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.


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.




not suited to round holes

Posted in personal, photography, scape by Trey on March 26, 2009

i’m excited to announce that i’ve uploaded several new images into my personal collection & am having a small sale to celebrate. from now until next Tuesday (March 31st) anyone who purchases a square print (one of the three below) will receive a free print.


here’s how it works:

1. purchase a square print – 5×5, 8×8, 10×10 or 20×20

2. at checkout, put a note in the comments with the name of the image you would like

3. the size of your free print will be related to the size of the print you purchase (if you’d prefer a smaller size, please note the size you’d like along with the name)

5×5 (4×6)

8×8 (6×9 or smaller)

10×10 (8×12 or smaller)

20×20 (16×24 or smaller)

like i said, there are several new images in the store, so even if one of the three above doesn’t tickle your fancy there might be something new that does. take a minute and check-a-check-a-check it out yo.

change is in the air

Posted in personal, photography by Trey on December 11, 2008


as a stop gap until my website is redesigned (crossing my fingers for early 2009. steve?), which is going to be a total departure from where i’ve been at for the last three years, i’m putting together a carbonmade portfolio to show my broader body of work.

this is something that i put together late last year in a different form & published on JPG. unfortunately, the previous version of this idea was necessitated by my lack of owning a scanner. now, that is fixed. how do you feel about the way the images work with the typeface?

off to Canada

Posted in Uncategorized by Trey on April 25, 2008

i head to the great north on Monday for a week. i’ll be shooting images for that production chemical company out of Houston again. be on the lookout for some new stuff when i return.

here are a few selects from the houston trip i took a couple weeks ago; you can see a broader selection by clicking here.


the great smoky mountains

Posted in personal by Trey on April 21, 2008

my dad used to have a place up in North Carolina; these are a selection of images from my time there. several of these images are available as giclee prints through imagekind, however, if you see one you love and want that isn’t in the store at imagekind, let me know and i’ll make arrangements.



a sneak peak at this weekends session

Posted in couples, expecting by Trey on April 7, 2008

i really enjoy making portraits. i mean, i really, really like it. i enjoy spending time with people, learning about them and finding a way to capture the essence of who they are. before the day ever arrives, i spend alot of time considering locations and looking at images from photographers i love for inspiration, but the ancillary details aren’t my primary focus.

the most important thing, in my opinion, is a great story.

Jeni & Jessica have a great story.

they’ve been best friends since the 6th grade, their husbands are now friends and they’re both pregnant – the due dates only a couple days apart. when Jessica told me they wanted to do their sessions together, i thought it was a brilliant idea.

as i thought about the phase of life they’re in, i kept coming back to the notion of young love; being newly married and expecting a child, it’s a really romantic time. i didn’t want that idea to get lost, so i picked a spot i’d normally take engaged couples.

i was really excited about the images we got.

Jason & Jessica

young love

Jeni & Ben

the inaugural

Posted in kids by Trey on April 6, 2008

this has been a long time coming. the blogtographic extension of my website. things will likely be changing quite a bit in the coming days and weeks as i begin to suss out exactly how to work this thing. please excuse any messes in the meantime.

so, here we are.

after a slow winter, it seems things are picking up. i hope to be posting some images from a really fun session i did this weekend and i have a trip in late April to Canada that should yield some gold. but, to get us started, i thought i’d share something a little closer to home – my favorite portrait subjects, brendan & sarah.

these are my kids, ages 4 & 2.