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Ice Mountain Spring Water - Weber Shandwick - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

FYT got to document Nestle Waters doing their part to help Flint schools during their time of crisis. We went to Stanwood, Mich. bright and early to photograph the factory workers at the Ice Mountain Spring Water bottled water supplier. To help support Flint in their time of need, you can donate to the Flint Water Fund which helps purchase bottled water, water filters and emergency support services. 

LEAR Charity Preview NAIAS - George P Johnson Marketing Experience - Event Photography by Christian O'Grady

FYT has been documenting the LEAR Charity Preview even before we were FYT!

This is our third year photographing the annual event for George P Johnson Marketing Experience (formerly pulse220) who puts on an in incredibly decadent event in celebration of LEAR and all hard work the company has done. Gourmet food along with crafted cocktails which this year included a ten foot tall ice sculpture martini ice luge....! 

This year topped them all because the energy was high, food was plentiful and the live band played hot all night long! See for yourself! 

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MM-O-DD - Michigan Science Center: Noel Night - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

This year FYT got to participate in one of Detroit's holiday traditions, Noel Night! 

A good friend and client of ours Leslie Ann Pilling is the founder and President of Metro Museum of Design Detroit (MM-O-DD). The museum explores the industry of design with a current mobile presence. We are on board as in-kind sponsors. FYT donates our photo and video services to the non-profit which gives us the opportunity to work closely with talented creatives and craft content for the up and coming museum. 

For Noel Night, we created a video to set the stage for MM-O-DD's Design Showcase of The Frost Fairy Queen. We shot video footage of the first snowfall back in November highlighting frost, snowflakes, icicles, and other variations. To incorporate the aesthetic of MMODD, we gave geometric shape to nature's design mimicking a kaleidoscopic effect. The music recorded and produced by friend Rachel Skotarczyk, worked together with the video to deliver a more dramatic epic ambience.  

MM-O-DD was stationed in the downstairs of the Michigan Science Center located in the DTE Sparks Theatre. Children lined up to have their picture taken with the Frost Fairy Queen with our piece making for a beautiful backdrop.

There was even a station for kids to design their own ID tags, each unique and special - just like a snowflake!

Featuring artists include: Mobel Link Modern Furniture, Celeste Smith of Celeste Couture Hats, BWP Light and Sound, S. Kay Young Photography LLC, Hair Lab Detroit and Presence II Productions.

CUREiosities - Rose & Robert Skillman Branch Library - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

Photography is my road to the unknown, toward existence...
— Victoria Zegler, FYT Productions

The Rose & Robert Skillman Branch of the Detroit Public Library is a beautiful gem tucked away in Detroit. While it houses the history of the nations automotive collection, it also contains historic architecture - like most of the city of Detroit. FYT had the pleasure of getting to explore this historical landmark with a close friend of ours, Leslie Ann Pilling during a photoshoot for one of her Detroit fashion brands. Leslie has a garment manufacturing studio located on Library Street in Detroit just across from the Rose & Robert Skillman Branch Library, where the shoot took place. Many of her apparel lines are produced in her studio, one of which is CUREiosities. CUREiosities is a highstyle fashion brand appointed with luxury fabrics and hardware. The opera coat, featured above has ruched details to soften the designs and play into strong, simple, and classic shapes. It gives off an edgy vibe which blends both current and deco details. Leslie explained the look as, "...if Audrey Hepburn played a role in Star Trek, her character would be the perfect client." 

Shooting inside of the library allowed us to integrate subject matter into the compositions of the building naturally. Christian was on camera, while Victoria was modeling the pieces with her camera in hand.

The concept expressed behind this brand revolves around people who explore. When Leslie initially reached out to FYT with her vision, she introduced the idea of having Victoria model the pieces. To Leslie, Victoria was a great match: a photographer and visual journalist who just this year started her own company, FYT Productions. FYT's core values lie in storytelling, quality, and purpose. These values fell parallel when landing on our location at the Skillman Branch, a place driven behind quality, purpose, and educating. In each image, a camera is present in the hand of the female photographer, as she wanders through the library exploring and finding beauty in her surroundings and documenting the story unfolding before her.

To view pieces from the CUREiosities apparel line, visit www.CUREiosities.com

Tegan Marie - "God Made Girls" - FYT Productions + Sweety High by Christian O'Grady

A few weeks ago, FYT got the opportunity to shoot a music video with 12-year-old country singer Tegan Marie. It was Tegan's debut, being her first music video, showing her fans just how serious she was about becoming a star. To continue that investment in her brand, we were contacted again by SweetyHigh.com to find a location for Tegan's second video for RaeLynn's "God Made Girls."  After a full day of location scouting, we found the lovely Camp Cavell on the east coast of Michigan along Lake Huron. It was an awesome location featuring a long coastline, abundant trees, a wrap-around porch and much more. Our contact Jill was very welcoming and even offered for us to come back if we ever need a location again, thanks Jill! 

This time around it was important to bring out more of Tegan's attitude with high energy and movement. Our coaching gave Tegan the direction she needed on camera to deliver a more engaging performance. She even snuck a wink in there! ;)

One of the core principles of FYT is teamwork. Tegan Marie, SweetyHigh.com and FYT came together to put out a compelling product. While Tegan is off recording an original Christmas track in Chicago, we'll be brainstorming ideas for her next music video back in Michigan...stay tuned!

SOFI K - Royal Oak Music Theatre - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

14-year-old Sophia Washer - known as Sofi K rocked the Royal Oak Music Theatre Friday night as she debuted the release of her album "LoveHate," a collection of 10 tracks that showcase an eclectic mix of creative directions and different styles that have influenced Sofi over her young career. The lyrics for the tracks were written by Sofi K and the music was co-written by Sofi K and produced by Kresge fellowship recipient Bryce Harding. 

The concert also included performances by Soul Divide and Stereo Jane. 

Teenagers filled the music theatre to see Sofi K, grabbing free popcorn, candy and soda before the live performance. As the opening bands transitioned from one song to the next, the anticipation grew stronger. Stereo Jane wrapped up their set and the MC introduced "the reason we're all here tonight!" The crowd began to scream with excitement as Sofi entered the stage with a big smile, greeting her fans.

Watching Sofi perform, I noticed the young pop artists stage presence come so naturally, giving her the ability to sing confidently and move swiftly in front of a live audience. 

As Sofi introduced her next song "Stars," a girl yelled to her friend "I know all the words to this song!" As the crowd began to sing the words to "Stars," they reached out their hands to connect with their peer who turned to a star on the stage.

Tegan Marie - Sweety High - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

FYT got the opportunity to shoot a music video with 12-year-old up and coming country sensation Tegan Marie...on her birthday! Tegan was born in Detroit in 2003 and started playing guitar when she only 6-years-old. A couple years later she was writing music at age 8 and playing national stages by age 11.

Tegan has a genuine presence about her that comes through in her vocals. She's natural, fun and always on allowing her to work hard to achieve her dreams.

We were contacted by a production company based out of Los Angeles by the name of Sweety High, who make content for the tween and teen market. Tegan initially reached out to Sweety High by sharing her homemade videos on their site. Our contact at the company told us about Tegan and the incredible digital presence she had been creating for herself. The next step...producing a music video. It was time to show the world what Tegan was made of.

 

We started the shoot at 8 am on a chilly October morning in Metamora, Michigan. Our good friend and fellow photographer Dan Lippitt owns at 10-acre farm with unlimited shooting potential. FYT loved getting to work with Tegan and the team to create the video for "Mama's Song," which has reached over 100,00 views!

A week later we're shooting Tegan's second music video for "God Made Girls" by RaeLynn. Stay tuned!

TEDxDetroit - FYT Productions - Event Photography by Christian O'Grady

Victoria hooked FYT up with access to shoot TEDxDetroit this year. We love TED talks and have been inspired by them for years. It was a great experience to help TEDxDetroit prosper this year with beautiful event photography for those to see around the world. Here are some of our favorites from the day! 

Conservation Biologist Rob Mies, founder of the organization Bat Conservation #SaveTheBats campaign! They are a vital part of the ecosystem and they need our help!

Conservation Biologist Rob Mies, founder of the organization Bat Conservation #SaveTheBats campaign! They are a vital part of the ecosystem and they need our help!

People lined up outside of the Fox Theatre for TEDxDetroit.

People lined up outside of the Fox Theatre for TEDxDetroit.

TEDx gathered a wide variety of entertainment such as slam poets, singers, and speed painters.

TEDx gathered a wide variety of entertainment such as slam poets, singers, and speed painters.

There were inspiring people, such as Social Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Mallory Brown, that dedicate their life to helping other lives.

There were inspiring people, such as Social Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Mallory Brown, that dedicate their life to helping other lives.

Between TEDx speakers there were interactive demonstrations to promote future ideas.

Between TEDx speakers there were interactive demonstrations to promote future ideas.

There were also many great ideas shared at TedXDetroit this year.

There were also many great ideas shared at TedXDetroit this year.

When people think of fashion they think of Tokyo, Paris, and Milan. Why not Detroit?
— Karen Buscemi
Engineer Paul Elio even brought his personal automobile on stage!!!

Engineer Paul Elio even brought his personal automobile on stage!!!

SOFI K - LoveHate Album Shoot - Behind the Scenes by Christian O'Grady

14-year-old Sophia Washer - known as Sofi K, is releasing her debut album LoveHate on Friday, November 6th. The concept of the pop album revolves around the idea of mixed emotions and rather eclectic in terms of how each of the songs sound with hints of rock, jazz and blues. Christian O'Grady was called upon to conduct her photo shoot on top of Music Hall Detroit at the 3fifty Terrace for the young female artists new album art. Bryce Harding, who is producing Sofi K's album, was introduced to Christian through Sigal Levine the makeup artist and hair stylist for our shoot. The rooftop terrace was the perfect location giving us the beautiful Detroit skyline as our backdrop.

Thanks to all who contributed and Sofia's sweet mom Linda (who provided water + snacks)! 

 

Christian pointing out possible locations to Sofia and Bryce before the shoot.

Christian pointing out possible locations to Sofia and Bryce before the shoot.

Christian trying to get Sofia in the mindset to shoot.

Christian trying to get Sofia in the mindset to shoot.

Sofia was electric, filled with energy and quick to laugh.

Sofia was electric, filled with energy and quick to laugh.

Christian balancing the light from the strobe to the available light from the setting sun.

Christian balancing the light from the strobe to the available light from the setting sun.

Sofia makes a puckered face to allow Sigal to get the makeup just right.

Sofia makes a puckered face to allow Sigal to get the makeup just right.

Behind the scenes of behind the scenes, Victoria shooting the process of the shoot.

Behind the scenes of behind the scenes, Victoria shooting the process of the shoot.

Sigal lending a helpful head to lean on.

Sigal lending a helpful head to lean on.

Linda covering her eyes as Bryce pulls Sofia up onto the edge of the wall to get in position for the shot.

Linda covering her eyes as Bryce pulls Sofia up onto the edge of the wall to get in position for the shot.

Detroit stadiums in the skyline behind our location on top of Music Hall at 3fifty Terrace.

Detroit stadiums in the skyline behind our location on top of Music Hall at 3fifty Terrace.

Bon Bon Bon - #FoodWineWomen - Food&Wine by Christian O'Grady

For months Victoria has been working with the "Babes Babes Babes" of Hamtramck's Bon Bon Bon. Alexandra Clark, owner of the starkly casual chocolate shop, was such a joy to work with that she feels like a real friend. What a treat it was when Victoria told Alex that the piece was going to be published by Food&Wine! The article which is part of their #FoodWineWomen series is expanded on here with the full photo story below. Check it out and be sure to visit Alex and indulge in a few bonbons at one of her shoppes in Hamtramck, Detroit or pop-up shop in Ann Arbor. 

Commercial Fashion - CRAINE&LOVE - Esii Perez by Christian O'Grady

This past week FYT got to shoot with some of their favorites: CRAINE&LOVE and model Esii Perez.  CRAINE&LOVE is a clothing brand centered towards producing basic and essential pieces for women and men.  

Christian and Victoria have been working alongside owner Carol Craine for several months watching new ideas and inspirations come into play while she experiments with new fabrics and patterns.  For our latest shoot we welcomed long time friend Esii, who Christian says is the most dynamic model he has worked with, to model.  

Her form was as versatile as the pieces themselves.  Each style was photographed on Esii to represent the uniform standing on it's own.  Then combinations of clothing we're thrown into the mix such as jeans, skirts and sweaters tied around the waist and shoulders, all to show the different personas that each of the designers pieces can take on.  

Your uniform, how you define it, how you wear it.

 

Whether a night out for dinner or jet-setting cross country, the style and simplicity of each piece is tailored to your true self.  FYT is excited to be on this journey with Carol as she explores new opportunities for her brand.  We look forward to seeing our images implemented.  

FYT and CRAINE&LOVE plan to produce a video at the end of the month to showcase the different styles of the brand and how the form and functionality play's a crucial role in each piece.

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Food Photography - Chromatic Cornucopia - Madalyn Knebel Design by Christian O'Grady

This week FYT had the opportunity to work with Madalyn Knebel Design to continue our series Chromatic Cornucopia.  In the spring we tackled the green color spectrum and this week it's blues and purples.  With Madalyn's great eye and sensibility for design, we're able to get a hold of fresh produce that is both unique and beautiful.  With a vibrant cornucopia as our final product, Christian and Victoria are able to photograph the process in which it's built using studio lighting for still lives and macro photography.  

Victoria looked for interesting patterns within the still lives to create compositions of the tiny details.  Some were harder to find than others.  Christian caught sight of what Victoria was doing and began his own search for compositions within the tiny world that is macro photography.

Madalyn brought over her mothers old sewing box filled with tools for styling the shoot.  Cotton balls, Q-tips, sticky tack, and jars are just some of the things that contribute to the clean look and attention to detail. Our still lives range from the classic to the contemporary.  When photographing green foods in the springtime, we focused on one setup.  This time around we set up two different tables where one housed the large cornucopia and the other was staged for experimentation.

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These purple potatoes became part of a surreal landscape with the collaboration of FYT and Madalyn Knebel Design.  The deep purples in the potatoes reminded Victoria of gemstones, which gave Madalyn the idea to slice off angled sections to create rock-like formations.  The blue cornmeal resembled sand to give the still life ground.

Esii Perez - Studio Photography - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

Esii Perez is a favorite model of FYT. Esii has no bounds, restrictions, or hesitations. She comes to the studio EARLY every time with a bright positive attitude. Christian and Esii have been shooting together since the beginning of this decade and that experience together leads to organic moments captured. Esii has a willingness to try different poses and expressions. This blog post of photos were all taken within one shooting session and all of these photos have little or no retouching. Forget Your Troubles... come shoot with FYT. 

Product Photography - CRAINE&LOVE - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

CRAINE&LOVE is a local clothing company we have had the pleasure of working with previously.  The brand is centered towards producing basic and essential pieces for both men and women. Working alongside Carol Craine, the woman behind CRAINE&LOVE, you truly get to see the creative mind at work - the constant stream of ideas, inspiration, and willingness to take risks.  When I was talking with Carol during our shoot, I mentioned to her that when I wear her pieces I am told I look "striking," or "simply sexy" and I agree with them confirming that these pieces are nothing but basic, they are empowering.  Carol's idea for her pieces stemmed from her desire to find balance in her life.  She writes, "I SEEK TO FIND THE BALANCE, THE BEAUTY, AND THE SIMPLICITY.... IN ALL I DO... IN ALL I SHARE... IN ALL I WEAR... "  And just like that, Carol's beloved uniform was brought to fruition.    

Our shoot consisted of working on Carol's web content shooting each of her pieces on white, hanging from unique metal hangers.  After wrapping that up, we decided to mix it up a bit and execute one of Carol's idea's to have the clothing to be portrayed in a more relaxed, lifestyle fit.  So, I jumped in and got to model some different styles.     

Commercial Photography - Triple Thread - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

Last week Christian and I got to collaborate on a shoot with the boys over at Triple Thread to show off their new spring/summer Motorcity apparel. On our initial meeting we quickly realized that these guys were all about having FUN. A grateful dead bear costume? You bet. During our shoot we decided to embrace their goofy attitude and make pictures with it. The first half of the shoot took place in downtown Pontiac where we scouted locations on the fly looking for nice light and interesting textures. Once the sun went down we headed back to our studio loft to setup our lights. We had a basic studio lighting setup with our camera on a tripod which made it easy for the models (as well as the dancing bear!) to jump into the frame and work with us. It made for great moments and A LOT of laughter. I put together a GIF of Marshall bustin' a move!

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Editorial - SUGARPOP! - The Metropolitan d'Etroit Magazine by Christian O'Grady

Spring is here!  Time to celebrate the best way we know how...with something SWEET.  This warm weather calls for cold fizzy pop, sweet sherbet, and other sugary treats that bring out fun under the warm sun.  The SUGARPOP! shoot was inspired by the personalities of beautiful girls and their silly personalities.  The candy element was added to be both bold and vibrant, combined with the makeup enhanced the sweetness and colorfulness of the shoot.

Studio Portraiture - Madalyn Knebel - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

I, Victoria, have always wanted to photograph a ballerina.  The way they carry themselves with such elegance has always been attractive to me.  Upon meeting Madalyn, I knew of her history with ballet but what I didn't know was that she was still graceful as ever.  Sometimes people change, whether it's due to their environment or just the mere fact that they've moved onto that next step.  This was not the case, I knew I had to photograph Madalyn's soft and sweet nature.  During our shoot together, Christian was flying the Helix around our studio getting behind the scenes footage to help tell the story. 

Fashion Editorial - StylineLine Magazine - Airtime Trampoline Park @ Troy, MI by Christian O'Grady

Victoria's first chance to work with me on a big job was during this 10 page fashion spread for the March issue of Styleline Magazine last year. She shot behind the scenes as I orchestrated the 10 different setups we shot for the magazine. Jumping around all day at Airtime trampoline park made for an extremely fun shooting day.

Documentary Photography - Black Magic - Valentine Distilling Co. @ Ferndale, MI by Christian O'Grady

     Christian and I worked with a close friend of ours on a stylish shoot for a marketing campaign for Black Magic body spray and body wash.  We spent the day working inside of the rather fragrant and airy Valentine Vodka in Ferndale, where Christian helped with lighting and I shot  behind the scenes.  On the set, Christian was using a portable lighting rig that he fashioned together using a vintage photographers light strip with four LED light bulbs while I was ducking and weaving through clothing racks and distillery vats.  

     The highlight of the day?  Christian getting to hose down a sexy 6'2 model.    

Portrait Photography - Christian O'Grady - Pontiac, MI by Christian O'Grady

When you are a pair of photographers, there is no excuse, you have to photograph thick fog. This foggy night I became the model as Victoria captured my silouhette in this line of trees.

Pontiac MI, 12/14/14

Pontiac MI, 12/14/14

We then decided to venture down Woodward to a location we had been passing on the regular which was decorated with tons of Christmas lights.  Nothing like bokeh, eh?