Conceptually Speaking

As I often tell people, I love to get involved in concept development. So when prestigious Seattle law firm, Lasher Holzapfel Sperry & Ebberson contacted me for a quote for new website photography, I had to stop and ask "what is your firm hoping to communicate with the company website?"

First image in landing page slideshow

First image in landing page slideshow

Not many photographers start with this question, but for me it is the key to everything I do. As a people and product photographer, it is often more important to understand WHY I am taking a photograph as it is to know WHAT I am photographing!

I met with the marketing team to discuss objectives and develop some ideas. Previously, their site echoed many other legal websites that speak to various concepts but lack the kind of cohesive message that custom photography can provide. Their branding was set, so that provided a nice color palette to draw from. The site design was already place so we needed to create images that would work with the existing format. 

Second image in landing page slideshow

Second image in landing page slideshow

What emerged from my interviews with their marketing team was how strategic and client focused their approach to legal representation is. I discussed how the random stock photography currently employed on their site was not communicating that fully. Their site also did not convey approachability and struck a corporate tone that could deter individual clientele. Since the firm has practice groups in many areas of personal and corporate law, it was important to maintain a broad appeal.

Lasher website photography 3

Taking a cue from the strategic legal perspective and vision they offer their clients, we focused on a simplified iconic approach to the photography. Props representing strategy and problem solving set a universal theme of solution-based legal advice. 

Studio still-life photography was chosen to keep a clean, quick conceptual narrative running throughout the various pages of their website. I chose the color orange to work with their existing branding colors and set out to find the appropriate props. The objects we chose convey vision, strategy and core competencies in their discipline. Yet the effect is approachable and consistent — and doesn't detract from the copy. 

Lasher website photography 4

In the end, what started out as a request for new photography of the lobby, building exterior, and offices, evolved into a total photography overhaul that greatly enhances the online image for this firm. To see the website photography in action, check out Lasher.com

P.S. We also handled portraits of the law practice groups to complement the new site!  

Scratch Distillery

Scratch. As in “made from scratch.” That’s the notion behind the potions at Scratch Distillery in Edmonds, WA. I was attracted to the smart branding and contemporary interior design at the craft distillery that recently popped up in my hometown. After meeting the owners, I knew I wanted to capture this homegrown business in photos! 

Scratch Distillery owners Kim and Bryan Karrick

Scratch Distillery owners Kim and Bryan Karrick

Owners Kim and Bryan Karrick have added a modern, sophisticated destination to Edmonds’ Marina District. And with it, a fun new way to learn about the process behind making fine gin. 

In addition to tastings of current lineups of Scratch Gins, Kim and Bryan offer a hands-on gin making experience called GINiology! Together they take you through the history of gin, and build a foundation for you to create your own gin blend — from scratch, of course! With 30 unique distilled flavors to choose from, guests can concoct their very own masterpiece to take home in a signature Scratch bottle. Better yet, the mixology is recorded and available for guests to reorder for future enjoyment after the first bottle runs dry!

I was on hand captured to capture the festivities as a group of friends celebrated a birthday with their very own GINiology experience. Especially cool was the guidance of Kim, who has a very keen pallet! Nothing like having an expert by your side to help you craft your own distinct gin. Can't wait to enjoy this experience myself and produce a bottle (or two) of a special Bernstein Mix!

We believe that you cannot make a great Gin unless your truly love Gin
— Kim Karrick
Kim Karrick, the Gin Genius!

Kim Karrick, the Gin Genius!

We love supporting small businesses, and telling their stories through photography. We love the cohesive branding this small business is using in their packaging, interior design, and products. We wish them much success, but by the looks of it they’re already winning!

 

Sometimes it's the little things...

Playful things. Small things. Smaller things. Teeny-tiny things. These are the things that you’ll discover at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City, Missouri. Basking in the glow of an $8-million renovation, this Bernstein Productions' client has found a way to enhance their exquisite collection with intimate, detailed photographs that transform the typical museum experience. Used in multimedia programs and large print displays, this client has leveraged the photography to the extreme and gained traffic along the way!

toyandminiaturemuseum.org

toyandminiaturemuseum.org

Partnering with the impeccable minds at Design Ranch, The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (a.k.a. T/m), has brought their collection of whimsical and historic playthings to life with an award-winning campaign that emphasizes each item's personality. Collateral pieces mix humor and sarcasm beautifully by imagining a toy "chatting" with a miniature. The sharp copywriting punctuates a simple, clean design that is as appealing as it is functional. Check out the recognition from Communication Arts!

The commitment to have our collection professionally photographed by Darryl Bernstein has been one of our most important investments. With Bernstein Productions we have built an archive of images that we have deployed to enhance our reputation as a national museum. No matter how small the object, Darryl is able to project its character, making each photograph a stunning portrait.
— Laura Taylor, Curator of Interpretation, The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

The uses are everywhere, whether it is a fundraiser promo or a dose of humor in the back stairwell of the museum. T/m has leveraged their photo shoots to the fullest. And we couldn't be happier to play our part!

Photographing miniatures at The National Museum of Toys and Minitiaures

Photographing miniatures at The National Museum of Toys and Minitiaures

Now Hear This!

I meet quite a few entrepreneurs with new products that need to be photographed, and I love to hear their stories! I was recently contacted by Matt Ellison, maker of the GurglePot, to do some product photography of his newest invention: the ChirpyTop. Now it just so happens that we were already the proud owners of a GurglePot, so I was very keen on meeting the man behind the brand!

If you don't know what a GurglePot is, you’ve probably seen one — they are everywhere! GurglePots are ceramic water pitchers in the shape of a fish. The charming feature of the design is the gurgling sound the pitcher makes when pouring liquid. They are fun and functional — and come in over 22 beautiful glossy colors. I think Matt is on to another winning concept with ChirpyTop. 

ChirpyTop in action.

ChirpyTop in action.

ChirpyTop brings the same conversation-starter effect to pouring wine. This time the design is a bird that chirps as wine flows from its beak. Available in six vibrant colors and metal finishes, ChirpyTops are packaged like a new iPhone and make great gifts. Both products are great for entertaining and will have guests young and old smiling as they fill their glass!

ChirpyTop is a great gift for wine enthusiasts!

ChirpyTop is a great gift for wine enthusiasts!

My approach to the photography was to shoot the ChirpyTop like a high-end tech product. Taking a low angle and shooting up at the product made a star out of the packaging and really elevated the perceived value. And what entrepreneur doesn’t like the sound of that?

Shoot with us if mediocre isn't your thing!

Xmas Card

Our family holiday cards have taken on a life of their own! They are now full-on productions with location scouting, wardrobe, and props — not to mention a touch of digital magic. But they are a ton of fun to create, and the reaction from family and friends is amazing! It’s become one of our favorite family traditions.

2008 inside caption: Wishing you buckets of joy this holiday season!

2008 inside caption: Wishing you buckets of joy this holiday season!

It all started innocently enough with a photo of our newest Bernstein, Lili, when she was just 6 months old. We did a simple shot of her sitting in a green bucket and slapped it on our Christmas card. Reaction was enthusiastic for more photography, so I obliged. We usually begin brainstorming right after Halloween, with the goal to up the ante and surprise our audience. 

2009 featuring our oldest as Santa

2009 featuring our oldest as Santa

2010 inside caption: Wishing your family a magical holiday season! 

2010 inside caption: Wishing your family a magical holiday season! 

The process begins around the dinner table. I love a good concept with a tight copy idea! We usually try to cover a topic relating to pop culture and hope we can appeal to the broad age range of our holiday card list. As with any project, we also keep a close eye on the budget as we have not picked up any sponsors for this effort! The only thing more difficult than coming up with a brilliant concept is figuring out the logistics of the shoot. So far, we’ve managed to shoot everyone in the same place at the same time — no small feat!

2011 inside caption: Whether you’re traditional of MODERN, we wish you the very best this holiday season!

2011 inside caption: Whether you’re traditional of MODERN, we wish you the very best this holiday season!

2012 - sent with 3D glasses, of course!

2012 - sent with 3D glasses, of course!

2013 inside caption: Happy - Happy - Happy - Ho! Wising you a holiday so happy it goes viral.

2013 inside caption: Happy - Happy - Happy - Ho! Wising you a holiday so happy it goes viral.

inside copy reads “Automatically downloading* our best wishes for a wonderful holiday! *Any similarities to the iTunes campaign for U2’s latest album are completely deliberate. Please delete if you don’t want it."

inside copy reads “Automatically downloading* our best wishes for a wonderful holiday! *Any similarities to the iTunes campaign for U2’s latest album are completely deliberate. Please delete if you don’t want it."

2015 inside caption: from the other side (of Christmas). Hope you ended the year on a high note!  mailed well after the new year...

2015 inside caption: from the other side (of Christmas). Hope you ended the year on a high note! 

mailed well after the new year...

This year our resident teen came up with the Adele concept for our card. We knew we would be late this year and the copy/lyric direction was a perfect fit. We just needed to find the right fur jacket (that would fit everyone) and convince ourselves the gag would be worth the humiliation. Well let’s just say, some of us like to diva a little more than others and it was a fight to get those eyelashes off some of us! A quick shoot in our garage studio, a swift stock image search, some holiday lights from 2009’s card, and viola!

Now… what to do for this year?