Chase Jarvis RAW: New Zealand Spring

Crazy camera angles, helicopter logistics, truckloads of gear, 15,000 miles and a crew of more than 30 people… As the saying goes, it takes a village.

Hopefully you’re familiar with my ongoing video series entitled Chase Jarvis RAW, where I attempt to highlight the underbelly of commercial photography and how much effort goes into creating the images you see in advertisements, magazines, brochures and online. In this latest video, Chase Jarvis RAW: New Zealand Spring, I’ve aimed to reveal the logistics of a decent size commercial shoot, and specifically how many great people and how much hard work goes into making just a handful of great pictures. If you’re a curious or aspiring photographer, an established pro who wants to see how another photographer operates, or just intrigued by what goes on behind the scenes, then this “raw” video might be for you. If, on the other hand, you’re a prima-donna photographer whose not giving plenty of credit to the hard-working crew that helps make your photos happen, then don’t watch this, because I’m calling you out.

If you dig this piece from New Zealand, then check out another recent video clip from the Chase Jarvis RAW concept, called Chase Jarvis RAW: Ninjas. In that episode, we highlighted the making of some really unique and creative images with no end client in mind, but rather specifically for my portfolio. It featured stunt men, hot and scantily-clad stunt women, smoke machines, weapons, trampolines and a run-down warehouse.

[And lastly, in case you missed it, don’t forget Chase Jarvis RAW’s kissing cousin, Chase Jarvis FRAMES, where we link every image (thousands) from a multi day shoot–the good ones and the junk–together in a sequence that reveals all the blown angles, misfired flashes, the great frames, the junk, the outtakes and more. The most recent clip from this concept is Chase Jarvis FRAMES: Hasselblad Masters.]

Depending on your reader, RSS users can find the video here. If you want to receive this blog in your inbox, enter your email in the upper right corner here, or to subscribe via RSS, do so here.

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Dylan Alvarez says:

Hey Chase, I love looking back through all these older videos, there’s still some really cool hidden treats around your blog. By the way, what hiking boots were you referring to? I need to get some for myself soon for a backcountry trip and I’d love to get some high-quality boots. Thanks!

wes says:

Hey, thanks much for all the great info, esp. love the videos!

Pretty sure you mentioned you shoot from helicopters quite a bit, and since I have my first aerial shoot this weekend, was wondering if you could put together a quick top 5 tips for shooting from a helicopter? Here or twitter, or where ever would be rad.

Thanks again for all the inspiration and knowledge!

José Marcelo Llobet says:

Chase, nice job, thanks to share your experience, thats great for me to learn from a professional like you.
Your shots and videos are impressive.
New Zealand is a beautiful country, Red Lion taste soo good.
Regards from Costa Rica.

Anonymous says:

Chase –

I studied music before I got into photography and it pisses me off to no end that many photographers could seemingly give a s*** about music rights when it comes to blogs + utube. So, thanks for explaining your approach – not enough people care. I’m hoping it will inform people. If you can – absolutely do a full post about it or make a note in the videos.

I comment because you are the first non-musician I have seen blog about this topic and I think it is widely misunderstood.


Chase Jarvis says:

Allan: it’s all relative… It’s close like Seattle and Chicago are close ;)

Allan Konigsberg says:

New Zealand? That’s marvellous close to Melbourne and/or Hobart Australia is it not?

Chase Jarvis says:



I don’t watch the toilet after I flush ;) And everybody kept their fingers from the birds!

Choppers are a good thing to keep handy. Everyone should own one or two.


The only answer I need from you is simple. Does toilet water really flush clockwise down under?

Also, did anyone lose a digit to the keas?

Cool stuff. I need more helicopter rides in my life.


Chase Jarvis says:

eka mata: hmmmm. interesting note… None of the images i posted from this vid were composited in any way. And to my knowledge they only VERY rarely composite images.

In fact, I don’t think they’ve composited any of my images during a several year period, other than retouching top or bottom of a ski or snowboard graphic that changed, etc. I’ve not seen ‘em put in a different background into any shot, either. Not saying this doesn’t happen (becuase I rarely get a chance to review the stuff I shoot since it all goes down so fast…and so I can’t verify ;). But I do know that “many” is not an accurate description…
Even if they wanted to, the timeline does not allow for it, except under the rarest of circumstances. For example these images are being ftp’d back to the mother ship the DAY after we shoot ‘em to make layouts in time…

eka mata says:

Recent REI catalogs contained many pics that appeared to be composites. As a huge fan of REI products, I’m glad to see this isn’t necessarily (always?) the case.

brian faini says:


You would be correct…

I sent it to your studio with
ATTN: you
I feel that it is important for someone to still be able to sit down and write, I also feel it shows a little more on behalf of the writer.

I am glad to see you responded.

Also that bike rig dealy, how is that coming along?

Once again thank you,

Brian Faini

Chase Jarvis says:

Brian: when you say you sent me a letter, you mean via snail mail?


I’ll keep my eyes peeled for it.

Glad the interview worked for ya! Thanks for tuning in.

Duncan says:

Thanks Chase. I’ve found a couple sites through where I can get royalty free music for my own content but thanks for the heads-up on Pumpaudio.

Also I did not know that the Dandy’s did that, they have some decent tunes that I could use.


Chase Jarvis says:

Duncan and David: great question! With all the music to RAW, FRAMES, etc and/any or all of the vids we like to do…music is a great addition. And with me being an artist who licenses my intellectual property (images)I’m a stickler for doing it right (same with software!) Being (relatively) a music lover and geek, I have a lot of friends who are too. Those friends are DJs, bookers, agents, in bands, etc, so that helps me get in contact with people… But generally we follow a couple different approaches and either:

1)contact the bands or their agents requesting permission. Many are cool for promo, non-commercial uses like blogs, etc.(did this for Ghostland Observatory on Chase Jarvis FRAMES:Hasselblad Masters and Ambient Paris)

2)license music from small, obscure labels and bands – paying in the hundreds, not thousands (have done this before on small corporate vids)

3)contract bands to create original music and pay them (like Electron Theory from our ski short Willing Suspension of Disbelief)

4)Follow bands that actually encourage mash-ups, mixes, and cool non-commercial uses. Really cool, growing trend (eg. the Dandy’s encourage fans thru their websites and ask you to send ‘em to ‘em)

5)Download free music from some RF sites – usually the lowest quality, just background beats sort of thing

or one of the coolest new things I’ve learned about

6) where bands upload music to the site tagged with genre, beats per minute, mood, etc and buyers can search for music on these terms, and the server returns a bunch of options for you to listen to, then you can buy right there online in a couple clicks. Depending on the use, you can get from $30-$300. Big corporations pay more, but not a mint.

I predict will be huge in this new 2.0 world where Macs make it easy to create artsy stuff and us folks look for reasonably priced music to put to our cool little creations. Check it out!

I was planning a blog entry on this, and may just make this a new thread. Adding it to the “must do this post soon…” pile that I’ve got going ;)

David says:


I’m with Duncan. How do you handle music for your vids?


Duncan says:

Just wondering how you got the Dandy Warhol instrumental and how much were the rights?

Chase Jarvis says:

DJ: your wish is my command. Just talked to my staff to see if we have enough footy/stills to do a future entry on that bike rig and it looks like we can pull something together. Stay tuned for that – we’re buried at the moment, but it’s been added to the ‘must post asap’ column i’ve got going… I agree – it would be a good post to outline that stuff!

brian faini says:

I took a shot in the dark and wrote you a letter this week. I have been reading your blog for awhile and following your work for sometime now. I just listened to your interview with Lightsource and enjoyed it as well.

In my letter I mainly want to know how to get into the field. If you have the time and find yourself able to read it and respond I would be utterly grateful.

I want to thank you for inspiration.

Brian Faini

DJ says:

I’d love to see the bike tripod/camera attachement thingy closer. That looked very cool.

Just listened to the most recent lightsource and I really enjoyed the interview and all the extras on your site. Keep up the great work!

take care, JonPaul

Chase Jarvis says:

John: mostly natural light on that shoot – did fill a couple backgroundinteriors with Profoto 7b, shooting from the outside of structures so inside is lit…all other stuff is natural.

Chase Jarvis says:

Pawel: we’re keeping it rolling for sure.

BTW, that Vodka, Zubrowka, I’m on it… will have some by sundown (prolly not but it sounded good ;)

John Keatley says:

Wow Chase! Great shots!
So much work!!!
On that kind of project are you just using all natural light? I can’t imagine not having a light or two but it looks like you did it all natural.


Chase Jarvis says:

Ian, Ryan, and Anon: Thanks again. The crew is really the focus of this ChaseJarvis RAW – as I said in the blog, it takes a village. I’m continually surprised at the number of photogs that ingore the crew and break their arms while patting themselves on the back so hard and so often ;)

To heck with them – we’re moving on! Glad you guys find value here… Many thanks – spread the word.

Blair says:


You never fail to amaze. As I sit here at my 8-5,6,7,8 o’clock job. Who works an 8-5 day anymore, seriously?

I have a serious itch to get out and shoot; luckily that time is coming this weekend. Thank you for continuing to inspire and force me to push my own photography.


Hi Chase,
it’s was a honor to have you on iso50/fotografia! :-)))

It’s so cool you maintain this blog and share all this stuff with other photographers.

I’m an aspiring photographer and really enjoy those behind curtains shoots!

Keep this rolling!

In Poland we have a lot of good vodkas ;-) (see previous post if you don’t understand)

If you ever saw “Zubrowka” in US (it’s exported there) try it with apple juice. You won’t forget it ;-))

Tyson says:

I’m loving these videos, it’s great to see you running one handed and still getting professional results. Inspiring and amazing photos. Thanks for putting these out!

Chase Jarvis says:

Spain and Macedonia – Thanks for the shout out!

Chase Jarvis says:

Jay: Gear in most of the clips from NZ is the Nikon D2x platform. Using Nikon glass as well, mainly 12-24 f4, 17-55 2.8, 28-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8, 85 tilt and shift.

Ryan S. says:

Chase and Crew,

Fantastic work! I love all of the elements in this movie from the credits to cast and crew to the live action shooting, and finally, the INCREDIBLE stills. Thanks again for the enlightenment.

Chase Jarvis says:

Mark: By all means link to this sucker! Either cut and past the link to this blog entry’s page.

or link to this at you tube:

or to embed the file right in your page, use the code right there next to the youtube vid.

And after you’ve done some or all of that, pop me a note offline and let me know what’s up with you. Great to get a note -be well!

Anonymous says:

Chase – you are a renegade and a maverick.

Damn impressive.

Thanks for doing so many things that no one else is willing to do!

Ian says:

Chase you are LIVING the dream!! I love the fact that the first half o the video is just credits to all the people in your crew. Looks like you guys work hard and have a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing with us!

Yet another cool video!

I love the idea of you shooting 1 handed whilst running!!!

What gear were you using?

ljupco says:

Great stuff as always. Enjoyed watching it and the pics look great. Take care and keep up. Regards from Macedonia, Ljupco

Pelayo says:

Hello Chase:

I’ve enjoyed very much with this chapter from your set called RAW. It’s fun to see your makings of. Regards from Spain. Bye bye

mark orbell says:

Hey Chase
Great work my friend, yep we were all there by your side, I have to say the coffee was supurb….
Any chance of linking this to my website, great shots of my vans, especially in skippers!!

Sorry we didn’t hook up this time down here in Wanaka NZ. see you next time

PS the fishing here is…….

Mark Orbell
REI production assistant, Wanaka, NZ

Chase Jarvis says:

Thanks David: That’d be the Dandy Warhols and the track is called “Mohammed” off the album Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia. They’re brilliant!

Great work, Chase, yet again.

It was fun watching the process and the excellent results.

What group does the backing track? I’d like to get a hold of it.

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