About Adam Voorhes


Posts by Adam Voorhes :

PDN – Turning Objects Into Ideas

A few months back writer Kris Wilton interviewed me about conceptual still life photography. I forgot all about it until I flipped a page, and there I was, along with a few fellow practitioners. According to the article conceptual still life is really hard. So if anyone out there has any aspirations, you might as well give up now.
For me, I feel like the hardest part is making an idea satisfy the masses. Not thinking a good one up. There are tons of great ideas. Once you have an idea to illustrate a story, you simply need to make it fit the magazine’s look, satisfy the style of the photo editor, the photo director, the art director, creative director, and obviously all of the editors, and all of their spouses, and the office cat.
If an idea can do that, all you have to do is take the picture! One time I had an idea for a magazine that I knew was perfect. But they weren’t going for it. So I went ahead and did the shoot, but added this extra option. It ended up running as the cover. Maybe I just did a terrible job sketching the idea out? Who knows. The cover looked good though!
But there are two sides to this coin. Frequently an idea is okay, but after a few back and forth emails and a phone call, that idea can become something really special. I think there is a perfect place between collaboration, and art by committee. Wherever that place is, I’d like to be there as much as possible.
Side note; the article mentioned this type of work typically does not look photoshopped. That made me happy.

Communication Arts Advertising Annual

I’m humbled that our campaign for Caesar’s grabbed a full page in the current CA ad annual. As simple as the images were, it was a massive amount of work for Robin to style, me to not just shoot, but also retouch, and creative director Mike Ferrer to concept, and harder still, sell to his client. I’m very proud of this project, and glad to see it gain some more recognition. Also thanks to my c-stand for holding up the magazine while I photographed it.

Spirit Magazine Covers

Spirit’s design director, Kevin de Miranda, called me about their past two covers. November’s cover feature focused on forgiveness, and finding (or creating) a good in the darkest of situations. We decided to photograph a dove. An iconic symbol of hope. For readers sitting in a metal tube rocketing through the sky, i’m hopeful that the story was uplifting or insightful. But for me it was an opportunity to spend an evening patiently exploring a dove over a glass of wine. Or three or four. I don’t remember. And it was one of the rare occasions that Robin looked at my images and said  ‘what if you light it different?’ I asked how. ‘I don’t know, just different, maybe backlight it.’ So I did.

The October cover required a vintage camera, and lucky us, I have one or two. This ended up being a self portrait. Sort of. I’m not exactly the polyester sport coat and tie sort of guy. But those are my hands!

Firecrackers – Outtakes from Men’s Health

I made these photographs a few months back when my nephew Miles was visiting after his tour in the mid east. We had a couple of full days scheduled for Men’s Health magazine. And if you’ve never witnessed a still life photo shoot, I can tell you right now, it’s not exactly ‘exciting.’ Fortunately one of our assignments was to blow up chili peppers. And what better to do with a black hawk door gunner returning from Afghanistan, than blowing stuff up?

We did have the technical hurdle of acquiring fire crackers off season. I mentioned the idea to my cousin Sterling who was having drinks at my house. He asked how many I needed. Just one pack should be plenty, I said. Oh no problem, he told me, I have a bunch of fireworks in the trunk. You have fireworks in the trunk of your car? In Texas? In the heat? Yeah, he explained, you never know when you’ll need some.

The following images illustrate what happens when you load a Serrano with fire crackers and connect your camera to a sound sensitive trigger. Enjoy…..

Bon Appétit – Cherries on Ice

I’m always amazed at how far in advance magazines like Bon Appétit work. And I’m more amazed at how people find seasonal produce four or five months early!

Robin scoured Austin looking for the perfect cherries, all shipped in from Chile. Meanwhile I was in California, and we figured I should be able to find something better there. So I went to a dozen markets to find the exact same cherries from Chile that Robin found half way across the States.

Back in Austin, with piles of Chilean cherries to chose from, we picked our favorites. We chilled them well below zero and allowed ice crystals to form through moisture in the air. Turns out… when you bring cherries to around twenty degrees below zero, whether they are from Chile or Chile, they all pretty much look the same.

Pecan St Rum for the Ampersand Agency

I have a very soft spot in my heart for Austin based brands, so when the Ampersand Agency asked me to work on the Spirit of Texas rum account I wanted to make something really special. And when I tried their Pecan Street rum I was inspired.

To me these images reflect the gritty old urban Austin that my studio resides in (that 100 year old brick wall is in my studio), and our high brow dining scene served out of trailers under pecan trees strung with lights (I eat my own cooking under said trees in my back yard).

This is the Austin I love, and the place I want to stay. So belly up to the bar.