Cherry Creek Reservoir, Denver, CO
Andres, the head of local Denver band, Montropo and I sat down back in 2018 to discuss what the possibility of some promotional photos for his upcoming project could look like. We went through a mood board I had created, chatted for a couple months and set a full day aside to shoot something a little different.
In all honesty, I always envisioned these guys on a beach surrounded by sunlight flare, and muted colors. However, the day we chose didn’t allow for that. Instead, on our fall day, we found a blizzard greeting us at Cherry Creek Reservoir. But, ya know what? It was awesome. We were able to get the incredible coloring from the fall trees and a pure white beach landscape slathered with snow.
It was gorgeous. Know what’s weird though? I kind of loved the black and white edits a bit more. Haha ridiculous. But, the profound stillness we were able to snag was absolutely incredible when juxtaposed with the wonderfully natural and playful state of the band. We kept it light and we tried to keep it quick so we didn’t freeze and lose a full day of shooting to frostbite.
After a wonderful couple hours outdoors we headed back to the studio. At that time, the studio didn’t have heat (it does now: new news!), so we just kept moving and kept the energy high.
Montropo is one of my favorite groups in Denver. Andres’ songwriting is strongly stylized while remaining honest and endearing. His talent is undisputed, but moreover, his melodic sense of lyricism has a way of connecting with anyone listening. It’s genuine and carries a simplistic sense of perfection. His songs feel like seasons, and I was so excited to explore the color palette, style, and expressions that may somewhat match his musical prowess.
Montropo‘s recently released debut LP, “Follow Me,” is chock full of well-crafted, beautifully arranged songs…songs like “Brother, Stay,” and “A Woman So Kind” Montropo tackle well-tread motifs with an earnest rosiness, all backed by catchy jangly pop and tasteful string arrangements…he’s yet to achieve the exposure he deserves.– Hey Reverb, Steal This Track
So…we busted out the projector. We did a ton of work with projected rooms, colors, patterns, and yep…even lentils. Y’all…I love these images. They were so fun to create and I feel like they capture several of the seasonal emotions Andres so beautifully writes about. His writing reminds me a bit of an updated Jens-Peter Jacobsen. It’s like you can smell the grass, and feel the fabrics blowing in the wind. Absolutely wonderful.
It was profoundly rewarding to work with these amazing folks and the I can only hope the imagery carries a sense of whimsy and surrealism while being grounded in truth and simplistic beauty.
Projector, baby. That’s how a lot of these were made. Looking at influences like Nick Fancher, Martin Schoeller, and many others, we had a slew of lighting set ups indoors and shot with natural light outdoors.
For the close up images, we harkened to the work of Martin Schoeller. We set up two strip boxes directly in front of the models. All the close ups were shot on a Canon 70-200 USMII lens with a Syrp ND filter.
The strip boxes provided a wonderful set of strip lights in the eyes while still maintaining a ring-light kind of feel. This allowed me to get wildly up close and personal with all three guys.
After the hyper-close up photos, the band was all finished and exited except for some solo shots of Andres. We reset the studio to get some more subtle, honest shots. Using a 7′ umbrella paired with a 10º grid and a slight back fill from a strip box, we were able to get some super low key imagery riddled with style and vibe. The coloring from those images came from a couple of fun gels we threw in back. I kind of love how they slammed the shadows of Andres every which way on the backdrop…not something folks like usually…but, it works for me.
All in all, I hope you enjoy these images as much as we enjoyed making them! Make sure to sign up for my newsletter so you can snag the upcoming band deal and current Valentine’s Day mini-session deal (going until March 1st).
Check out Montropo’s website HERE and look for some incredible new music coming soon…
Thank you for ready and see you soon,