Long Rifle Soap Co. is a Green Bay, Wisconsin based Soap and grooming products company that makes some really awesome beard oil. Yes, beard oil is not only a real thing, but an essential thing to keep beards soft and lush especially though harsh Wisconsin winters.
We had an opportunity to team up with them to make some really cool portraits to promote their beard oil. The tagline, “Tame the Beard, Not the Man”, logo, and art direction was provided by Seth Meierotto of Barkinspider Studio. Basically, we sat down and talked about fun settings for “wild” guys to be in and went from there. Long Rifle Soap Co. creator, Amanda Brooker set out to find bearded gentleman anywhere and everywhere. After explaining our concept and getting to know the individual, we’d set the wheels in motion.
One of the original ideas we had was a portrait of a bartender. Tony Oczus from The Libertine, a craft cocktail establishment, has an awesome beard, so he was our first ask! It was a simple shoot in that we knew the exact shot we were looking for and there wasn’t much testing to be done. We set up an Elinchrom BRX 250 with a 53″ Rotalux Soft box as our key light. For fill we
used a small flex-fill and to highlight Tony’s hair/shoulders we used a Elinchrom BRX 500 with a strip bank (narrow soft box) with a grid just above his shoulders.
The next shoot was with David Rosso from The Bike Brew. David is an awesome graphic designer and
avid biker so we thought Bairds Creek Bike trail in Green Bay would be a great place to shoot his portrait. Getting gear back to our desired location was a challenge. It was a hot summer day, we had a lot of gear, and mosquitos were out in full force. Luckily, Amanda brought along the Long Rifle Soap Bug Dope, masking us from pesky insects for the rest of the shoot! The setup was: we used our 53″ Rotalux Octabank for the key light and the same backlight as the Libertine image. Next, about 40ft. back we placed a head with no diffusion, to light the woods and create a harsh backlight.
Finally, the last image we created was with Justin Whitmire. Amanda saw him at the farmers market, flagged him down, and he agreed! Justin is an accomplished drummer, and whats more B.A. than that? We had a few conversations about where to photograph him drumming;
On stage, in the background of a band photo, or in a basement. In the end we thought that since this campaign is about the “everyman” who does wild/fun things, it’s fitting to have him drumming in his garage. Seeing the gas can, a lawnmower, and various garage things really added to the shot. The challenge with this photo was in getting a shot wide enough to show the space, while hiding lights. We boomed the 53″ Octabox above Justin and had him go to town. He plays with passion and fury, which was perfect for the shoot.
We were really happy about the way these photos came out. It was fun to hang out with our friends Amanda and Seth, meet some really cool people, and create some striking images.