PPI 2011 Print Competiton

We just returned from the winter Professional Photographers of Iowa conference (it lasted from Friday through today) and WOW did we have fun! Great speakers, great friends, great food. We got to teach a lighting class with our good friends from Gehman Photography and had a great turnout. Last night was a formal banquet concluding with an awards ceremony. Dan entered three prints and a wedding album in competition (a person can make up to four total entries) and we're blessed and humbled by the results. To give a little explanation to the process, this year there were over 400 entries all judged anonymously by a panel of nationally acclaimed photographers from other states. Entries are scored on a scale from 0-100. Scores are then tallied and awards are given to the top scoring entries from several categories (wedding, commercial, children, etc). Competition is intense and it's very exciting to see the culmination of everybody's best work from the previous year (the competition concludes with a gallery display of the entries)

Here's a rundown of our results:

–First Place Wedding Album (for the album we designed for Jill and John's wedding) First Place for Commercial Photography (for an image from our shoot with Clarke University) First Place for Illustrative Photography (for a brand new image entitled "Never Trust A Woman," see below) 3 Distinguished Print Awards (for Clarke, the wedding album and "Never Trust A Woman") 1 Honorable Mention (for a personal image of New York City - to be posted soon) Judges Choice Award for best in show ("Never Trust A Woman" was the only entry from the entire competition to score a perfect 100) The Don Knop Memorial Award presented in recognition of excellence in the art of wedding photography (for the wedding album) Fuji Masterpiece Award (for the wedding album) Kodak Gallery Award for Photographic Excellence (for "Never Trust A Woman") Top 10 Photographer Award (given to the 10 photographers with highest 4-score totals)

Here's "Never Trust A Woman" (FYI – Alex came up with the title so don't be mad at Dan!):

We're very thankful to all of our friends, family and clients that helped make 2010 an amazing year for us! We honestly had no expectation of performing this well in competition and we couldn't have done it without you :)

If you're an Iowa Photographer reading this and you're not in PPI, join! Seriously. Right now. It's one the best things you'll ever do.

Cartegraph Sneak Peak

We recently had the pleasure of teaming up with designers Sean Murphy and Tom Culbertson to shoot some images for Cartegraph. The company recently re-branded and has been working to create a bold new image for its popular Flex Technology software. We spent two days photographing stylized portraits of government workers and citizens that tell the story of Cartegaph products in action. Rob Lombardi assisted me on the shoot + created a promotional video for Cargegraph (see it here).

Here's a peek at a couple of the images that were unveiled recently at Cartegraph's user conference (in the form of 86" banners!!):

Look for a more extensive post later this year showcasing the completed project + some fun behind the scenes showing what went into the images.

2010 ISU Fashion Show

Last month we photographed all the entries for the 2010 Iowa State Fashion Show. The shoot took place over 2 evenings (there were a LOT of entries) on ISU campus. I wish I had some before/after photos of our venue – it was a run-of-the-mill classroom packed with desks and we were able to turn it into a swanky photo studio (photo geeks: 1 white paper roll and 4 alien bee strobes – there’s a setup photo in the video later in the post).All entries had to be photographed identically on white, so we enjoyed the challenge of using posing to make the photos as different as possible. This photoshoot was all about the clothes, but it didn’t hurt that we had an awesome lineup of student models to wear them for us. We were blown away by the creativity of the outfits and thoroughly enjoyed getting up close and personal with them. Design students had pulled all-nighters to finish their outfits literally minutes before we photographed them (their deadline was the day of the shoot) and we partook in our fair share of caffeine and carbohydrates staying up until the early AM to get everything photographed. Here’s a sneak peek at some more of our favorite images: We want to extend our sincere gratitude to the 2010 Fashion Show committee for choosing us as their photographers for the show! The Fashion Show published an Art Book featuring our images that is available for purchase, and I’ll post a link as soon as I receive one. We’re getting a copy for the studio so you can peek at it next time you stop in. Lastly, here’s a sneek peek behind the scenes on the set, with a sweet soundtrack courtesy The Envy Corps:

2010 ISU Fashion Show BTS from Dan McClanahan on Vimeo.

New McStudio Promo Video

We launched our studio promo video on Sunday! If you haven’t seen it on our new web site yet, here it is:

McClanahan Studio from Dan McClanahan on Vimeo.

We want to extend 10,000 thank-you’s to John Likens for all his help with our new web site and blog. We’ve grown to love this guy an unbelievable amount and words cannot express how much we appreciate what he’s done for us. If you ever need a motion/web designer, I would recommend him above all else.

PPI Panel Competition

Over the weekend we attended our first PPI convention (Professional Photographers of Iowa). It was a really fun time and we met a plethora of awesome people (who also happen to be the best photographers in the state). Win/Win/Win! If you reading this and are new to photography, you should seriously consider joining. The only catch is you have to live in Iowa.As part of the convention there was a “Panel Competition” where photographers from all over the state went head to head with their best work. Essentially photographers could enter 8 images from a single shoot (all required to be displayed at roughly the same size) on a single 12″x 24″ print. The categories were Weddings, Individual Male, Individual Female, Groups, Kids/Babies and Illustrative. A single photographer could submit up to 4 panels, so we did just that. All of the following photos were taken by Dan and all of the panels were designed by Alex: First up is our awesome senior Hannah (individual woman category) who won 3rd place! 
2nd to bat is our entry in the Weddings category. The images are from Jordan & Whitney’s fantastic wedding early this summer. This panel also took 3rd place! If you haven’t seen their sweet engagement photos yet, check them out. Third we’ve got Brock (individual man category). Quite frankly Brock was a breeze to shoot and credit is owed to him for being awesome! Brock’s panel got Second Place! Our last submission was a series of photos I shot for The Magazines. This panel fell into the “groups” category and ended up winning First Place! There are more images from this shoot a few posts back on the blog and even more on our facebook page. If you haven’t heard of them yet and you like catchy music, check out their singles – the tunes are really quite good.

By the way, to see any of the horizontal panels a bit bigger – click on them! So in summary, we placed in every category we entered and we’re pumped! A special thanks to everybody that worked with us this summer and enabled us to create these photos. 7 Months ago all we had was a dream and a camera and now we’re a fully operational studio producing award winning work, and we couldn’t have done it without you guys! Here’s to a photo-filled future, Dan & Alex