The Back Bay Salty Dogs

I think it's pretty safe to say that as a photographer, being let loose to shoot a project as you see it is the dream job - period.  And recently a friend of mine, Alex Peltz, hired me to do just that.  Alex, who runs his graphic design/branding business out of his home in the East Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, recently hired me to shoot a project for his client,  Heritage Shellfish Cooperative. The objective was simple, document the day-in-the-life of the New Jersey Bay area clammer.  Projects like these are always a blast. Not only cause I got to shoot whatever I wanted, but I got to spend the entire hour day eating clams on the half shell right from the bay!

Below are a few images snapped during the average day of a New Jersey clammer. 

For The Love of Dog.

Man’s best friend. That’s how the saying goes. And for lots of people, smooching with their Great Dane or Dachshund is just another way of expressing that love. To them, a kiss is a carefree way to share affection with the canine who loves them unconditionally.

 

But to other, um, non-dog-owners, this might look like “Man’s best friend…with benefits”. They believe one’s Toy Poodle should not be their play thing. “Do you know where that mouth has been?” they silently ponder. While the human/dog chemistry is lost on this crowd, the smooching owners are actually changing their own biochemistry…for the better! Their oxytocin levels are rising; their blood pressure is slowing, all while their sense of well being crescendos. So, kiss away my friends. 

http://www.featureshoot.com/2014/04/chris-sembrot/#!EA1R1 

Oh To Be a 17 Year Old, Internationally Known DJ again...

A couple weeks ago I was hired by Billboard Magazine to shoot DJ Martin Garrix. I could say the 17 year old is an up-and-coming super star of EDM, but with his already 400K+ followers on Twitter, I'd say the kid has arrived. 

I was asked to photograph him before his Atlantic City performance at Revel's, HQ nightclub. Not snow nor a missed flight would keep Martin grounded in Miami. His team chartered a private flight and they arrived just an hour late for prep. Not bad for someone who played for four straight nights in four different cities. And judging by his Instagram account, sleep hasn't been very popular on his tour. 

Below are a few images from that night!

 

Riding the Promo Wave

Once upon a time I was an art buyer. And with that title came emails and post cards - from photographers sharing new work .This part of my job was actually fun. Seeing what projects people are working on and constantly being showered visually with new and inspiring work (kind of like Instagram but not). But unlike Instagram, I had no choice who would share with me. That's when it got annoying. Photogs sharing work not relevant to the types of accounts the agency had started to become spam. That's when I took mental notes.

There were always 1 or 2 mailed promos that would stand out each year and as a young aspiring photographer, these promos blew my mind. The one I always remember was from a photographer that shot a major campaign for Frito Lay. It was so beautifully designed but it also helped that inside was a small bag of Fritos! Genius! That's the kind of impression I could only dream of with this promo for Urban Surfers. 

With the help of a couple  talent friends, (Adam Garcia and Dustin Kemper) I finally put together my promo. I designed a 26 page 7"x7" book and acting as my business card, a puck of surfboard wax with my own custom label. (Adam designed the Urban Surfers logo and Dustin designed the surfboard was label)

There are always a couple goals with these things: keep costs low, be visually interesting and make it so great that it would be difficult to throw out. 

I'll end with one email I got recently from an art buyer who was on the receiving end of this mailer: "... just got your promo (the wax will come in very handy for me!  8' longboard owner!)  

Goal achieved! 

 

 

 

Bottling up Summer.

Happy Friday! 

Although the weather is beautiful, the birds are still chirping, and the sky is a perfect blue, I'm sad. Summer as we know it has come and is leaving the building.

In my blog I talk about waking up at 5am every available morning to shoot Urban Surfers and how the smell of marshy New Jersey reminds me of childhood. It's been a season of shooting what inspires me and sharing those experiences. Here's my attempt at capturing my Summer experiences in just a few images. 

Hope you had months worth of warm sun and late night cookouts with family. Here's to a healthy and productive Fall. 

 


BTS with Karma

Last week was fun, and long... like 12-14 hour days long. But judging from the smiles and the bts photos, no one seemed to care.

Last week Karma Agency hired me to shoot their upcoming print campaign for Main Line Health which had us on location in Jamison, PA and along the banks of Lake Nockamixon (near Doylestown). My team and I were shooting in tandem alongside Neighborhood Film Co. who were shooting the TV campaign. The images will dominate 30th Street Station here in Philly starting in September along with bus backs and commuter rail posters. 

Once the campaign hits the public, I'll be sharing some of the images via Instagram (@csembrot

Thanks again Tracy, Mike, Ford and Heather. Can't wait to see that huge banner!! 

 

Urban Surfers

There's nothing quite like the motivation of a beautiful woman to get you to try a sport that you've always wished you could do but never thought you could pick it up past your 10th birthday. This is the motivation that I felt three years ago when I met the woman of my dreams that would become my best friend and wife. 

I always knew some of my friends surfed but I never REALLY knew what that meant. Being from Philly I knew people surfed at the Jersey Shore, which is pretty obvious if you hit the beach each summer.  But not knowing the culture and the passion that drives some individuals to wake up at 4-5am and drive 1+ hours each way just to get a couple hours in during a swell (which the best surfing in the Northeast is from Fall - Spring), I was basically clueless what surfing really meant to them. 

This project is directly inspired by three friends of mine: Adrian Castillo, Chris "Cakes" Savaiano, and Jim "Hammer" Hammell who took me under their wings and suffered with the humiliation (that I still bring when I go out with them) of helping a newbie. Their dedication to teaching and insisting I go out with them whenever they go, helped me confidently say to that beautiful girl I met for coffee three years ago that, "I surf". 

 

(Stay tuned for more info regarding this project as I have big plans for next Spring/early Summer)

 

 

Phoenix for British Guardian Guide

Recently I had the opportunity to photograph the band, Phoenix for the British magazine, Guardian Guide. The project had us shooting in NYC at the East Village Standard Hotel. With overcast skies, the penthouse location offered 365 degree panoramic views of the city and soft diffused light. The large floor to ceiling windows did most of the work lighting the guys, while some fill was provided to open up shadows. 

I gave each a veto for the playlist I had going and they only executed one song: "I Can Make You Famous" by Spank Rock. Needless to say I was a little mad at them for the rest of the shoot, kind of.. :) 

Phoenix_3.jpg

 So today I received my long awaited, custom made Ipad case created by the lovely Marilyn of EmigeLibris

We sat down a little while ago over a beer and discussed how cool it would be if I photographed her hand made books, and she would make me custom made ipad case. Here’s what she tailored.. Love it!!