Smokin’ Hot Espresso Tag

Rewind about two months ago, I was in the middle of photographing the 2012 Smokin' Hot Espresso calendar. Before you roll your eyes, "oh boy, another bikini barista calendar, how lame," you might wanna look into this one. I'd agree with you about nine times out of ten that the "normal" creation for such ideas (skimpily-clad women calendars) are poorly conceived, produced, and constructed, however... that's not how the folks at Smokin' Hot Espresso do business. Fortunately, they are the one out of the ten that want to do things right, and not produce something that was all shot in one day, and in a studio no-less. For some reason, the pattern of recent years has gone something like this with these kind of productions - take girl, prop said girl with minimal clothing, toss her on some random/boring background, run her through the same standard poses we've seen since the beginning of time, and photoshop the crap out of the photos in post production. Rinse and repeat. After all, it's ALL about the girl, and production value doesn't REALLY mean anything... right? A picture of a girl is a picture of a girl... Um, no. 12 months, of girls, in boring, unimaginative poses and situations, in a studio... yuck. Who would want to buy that? Luckily, Smokin' Hot and myself are on the same page. It's beyond making a buck. It's about making something that is fresh, fun, and a treat for your customers. Our calendar is more of a end-of-the-year thank-you gift to the customers for their business. ROI (return on investment) wasn't the driving factor, not one bit, and that's why I really like working on this project. This calendar is full of the same baristas who have made the customers coffee every day. How cool would it be to hand those same customers a calendar with the baristas in fun outfits and situations? We wanted to produce something on a level that would leave us knowing that no other similar business in the area would come close to matching.

The 2012 Smokin' Hot Espresso calendar is complete. You'd think my job is done when I put the camera away from the final photo shoot. Not even close. A huge portion of work follows. Rewind a couple years ago, when I created the first calendar with the business, I also created a behind the scenes video. The video played at the calendar release party, online, etc. Everyone really loved the video addition to the project, so this time around, it was specifically asked for (to be included). Every photo shoot we had video cameras rolling too. What that equated to was over 20 hours of footage for me to rummage through after we were done shooting the calendar. It was a rush to finish the production of the calendar, then the design of the calendar, and then... with a week before the release party, a BTS video. To the editing room I go... a pile of footage awaiting. Can you get a tan from a computer screen? If so, I should have a really nice "glow" right about now.

Screen Shot 2011-10-19 at 4.37.20 PM The Smokin' Hot Espresso calendar is going to make it's return after missing this year. We are halfway through production, as we are spending a lot of time on each month's shoot. It's gonna blow the first calendar project we did out of the water. I get more and more excited about the calendar with every shoot we complete and I see the photos roll off the camera. These photos, of course, are about the girls, however, we've really done our homework this time around, and all of the themes and locations we are shooting in are so much fun. It's not just about the girls, it's the content matter they are involved in that makes it different. That's what makes it fun for me, really integrating the subjects into the environment I'm capturing them, both being just as visually engaging. I've posted a few screenshots from some of the BTS video captured, I can't post too much, as we want the calendar to be a pretty cool surprise. Be on the lookout for more info on this soon, the calendar is dropping late November.

IMG_2561 About a month ago, Lindsey was my first barista to photograph in the new Tacoma studio for Smokin' Hot Espresso. Working as the company's staff photographer, I am making sure we get a couple shoots in a month, including additional shoots which we call "punch card shoots." Smokin' Hot Espresso gives regular customers punch cards, which after purchasing 10 drinks, they get one for free. Each girl who works for the business gets their own personalized punch card with their photo on it to hand out to customers. So as new employees come onboard, they get to come down to my studio for a photo shoot so that we have photographic content for their card as well as any additional marketing material we may put together down the road. We've been doing the personalized punch cards ever since I started doing all of the photography for them about a year and a half ago.

matty_1.6.11_ 008 Smokin' Hot Espresso, one of my regular business clients, asked me to come up with a flyer for their upcoming charity event, 'Bikini Bowling.' As soon as they popped the question, "can you design it?" I knew exactly what I wanted to do. "Give me in the bowling alley with one of the baristas and you'll have a great flyer," was my instant response. This is a fundraising event for a fellow who is going through his third bout of cancer. It's very generous of Smokin' Hot to donate their time, creating a fun evening to raise money to help pay for all the medical expenses.