Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live


A few of weeks ago, our studio, Sampsel Preston Photography, had the pleasure of being the show photographers for the amazing “Spectrum Fantastic Art Live” Show in Kansas City. If you are not familiar with Spectrum, it is a wonderfully intimate art show where you can meet and hang out with some of the most amazing artists in the world.  We were brought out to take as many portraits of the many artists that attended the show as possible. We brought a full studio worth of lights and equipment and set up a make-shift portrait studio on the floor of the convention, and invited any of the displaying artists to sit for a portrait.

What a terrific time we had! We saw many friends and made a whole bunch of new ones. And over the 2 1/2 days of the show we made almost 70 portraits of the most unbelievably talented science fiction and fantasy artists you’d ever hope to meet, Here are some of the portraits, please let me know what you think.
Iain McCaig
Donato Giancola

Spectrum Founder Arnie Fenner

 Spectrum Founder Cathy Fenner

 Director of "Spectrum Fantastic Art Live" John Fleskes

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mad Men Photoshoot

    Mad Artists and Writers (standing) From left to right Nick Meglin, Tom Richmond,
    Don Duck Edwing, Sam Viviano, (Seated) From left to right: Jack Davis, Sergio Aragones,
    and Al Jaffee

Last weekend the National Cartoonist Society had their annual meeting and Reuben Awards dinner here in Las Vegas at The Green Valley Ranch Resort; how cool is that? In the past, thanks to my book project, The Artist Within, I was able to attend several of these events, but for me this was the best yet!  Thanks to Bill Morrison and NCS President Tom Richmond, our studio crew was able to set up and take these photographs of the amazing artists & writers of Mad Magazine. This year the NCS brought out several of the great artists from Mad Magazine for their Mad Men event and cocktail party. The Mad artists and writers included Jack Davis, Nick Meglin, Sergio Aragones, Al Jaffee,  Don "Duck" Edwing, Tom Richmond, and Sam Viviano. Our idea was to photograph just the artists first and then in the style of the television show, Mad Men, bringing in some stunning women dressed in 1960's period clothes to round out the shot. We loved the results, but let us know what you think. A huge thank you to everyone who came out and helped make the pics a success... Our first assistant and astounding digitech: Todd Miller, Amazing Models: Mona Burns & Lynn Vacek, Prop Stylist: Nina Van Beck, 2nd and 3rd Assistants: Kent Lawler, Chris Preston, and of course my incredible partner, Sharon Sampsel. A special thank you to Dean Fueroghne for helping facilitate this, and GVR's Kyle Markman for letting us take over part of the hotel, and also to Green Valley Ranch Resort, the classy and perfect venue for this shoot

Monday, April 25, 2011

"California Dreamin"

Wow, for a while there I had forgotten how really fabulous it was to be a photographer. Admittedly, we’ve had more than our share of really great shoots, and truly we love what we do. But living and working in Las Vegas is sometimes like being on an island. You know the lay of the land, every square inch, and start wondering what else is out there.

Greg and I find ourselves lately asking the loaded question, “What’s next?”

Kids have about flown the coop. We can travel. We are good at Gaming/Resort stuff, really good. Put 2+2 together and you have our next twenty years.

Enter Michael Coldwell from BRAINtrust Marketing in Las Vegas. He is open to our kooky idea to shoot a beach resort in Dana Point, California so we can get some really great images of non-vegasy stuff on our website. As luck would have it, a resort that BRAINtrust already has, Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort, is just about to start a new campaign. We research like crazy: our goal is to shoot natural light, understated images. This shoot was going to be way different from the hyped up Las Vegas vibe…

Next thing we know, we have a crew assembled for 3 incredible days down in Southern California. Our team, our friends, came together for us to help make this quest a huge success: Nina Van Beck & Amy worked on Food Styling and Props, Tracy Sotirakis, did the make-up & hair, and First Assistant Extraordinaire, Todd Miller, was like a whirling dervish, helping both Greg and I create photographs. Our friends Janay & Jason, put in some hours modeling for us. The account executive from BRAINtrust, Leah DeSimone, made sure all ducks were in a row, and put together a time line that rocked. Gayle & Jim, the Super Execs at Laguna Cliffs, couldn’t have been more accommodating to all of our whims.

All In all, Greg and I now know what’s next. We are certain. Dust off the passports, & here we go!

(If you want to see more of the shoot, go ahead and check out our website here

Friday, May 21, 2010

Post Apocalyptic Fashion: A homage

For the past year I have had the pleasure of teaching a few photography classes at "The Art Institute of Las Vegas". This quarter I am teaching the location class, which has been a lot of fun. Every other week, the class meets at a different location for a photo shoot. Last night our little group met out on the dry lake bed on the way to Laughlin, Nevada. The assignment was fashion.
Usually I will plan to do a demo shoot for the students, just to give an idea on lighting and equipment, props, etc. My Idea: Tank Girl© Fashion. (I don't know, it just seemed to make sense with the way I've been feeling about all the stuff happening to our poor Earth lately, being Tank Girl is an post-apocalyptic character......)
As most of you know I am a huge fan of comics, and I just love the Tank Girl© Character created by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin. The story of Tank Girl© takes place in a bleak futuristic Australia (click here for a link to more info). So with that in mind, what better jumping off point for a fashion shoot out in a stark, desolate place in the middle of nowhere. Right?
I know that this has been done before , most notably in Vogue magazine, but for me not being a fashion shooter, It seemed like it would be a cool challenge.
Anyway, I managed to talk my friend and model Ashley Angelo into posing for me, Lynn Vacek, one of my best friends, agreed to come out and do the make-up, and my good pals Todd miller and Richard Reffner donated their time as assistants. The big guns were provided my buddy Robert Bowman, and his brother in law John Stoner .
Of course it was crazy windy, but we went for it undeterred. (We will be blowing dirt out of our equipment for the next year!) The shoot lasted for about an hour, until a bit after sunset.
I'm pretty happy with the results, let me know what you think.
Greg Preston