VISA – WINTER GAMES -  3 of 3 


The last stop on my rollercoaster ride of chasing summer in winter would end in Detroit. Seemingly the most unlikely spot for winter athleticism and more commonly associated with American Car manufacturing, I’d never been.  I was excited and hoping for a possible Eminem or Kid Rock Encounter!

The Visa Crew was here to shoot Russian Hockey player Pavel Datsyuk, who on the flipside plays for the Detroit Red Wings, The other sport was Ice Dancing with Meryl Davis and Charlie White.  The latter would end up being one of the most difficult sports I have even shot and the one we would start with. Having two subjects  - moving off axis, changing rhythm, squatting low then lifting high would prove to be more complex than anticipated.  At a certain point while watching Charlie and Meryl rehears, Kat one of the creatives on the set asked how do I know when to shoot while that much stuff is going on? 

Ever since I was a kid, if I saw something once I could shoot it  - I could figure out the decisive moments.  While the lighting was being rigged I spent a lot of time watching their routine.  The tough part was while Charlie would be leading in a straight line or slight curve, Meryl would be spinning off axis so trying to match their facial expressions with good composition was like a homeless person winning the lottery.   A one in a million chance. Having the 1DX Canon made things easier.  It had one of the fastest autofocus I’ve used but finding the right framing and angle was a challenge.

As we got started there was Monte, Mike the cinematographer on skates, Jon the third photographer on skates and I all twirling around Meryl and Charlie.  It was like a pack of wolves surrounding a couple of cute dancing deer… on a slipnslide.

Quite possibly the most peculiar instance of finesse in motion…

I was really surprised no on fell on the ice.

The second portion of the shoot would be spent at the Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings. It was a humbling experience walking in the players entrance, standing in the middle of the ice, imagining thousands of people cheering or the opposite  - mad hockey fans yelling at you.

We started out pretty basic but then Monte suggested “Hey Stan can you get up in the rafters and shoot down to get a different perspective?” which was pretty much music to my ears.

The sketchier the job, the more I like it.

Being hundreds of feet over the ice, all by myself, trying to navigate steel beams, not drop anything on the players or the crew and get a good shot was too much fun. 

Next up were Charlie and Meryl teaching Pavel some figure skating moves and then Charlie and Pavel going thru some hockey drills.  Say what you want about male figure skater and preconceived notion but Charlie White knows how to skate.  I think he even shocked Pavel a bit with his hockey skills. 

Then we shot Pavel doing high speed attacks at the goal. At one point he skated over to Monte and I and said in broken Russian  “lay still.. Don’t move when I skate towards you.” 

We kind of looked at each other and were like, “uh ok..”  The thought of taking a hockey puck to the grill didn’t really appeal to me but I figured follow the expert’s advice.

Nothing like laying on the ice and having Pavel skating at breakneck speeds directly toward me while sending slap shots over my head!

All in all Detroit delivered quite well. I shot some of my favorite images of the campaign, was only momentarily cold and found a new respect for ice dancing, hockey and the motor city.





fall/IN - every once in a while, I love to venture; do a little exploring. Rebecca Kennedy and I had been talking for a while and when we finally got together to shoot, she asked me what we were going to do today?

My reply was “the plan is to have no plan.”  

She had never been to Storm King before so she was excited to see it. Along the way  - we walked, talked, and laughed our way through the hillsides enjoying the fall weather and at the end of the day we had these images to remember a few of those simple moments. 


CANCER PART 2  - Behind The Scenes with CONNOR O’LEARY

Here’s a short video to show the photoshoot with Road Cyclist,  The Amazing Race Contestant and Cancer Survivor. 

Dedicated to my Mom, good people, good times and a positive mindset…




This Shoot trip took me back to Park City, UT.  I’ll admit I was excited to be back in Utah.  It had been my home for years and to this day is still one of my favorite spots in the world. This time we were shooting ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson. It was historic because Sochi will be the first time women’s ski Jumping will be included in the Winter Olympics. Our second athlete was Emily Cook a freestyle aerialists with more twisting/ twirling moves than Rick James at a dance party.

We started with Emily – Monte covering the approach and eventually getting in the water.  I covered the bottom half and the guy in the sky angles. We had also set up a remote camera under near the jump that I was triggering. Three camera crews rolling and 2 guys in the water plus clients and bystanders oooh and ahhhing at every flip.  It all would have been slightly amusing if I hadn’t been slightly serious, yet there was some new cinematography technology being tried out with 360 degrees camera rigs. The idea was to try and capture every moment, at all angles. All the while, launching 50 feet into the sky to plunge into water.  Emily was awesome and her dad was a photographer who had shot aerials for years so he gave me a few pointers to lock it down.

The next day would not be so easy. The crew met with Sarah and  she is easily the most petite woman I have ever met.  Which made it even more ironical that her job is to travel down a large ramp at 65 mph only to fly off into oblivion.


Looking at the course was daunting. Monte and I had a quarter mile to cover….


Prepping to jump, starting gate, take off, fly time, landing, and the chairlift ride back up in 4 tries. No room for mistakes. Monte had prep, starting gate and take off. I had airtime, landing and chairlift ride. We had no forerunner so I just had to kind of guess where I thought she would be in the air.  To further complicate things, the course had sprinklers that soak the landing to make a slicker surface between each jump.  These were not your garden variety, run through the backyard with your swimsuit sprinklers, no these were the type sprinklers farmers use to water their fields pumping out huge volumes of liquid every second. - i.e. anyone standing near the landing is getting drenched – every jump….



So my day went something like this.


1st jump - shoot wide and figure out where Sarah was going to be.  Huddle up over camera gear, get soaked.


2nd jump - zoom in closer, get huddled up, get soaked.


3rd jump – switch angles, zoom in, get soaked then sprint down super slick, super steep stairs to get the next position at the bottom of the jump.


4th jump was a combo of Sarah in the air, her landing, and a few portraits at the bottom then hustle over to the chairlift to get the last few lifestyles of her getting on the chair.  


And like that… it’s was over


Things happened so quickly!  It’s hard to describe how fast it goes and the amount of time spent walking every inch of the course. Checking and double - checking angles. Definitely the years of shooting snowboarding and being able to envisioning the action before it happened had been tremendous help on this shoot.


And then the crew went bobsledding  ;)