgins Family Wines & Leonetti Cellars

Chris Figgins of Figgins Family Wines & Leonetti Cellars

Quilceda Creek, Columbia Crest, and Trey Busch / Jerry Solomon of Sleight of Hand Cellars

Quilceda Creek, Columbia Crest, and Trey Busch / Jerry Solomon of Sleight of Hand Cellars

Marty Clubb, L’Ecole No. 41 winery

Marty Clubb, L’Ecole No. 41 winery

Portraits – tips for maximizing impact and exposure

Portraits can vary greatly in style, content, and emotion depending on the end goals for the use of the photographs. I’ve put together this checklist with descriptions and examples to help identify which style preferences is right for you – environmental, action, beauty, character, attitude, or group.

ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAITS

Environmental portraits are most commonly used in editorial publications. The content of these photos tell a story – the background, props, or action is inexorably intertwined with the subject. Context is key, and the caption of the photos is usually the first thing read and most remembered. This is the type of portraiture I most enjoy; with my educational background at Northwestern journalism school and over 15 years of working with publications I’ve photographed hundreds of environmental portraits for magazine covers and feature stories. Capturing unique sense of place portraits can also be one of the most challenging styles – creating an engaging story in one photo takes more time and consideration than capturing a portrait with a generic background. However it can be the most valuable for exposure – with editorial space shrinking there may only be space for a single image to tell your story vs a series of photos. And a portrait with a lot of information included is more likely to run large so the reader can view the details, and lead a story if there’s room for type over part of the image.

Kyle MacLachlan with Pursued by Bear winemaker Dan Wampfler for Wine Spectator

Kyle MacLachlan with Pursued by Bear winemaker Dan Wampfler for Wine Spectator

Environmental portraits also give insight to a more authentic side of the subjects personality. People tend to be most comfortable in their natural environment, and this energy reflects back to the camera. Effectively using natural and portable studio lights on location, determining the the most flattering angle for the face & body, and finding or creating the most engaging scene are all equally important.

Celebrity portraiture can often be highly stylized in controlled studio settings, however overly retouched photos can be unbelievable and make the subject seem unapproachable. Once the portrait is captured minor retouching is ok, but the strength of the image is captured in the camera. While filters and highly processed retouching effects maybe fine and fun for instagram or personal prints, most non-fashion style publications want the personality of the subject make the strongest impact, not the style of the photographer or retoucher’s effects.

Kyle MacLachlan with Pursued by Bear winemaker Dan Wampfler in Walla Walla for Wine Spectator

Kyle MacLachlan with Pursued by Bear winemaker Dan Wampfler in Walla Walla for Wine Spectator

Actor Kyle MacLachlan has been beautifully photographed by the most famous portrait photographers and stylists in the world, and can can easily take on any character or personality. So we decided on a more natural approach to differentiate his Pursued by Bear wine label in magazine articles; it was important to show Kyle’s connection to the vineyard and relationship with winemaker Dan Wampfler with a sense of place photo. For his own Pursed by Bear label, we could be a bit more playful and include the product – who wouldn’t want to join Kyle with the second glass of wine?

Drew Bledsoe with Doubleback winemaker Chris Figgins for Wine Spectator Magazine

Drew Bledsoe with Doubleback winemaker Chris Figgins for Wine Spectator Magazine

Former quarterback player Drew Bledsoe stands at 6′ 5″, and renowned winemaker Chris Figgins is a fit but compact 5’8 – so to capture a portrait of them together minimizing this height difference I chose this angle of the vineyard, giving Drew a pole to lean against and Chris a rock to place one leg on – the angle of the clouds further complement the subjects and creates a dynamic background. And sometimes portraits are non traditional, without the subject looking at the camera – this lifestyle scene focuses on emotion and intimacy, and has been widely used in promotional publications for the Washington wine industry.

Drew & Maura Bledsoe at his McQueen vineyard, Walla Walla, WA

Drew & Maura Bledsoe at his McQueen vineyard, Walla Walla, WA

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Nicaraguan surf & yoga retreat

View from my beachside cabana this week at Magnificent Rock, Nicaragua. Sun, surf, yoga, salsa, repeat. It’s been a week to challenge myself in new adventures – learning to surf over a reef has been one of the most challenging sports I’ve experienced. Successfully pushing past the fear to the exhilaration of riding my first wave to the shore, the magic of watching the sunset over the sea as the full moon rose, & the adrenalin of successfully catching a larger wave were rewards well worth the effort.

View from my bed at the beach cliff hut at Magnificant Rock, Nicaragua

View from my bed at the beach cliff hut at Magnificant Rock

Pelicans hunt for fish as the sun sets over the pacific ocean at our private beach in Costa Dulce, Nicaragua

Pelicans hunt for fish as the sun sets over the pacific ocean at our private beach in Costa Dulce

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Wine Spectator Christophe Baron feature story photos

Honored to photograph Harvey’s Steinman’s “A Vigneron in Walla Walla, Christophe Baron turns rocks to Gold” feature story in the Wine Spectator May 31, 2016 issue – http://www.winespectator.com to subscribe for digital or print copy

Christophe Baron, Cécile Randon and their dog Hélios at Hors Categorie vineyard

Christophe Baron, Cécile Randon and their dog Hélios at Hors Categorie vineyard

Christophe Baron inside 10 foot pit next to his Tribe Vineyard, showcasing soil and depth of vine roots.

Cayuse winery studios adjacent to Aramata, Pacienca & Sur Enchalas syrah & granache vineyards.

Christophe Baron & Trevor Dorland walking through the Cailloux vineyard

Christophe’s vineyards are cultivated biodynamically,; draft horses plow many of his vineyards

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