Helpful Ideas for Busy Dads: Toddler Edition

Following up on the success of the original Helpful Ideas for Busy Dads, I've created a batch of new, time-saving ideas for dads everywhere. When a regular bib is insufficient, try MaxiBib.

The Peel-A-Wall system makes art project cleanup a snap.

Rain or shine, the Park VR system keeps youngsters occupied, if not exercised. iPhone not included.

And for a big detour into fake backgrounds and product photography, see here.

Time Well Kept

Wells Fargo has released the book I shot for them. It's an interesting, illustrated history of the West, through the lens of Wells Fargo, which, of course, has done more than just banking. I was trying to dream up some clever exposition about it, but it turns out the inside leaf has it covered:

"When Businessmen Henry Wells and William G. Fargo gathered a small group of investors at Astor House in New York on March 18, 1852, they had no idea they would be forming what would eventually become one of the country's top financial services companies and one of the world's most recognized brands. Nor did they realize the founding documents they signed would one day be part of their company's extensive corporate archives, collected, preserved, and catalogued for future generations to come.

"Today, the Wells Fargo Corporate Archives and historical collections encompass items from over eleven thousand companies. Some items are on display in our eleven corporate history museums; others hide and still remain undiscovered in our archives.

"This book is the story of the Wells Fargo Corporate Archives. Tended by a dedicated staff, Wells Fargo's collection has grown over a century and today is the company's corporate memory. The scenes of the American frontier, early banking documents, stagecoaches, advert-isements, and all the historical artifacts serve a function larger than promoting the company's distinctive role in our history. Our corporate archives tell the story of our nation and its banking past and present."

The book is for sale at the Wells Fargo History Museums, or you can call (415) 396-6408 and order one.

Completely New Look for 7Pipe

Late last year, Jeffrey Han of 7Pipe contacted me. He said that he'd noticed me because of my smoke pictures, and that he wanted to develop a new, much more polished brand look for his smoking pipe. His product was one of the first, if not the first, of its type, but lately the niche had become saturated and he was looking for ways to stand out from the crowd. Jeff wanted to create some beauty shots of the product, with smoke, as well as some clean, catalog-type shots, and several lifestyle shots, all to use throughout his marketing efforts. He had high aims, which is great, and some budget restrictions, which made for a challenging situation. I developed a half dozen different scenarios that I thought would meet his needs, with a decent range of costs (here's the proposal, if you're interested). Jeff decided on a number of shots from me, and decided to work with an additional photographer for some other shots.

The pipe comes with a glass insert, but you can get a bamboo one, if you prefer.

The integral lighter is genius, if you ask me.

The back cover adheres magnetically; remove it to change the insert or access that little compartment.

The hero shot. We actually drilled out the back plate so I could put a little light through the glass bowl.

This is a surgical-grade glass insert. Jeff is not messing around.

The beauty shot. I think we did about 75 frames of smoke. I drifted the smoke through the hole we drilled in the back plate so I could be sure we captured realistic behavior.

For a studio guy, I've been amazingly lucky with the weather lately. The coast was socked in from SF to Monterey, but this little cove was clear. The budget being what it was, we were relying on luck...

Another budgetary relief factor, we showed up and asked locals to model. Directing these skaters was like herding cats. Nice guys though.

And finally, here is the new website for 7Pipe.