Trey Hill Photographs

the Kizer Soze principle

Posted in commercial, craft, photography by Trey on July 30, 2009

My love affair with screenwriting began in the balcony of an old Singapore movie house when I was in the seventh grade. The romance took me to film school, where I ate, drank & breathed everything film and one of the things I learned there was the importance of a good set up – a strong first act. It’s so important that there are whole seminars on the how to craft the first ten pages of a screenplay.

In one of my screenwriting classes, we looked at the set up in The Usual Suspects. Do you remember it? The mealy mouthed cripple, Verbal Kint, in the detective’s office, says of Keyser Soze, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

That line haunts you the rest of the film. That is a great set up. And the genius of the line is it takes a complicated theme and puts it into incredibly simple terms.

This same idea can be used, to great effect, in photography as well.

NeedHim2

This is a subject I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately and I’m not sure where I first encountered it in practice (the only place I can think to point to is Dan Winters, who does it infinitely better than anyone), but simplicity – simple light, simple composition, simple posture – is the best way I’ve found to expose for honest emotion.

I recently did portraits for Need Him, a non-profit whose mission is to give people a chance to hear the story of God’s love for mankind as it was personified in Jesus. They wanted their story to be told with authenticity, so early on, the decision was made to cast ordinary people instead of models.

However, people are a complicated tangle of story lines and emotions and most put up high walls that hide the honest, authentic emotion from strangers. Putting a camera in their face or being placed under a bunch of lights while being told what to do only adds to their discomfort.

So, as excited as I was about the opportunity to explore some of the complexity that real people bring with them, I knew that in order to create an environment where that could happen, I would need a simple set up.

NeedHim1

(more…)

production stills

Posted in celebrity, commercial, documentary, portfolio, production stills by Trey on July 9, 2009

i put together a new PDF book of my production still work. of all the things i shoot, i think production stills are dang near the top of the heap of things i adore. i love the collaborative process that is film making, the energy of a well run set and the way everything looks under the careful craftsmanship of a great DP.

THPprodstills1

please take a minute to download the PDF (6.1mb). more after the jump

new ROCC images

Posted in commercial, documentary, Royal Oaks Renovation by Trey on June 18, 2009

here’s some new work from the country club renovation project:

ROCC_2

we’re about at the halfway mark; i’m 6 months in and it’s amazing to me that i can see anything new or find new ways to see the things i’ve seen a hundred times. this job has been an incredible exercise in learning to look harder. i’m rather happy with my latest effort on that project.

one year later

Posted in campaign, celebrity, commercial, i am second, outtakes, photography, tear sheets by Trey on June 5, 2009

“Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts – to make artistic designs… and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.”

-Exodus 31:1-5

tomorrow marks one year of my involvement with I Am Second and the first person i shot for the campaign was Jason Castro. i remember being pretty nervous.

i had pitched the idea of shooting production stills to use as additional content on iamsecond.com, but the folks at E3 knew they would need studio portraits for the print & outdoor efforts, so they asked me to try my hand at those as well. at the time, studio photography wasn’t something that i had a ton of experience with – which was the root cause of 97% of my nervousness.

here’s that first image:

CastroAnniversary

more after the jump

Selena Gomez

Posted in campaign, celebrity, commercial, photography, production stills, tear sheets by Trey on June 1, 2009

i mentioned, back in January, a photo shoot i did with Selena Gomez for Borden milk. the campaign launched recently and i just received some of the final artwork.

selena

Local, Fresh, Delecious

Agency: Marchman Associates

Creative: Sam Ditore, Scott Mayo, Kevin Shivers & Taryn Owen

more after the jump

construction

Posted in commercial, personal, photography, story by Trey on May 29, 2009

i’ve learned one very valuable lesson while documenting the renovation of Royal Oaks Country Club, construction is messy. very, very messy.

ROCC_summer

workers put the finishing touches on the pool area at Royal Oaks, which opened memorial day weekend.

as i mentioned when i last wrote, which seems like eons ago, i’ve been hard at work finalizing the redesign of my website in-between various shooting assignments. i’m happy to report that my good friend and Dallas most talented interactive marketer has begun the blah, blah that is required to turn photoshop files into web wonderment. and i’m really excited. but i also know that the road ahead will be messy, full of unexpected disasters creative challenges and will probably take me right up to the wire (i have a loose & self imposed late summer, like, late August, early September) goal.

fingers crossed.

i should be blogging more. i have a ton of new work to show, recently launched two personal projects and have written an article for COLLIDE that should be going to print soon. so check back soon & often.

My Book

Posted in celebrity, commercial, photography, portfolio by Trey on April 30, 2009

I’ve been hard at work finishing up all my promotional materials, including doing all the initial design work on the redesign of my new website – which I hope is getting close. It’s been a great experience to dream about where I want to go as a photographer and think, in practical terms, about the best way to get there.

One of the items I’ve really put a ton of time and energy behind is my book. I don’t feel like my current portfolio really does a good enough job of showcasing my storytelling abilities. And since that is where I see myself heading, I really wanted a tangible something to put in people’s hands (or inboxes) that showed that side of my work.

book1

When it came to layout & the purpose behind the piece, I set a few pretty straightforward goals for myself:

Let the images do all the work. No sense trying to be a visual communicator if you can’t say what needs to be said without words. Turns out this is hard for a person who spent the first two-thirds of his life dreaming about being a writer.

Include a few story lines. If you’re going to say “I’m a storyteller” you have to have a few stories to tell. So, this goal was as much about mining my work for the strongest examples of story as it was about not overdoing it.

Make story-like connections between unrelated things. This is one of those ideas that I’ve been obsessed with for quite a long time. I like finding commonality in seemingly unrelated scenes. It’s really fun to put a couple of images together and see what happens.

You can download my book by clicking on one of the follow links: choose the large version if you want something big, but if you’re on a slow internet connection or want to email it to someone, choose the small version.

There are a few spreads from the book after the jump.

(more…)

Monarch Air

Posted in commercial by Trey on March 24, 2009

the weather wasn’t great – it was overcast and rainy with pretty strong winds. two things that don’t typically go well with those conditions are flying and photography. but, as my five year old has taught me, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

two hours in and we hadn’t fired a single shot; the rain was getting close and our schedule was being held up by something beyond our control in the hanger we were supposed to shoot in.

instead of panicking, i found something to inspire me; an offhanded comment by my client was just enough.

our first shot was supposed to be something that wouldn’t have turned out as good as the third image below – which ended up being our first shot of the day. that’s the beauty of the unexpected, it forces you to stretch beyond your plans and get out of your comfort zone.

monarch1

three images i submitted as potential covers.

typically i shoot more lifestyle stuff, like the first image (above). my sensibilities tend to drive me toward compositions that don’t feel produced, which isn’t to say i don’t have to work at getting them. i think it’s a texture thing, more than anything else for me. i want the image to feel a little less polished. because we were dealing with gray skies and flat light, i knew we would have to amp up the production required, but my assistant & i worked to make sure that everything felt motivated by something real.

i think we achieved that goal & last i heard it was the front runner for the cover of an article about Monarch Air, my client.

there are a few more images after the jump.

(more…)

game time

Posted in celebrity, commercial, photography, sports, story by Trey on February 26, 2009

several weeks ago, i mentioned a job the Dallas Stars hired me for & now that the finished product* is online & hitting mailboxes, i figured it was time to revisit the experience.

stars4

fan shop paraphernalia | the great Razor Reaugh goes over his game notes as the players arrive.

over two different evenings, i was given an amazing level of access to the team & the building – which is something i can’t take any credit for. Colin & John, the two people who should be atop your “people i wish i knew at the Dallas Stars” list, did a tremendous job of making everything i asked for a reality. i was apparently the first photographer allowed up into the rafters (during play) in 5 years – for any sport. they got me into the locker room as the guys got ready. i practically stood on the bench for most of one period.

all of this allowed me to see and show the game in a really unique way and i walked away having learned a few things about a sport i love a ton.

follow the jump for more images.

(more…)

into the rafters we went

Posted in commercial, outtakes, photography by Trey on January 14, 2009

on Monday i got a call from the Dallas Stars to come and shoot the game against the Detroit Red Wings for some promotional material they are putting together. thankfully, they didn’t want me to shoot like a sports photographer, which i am not. they wanted me to find the things that were going on away from the puck and off the ice. it was an AWESOME night, that took me from the belly of the arena into the rafters to see my favorite game in a really unique way.

and your Dallas Stars did an awesome job of taking everyone in the arena on a similar journey.

the hated Wing entered the game on a six game winning streak and it seemed impossible to think that the captain-less Stars and their young blue line could do anything to keep a repeat of the 6-1 beat down of just a few nights earlier from happening again. the picture looked even more bleak when the Stars gave up two early goals. however, they faught, kicked and clawed their way back and tied it up in the final three minutes of the third.

it took the extra period to do it, but the Stars put together an awesome victory. i wasn’t able to appreciate what was happening on the ice as much as i would have liked – but, i did come home with some images i’m really proud of.

here are a few of the outtakes that i really like.

ds_vsdetroit

while reading the paper

Posted in campaign, celebrity, commercial, i am second, photography, tear sheets by Trey on January 6, 2009

…this morning, i came across this:

picture-2

and i just thought i’d get a great Heika article about Brett Hull’s creativity or some clever spin on the Sean Avery debacle.

i have a few thoughts about the ads, but i’ll keep those to myself. i think the photography looks good & i’m glad to see a web property like I Am Second being advertised online. it makes a lot of sense. i wonder if getting served three ads on a single article is strategy or coincidence?

I Am Second launches today

Posted in campaign, celebrity, commercial, i am second by Trey on December 2, 2008

oh boy do i have a massive backlog of blogging to do… but first, a current event.

since June, I’ve been working with some really incredible people on a project that i’m very proud to be a part of. i’ve blogged about it several times, but haven’t had the liberty of actually disclosing it’s official name. but, seeing as the billboards are up and the television spots are airing, it is a secret no more. take a few minutes and check out iamsecond.com.

head-1

brian welch, formerly of Korn

the upcoming campaign

Posted in campaign, commercial, i am second by Trey on September 16, 2008

i just put up a story on the DME blog about one of the IAS I Am Second subjects; i think it’s worth a read if you have a few minutes. the campaign is officially launching in November December, and we’ve been working like mad to get the 30 some-odd short films cut.

we have another shoot on Friday that should be interesting.

these are a few of Blake’s behind the scenes images.

blake shares his story.

more photos after the jump.

(more…)