As I look back on 2017, I realize I got to see a lot of cool things and traveled to many different places. As a midwest industrial photographer and a midwest manufacturing photographer, I traveled to Mexico, Germany and number of places around Wisconsin and the US. My wife, Judy, was with me when I went to Mexico, which was fun and very helpful with her being fluent in Spanish. Judy was also with me, as were my parents, on the Germany trip since that was part work and part play. Take a look at my previous blog post about that trip.
In years past, my year end blog post was sports heavy, but I want people to know that I’m not just a Wisconsin sports photographer. This past year, I also added a travel category and I’d love to have people think of me also as a midwest travel photographer. Every year, my editorial photography becomes less and less as I push more in to being a Wisconsin corporate photographer and a Wisconsin commercial photographer.
For 2017, my ‘best of’ blog post is a little different in that I expanded the captions for the photos and told a little about the back story on the shots. With the extended captions, I’m going to keep this text short and let the images speak for themselves.
This past year, RoemerPhoto started doing more video work, which was mostly quick interviews and b-roll while shooting at manufacturing facilities. My main assistant, Matt Ludtke, was incredibly helpful with that and took the lead on the videos.
So, here are my favorite shots from 2017.
Thanks for looking!
This is for sure one of my favorite shots of the year. I just love the smiles, the casual happiness, and the camaraderie of these workers. I shot this while on an industrial photography photoshoot in Mexico. I was looking for some non-production photos and it was lunch time, so I went in to the cafeteria area. This group of workers had just come off the floor and had probably seen me shooting in the production area earlier. A couple of them spotted me and struck humorous glamour poses, much to the amusement of the others. I grabbed a few frames of that and then hand gestured for them to group together. They came together in this awesome, casual gathering with those happy smiles; I had my shot and a happy client when they saw the image.
While scouting the campus of Fox Valley Technical College for a campus lifestyle shoot, I spotted this wall. I knew if I could get a couple students on that bench, I’d have a nice shot. On the day of the shoot, I found two willing subjects for that bench and got this shot.
I had seen a few posts on social media of a spectacular sunflower field about 20 minutes north of my home. I needed an excuse to get out of the office that day so I took a late day drive up to Bergsbaken Farms near Cecil, Wisconsin. I got some okay shots that afternoon, but I knew if I got a person in the right spot and I had some nice early morning light, I’d have a better image. My wife Judy is a lover of sunflowers, so it wasn’t tough to convince her to go out there with me the next morning at sunrise. We took our dog Chica and the biggest ladder I could get on the truck. I had my shot as Judy walked Chica down a road that cut through the fields.
While on a business and family trip to Germany this summer, I spotted this food truck at a couple of open air markets. The day before I shot this photo, I had tried to get something interesting of the vehicle because I thought it was a unique looking rig. Walking back from the train station in Frankfurt on the last full day of the trip, I came across the truck again and loved how the businessman was sitting so prim and proper with great posture against that funky looking truck. I grabbed a quick frame and love the result.
After a long day of covering a Packers game in Green Bay, I went out for a burger with the other photographers and editors I work with. Just as I was paying my bill, I saw this family come in and sit down under the flag of colored baseballs wearing their Packers garb. As I was leaving, I grabbed a quick candid shot with my iPhone. The family saw what I had done and gave me an approving smile. To all you non Green Bay folk, this isn’t normally how a Green Bay family looks when they go out for dinner.
I shot this photo of the Green Bay Phoenix mens basketball freshman class. Earlier, I had shot all the players individually with the goal of getting basic head shots and serious portraits. But we also like to have them to loosen up in order to capture a little personality. For this shot, I told them to get on the white background as a group; they came together in this formation without any direction and just started having fun. I love the smiles, the laughter and the genuineness of the shot.
This is a shot from a story I shot of a young rodeo rider near Stephenville, Texas. The rider is an employee of a corporate client who likes me to capture images that tell stories of their employees away from work.
I took this image for St Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. I shoot for them a few times a year at big events like convocation, commencement and homecoming, but I also shoot some scenic lifestyle photos like this. I’d like to say I just came across this, but it’s completely set up. The college gives me a great bunch of students to work with that I can pop into shots as needed. I placed the two on the bench as well as the three walking in the background and I choreographed it all. That wouldn’t fly in the editorial world, but in this situation, I see no issue with it and the client loves the shot. The key is to make it look natural and not the result of a set up.
I shot this photo in Lindau, Germany while shooting some scenics for a commercial client, who has production facilities in that area of Germany and Austria.
This shot is also from Lindau, Germany. That’s my wife Judy, looking out over the water. While I was shooting something else, Judy struck this pose to take in the scene and as I glanced over, I saw how the shot had come together with the old couple walking past.
While headed to the market in downtown Leon, Mexico I spotted this man sitting with his dog. It was a quick shot without even raising the camera to my eye. I love lots of things about this shot – the colors; the tilt of the street, the Chicago Cubs cap, the position of the dog – but most of all I love the connection between the man and the dog.
A few weeks ago, I shot a winter bike race in Manitowoc, Wisconsin as part of a continuing project for the Visitor and Convention Bureau there to show people enjoying the area year round. While scouting the course, I saw a sign for a beer short cut. Turns out racers could cut off part of the course if they stopped to drink a can of beer. Let’s just say it made for some interesting photos.
I shot this photo I’m going to call ‘young love’ in downtown Guanajuato, Mexico while working on a project for a manufacturing client. I was shooting some photos of landmarks in the city when I spotted these two couples. I really like the contrast between the familiarity of the one couple versus the shyness of the other couple, depicted by the averted eyes and the shy smiles.
I took this photo while on a shoot at a chemical plant. This area was very important for the client to highlight. The shot wasn’t all that interesting from ground level, but I thought worked rather nicely from an elevated position. It just needed a couple people and some additional lighting to make it more interesting and make the subjects pop. I had my assistant place one strobe to light our subjects and another as a rim light. The rim light was throwing a little bit of shadow, and I thought it would be even more interesting if we could make that shadow more dynamic. A few adjustments of our lights and we had the shot.
This shot is from the same chemical plant project as the previous photo. Again, we were looking for something a little different than what you would get from ground level. After scouting around, we found this elevated position looking down on the piping and wiring, which created interesting patterns and angles. Again, we needed a human element and we easily arranged for that to happen. I battled with cropping out the yellow safety wash station, but decided to keep that in since safety is so important for these types of industrial and manufacturing clients.
Nothing all that amazing about this portrait shot, but I like it for it’s clean, simple composition with some nice existing and added light. This was an environmental portrait for a financial magazine. We had shot a few safe photos in the subject’s office, but then we found this area the floor below his office. We set up one light to camera left, had our subject turn that way, and combined the added light with the existing, which gave us a shot the client didn’t expect, but really liked.
While waiting for our driver to pick us up in the city center of Guanajuato, Mexico during a shoot for a manufacturing client, I did a little street photography. This pickup passed by with a baseball team riding in the bed. I lifted my camera above my head as the truck passed, and a couple of the girls turned towards the camera, giving me my shot.
I shot this photo just a few moments after the previous photo in this post in the exact same spot in Guanajuato, Mexico. I love the way the two people on the passenger side of the car are looking out the windows and the groceries set on the roof.
During a family gathering, I hauled out my cameras to get some shots of my nieces tubing behind my brother-in-law’s boat on the Fox River in De Pere, Wisconsin. This is a shot of my niece Izzy Kellner. I have plenty of images where I’m not shooting through the mist that the boat and tow line kicked up, but for this shot, I thought it added some interest. The shot was okay in color, but I really liked it in black and white.
Our dog Chica is seven years old; that’s her in the kiddie pool. Probably the first week we got Chica, we bought her this pool and each summer since, I’ve shot a photo of her and her cousin enjoying the dog days of summer. Pun intended.
While driving from Dallas down to Stephenville, Texas for an industrial photo shoot, I spotted this barn with the Texas flag painted on the roof. I pulled over and grabbed a few frames, but the light wasn’t the best. The next day, I went back to this spot when I knew I’d like the light better; this is the result.
I usually have more shots in my year end blog from Packers games, but this year Aaron Rodgers got hurt early in the season and the season spiraled down the drain. This shot is from the season opener and that’s Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers trying to run down Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Nazair Jones after throwing an interception. I love that look on Aaron’s face – I saw that same look on the faces of a lot of Packers fans as the season went on.
Before covering every home Packers game, I head out to the tailgating area to grab a couple of feature photos. I spotted this young man in his Packers pjs waiting to use a Porta-Potty. I think he may be trying to grab a quick nap. Hopefully he doesn’t nod off and drop his beer.
Every year or so, I go to an elevated position to get some different types of shots for Green Bay mens basketball, one of my higher education clients. For this shot, I was just trying to get some players coming across the logo on the middle of the court. When this player pulled up for a three point shot, it put him in a a great position to contrast against the logo. I love how small the player looks against the logo from this angle.