Diary of a Shoot Followup — Ask Your Questions + Snapshots of Carnage

Yours truly. Crushed after 10 days.

As a followup to my last 9 “Diary of a Shoot” posts where I scribbled the play by play as well as my thoughts each night in a blog post, I thought I’d wrap that up with two things.

1. I want you to be able to ask questions that I did not address in my posts. There were hundreds that I didn’t get to. I’m currently scheduling a #AskChase episode of chasejarvisLIVE next week, so if you want your questions about the “Diary of a Shoot” answered. Please ask them in the comments below. I’ll grab a bunch of those questions and respond LIVE next week – anyone can tune in for free. Time/date TBD, follow here, Facebook, or Twitter to find out where/when.

2. Also, I wanted to share a few other snapshots of human and gear carnage. A lot of your comments along the way were about how harsh these gigs could be on humans and gear. You’re right on both accounts. As such, let these photos serenade your questions above… The below self portraits were all grabbed between leaving the mountain immediately after getting our last shot and arriving in Seattle at 10pm. The crew featured in these shots is not nearly nearly complete, just happened to be a bunch of us people all on the same flight. For the rest of the crew that wasn’t on our flight, you’re lucky. I’ll post haggard looking shot of you later.

Enjoy these honest and brutal snapshots and feel free to ask any questions in comments below…

First, the gear….

Yours truly sitting in snowstorm with Nikon D7000 video rig.

Half dozen cameras, large lens package, steadicam, jib, monitors, other misc gear on weather standby between shots. A big pile of money, freezing. But it all pulls through in the end.

Scott de-ices one of our Nikon D7000 cameras with rode mic and zacuto zfinder.

Now for the people….en route back to Seattle on our flight…







Scott. (I think he cheated and made a goodlooking self portrait)


Ask any questions you’d like answered in next weeks LIVE show about this shoot in comments below. If you asked in earlier posts and they did not get answered, please kindly re-ask them here.

Now excuse me while I go tend to my chapped lips.

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JasonL says:

CJ & Team,

Im wondering if you would have the same clients if you only shot stills, no video. Have still’s taken a backseat in the commercial world? Seems to be a shift in balance over the past year or two.

Cody says:

What exactly was the D7000 for? I know you do some re-cap videos for studio/personal use, but do you actually use the D7000 for the commercial shoot?

Erik Hecht says:

Yep, we use it for video. Chase sticks to the D3s for stills.

Q: Not for this shoot but are you getting pressure from clients to provide unlimited licensing for you images ?

Greg says:


Would you consider putting on a class where you take people through a production like this, minus the logistical hardships. It could be a client shoot or a mock client shoot where you manage perhaps a smaller team but where you have video and still footage, clear client requirements that must be met and then take the class from actual pre-planning through to post-production and final delivery of the end product to the “client”. While participants could have some hands-on participation, their operating roles might be more limited so that your team could be in their normal roles and participants could better see how the operation is executed and comes together.

I expect there would be a number of people that would be willing to pay for the experience of going through this process and being involved from start to finish. This might also allow you to have more still, video and blog moments that could then be shared with the broader community to further share the experience and provide more info to those that couldn’t attend the actual class.

There are a number of younger start-up companies in the Seattle marketplace that I expect would love to be the “client” at a reduced rate (or free if the participant fee was high enough to cover the production price) and perhaps looser deadlines that would work in a teaching environment and an opportunity like this could give them an amazing end product for marketing that they otherwise could not afford.

Something to think about and certainly something that I would sign up for! Thanks again for giving us a peak into this shoot – I looked forward to the blog every day!

Noah says:

I heard you mention in the video with Laforet that you are self-taught. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you go from self-taught to mega-rockstar photog? I am also self-taught (photo / graphics), but the opposite of successful, at 31. Just wondering, and I hope you don’t mind me asking….as I know most people I have ever asked will never share how they got to where they’re at.

fas says:

Does Nikon sponsor you, all of D7000s

Will Foster says:

It would have been cool to see more of a before and after self portraits. Dude, Chase, your photo is pretty brutal. :-)


How you keep the crew morale high when things don’t go the right way? How do you motivate the crew?

Thx Chase for this honest and great diary. We learn and get inspired a lot from this!
My Questions:
How do you decide up-front what gear to take with you?
How do you protect them from snow, rain, cold, wind, etc?
How do you know the gear will hold at these extreme circumstances?
Thx again!

MaïFay says:

What’s THE Best souvenir/moment/feeling/shot you had during these 9 days ?

Todd says:

This was GREAT….every post. Thanks for the journey.

Brian Boing says:

Hi Chase I really want to commend you on an excellent journalistic series on the anatomy of one of your shoots… really informative to get inside the mindset behind something like this. How do you find the time to shoot all day long AND then write something this amazing? One of the questions that I had when reading this series was what was your thought process when creating a bid for a job like this? What do you factor in when estimating your costs/ time necessary to do something like this for a client? How do you account for the unforeseen overtime/ unexpected expenses?

Thanks again for such a truly inspirational series,


Beth says:

Great posts Chase.

I was wondering on a shoot this big and with such limited time before the area opened to the public, how many different “sets” did you have going at once?


Tyler Austin says:

What type or types of steadicams do you use? And I saw you had a D7000, is this a camera you’ll use a lot now because of the 1080p or are you just giving it a hardcore test/review for Nikon?

Jamie says:

I loved this series. I really want to get into it so thanks :)

Can you tell us who (job titles) was on the shoot to total a crew of 30 people. That’s mad!

Do you charge a higher rate of equipment wear and tear because of the potential conditions?

Can you show us an example of preproduction with a storyboard, location scouting photo, model practise shot in lodge??? And anything else that went into detailed pre vis on the down day before the manic last day. That would be amazing if you do.

Thanks a lot again

CallumW says:

What would have happened if the weather was a washout on the last day?

Would you have stayed on to finish the job and pushed the next one back?
or cut your losses and head back with a hope to reschedule for the missing shots?


adhia says:

This is very interesting. I noticed that you also use Panasonic GF1 to documented the trip (from exif data ) how panasonic GF1 hold up against the weather? I am also interested with d7000, but i guess so many people already ask that.

loloinbelrin says:

I would love to have one of those flying camera helocopter things. I am very impressed with you creative live and I will watch the next one. Are you ever coming to Berlin? there is a massive Pool of creatives and photographers here.

Corby says:

Thanks again for the great series of posts. My questions is how many set ups did you do over the course of the shoot? Where you just shooting a few select shots for ads or were you shooting every item REI makes for next years catalog?

What is your whole process for taking gear in and out of the cold conditions to stop a buildup of ice crystals inside the cameras and lenses? I am looking to shoot some snow/winter landscape photos down here in Australia in the upcoming months and was looking for some advice on the best way to tackle this.

It has been great to follow along on this journey and look forward to the results and the next one.

Kim Long says:

Posted this questions a couple of posts back, but I think it’s worth asking again.

I think it would be great if you could talk about how important it is to dress properly for epic shoots like this.

Abram says:

Hey Chase,

I love your work. I have a D7000 and love it. The fact that it shoots video is amazing. I’ve noticed you aren’t using any sort of rig or even a follow focus. What would you say your secret is to getting great video with such a stripped down model.


I loved all the entries this past week. I have read them religiously everyday after school. They have been really inspiring to me and make make me want to get out there and jump in now your same vigor and ethos.

– All the questions about costs and gear are all well and dandy but I’m curious what lead you to your first campaign with REI and really what the things were that had them hire you again for this shoot?

Great stuff, can’t wait to see the finished product. Stay busy.
-Robie D

Clifton says:

Wow! That was definitely a rugged shoot! As for questions, I would like to know how you got your break? Did you confront clients such as REI for jobs or did you begin assisting for someone and eventually branch off to your own company? Thanks for inspiring so many people with your constant updates! You have changed the game for alot of us!

Matt says:

I have a few questions regarding the producing side of this shoot.

What does a shoot this large, with so many people working on it, in such a remote location, cost your client in total? What is your (as in your company, not you personally) cut of that? I know that’s the type of stuff that is usually kept private, but I just really have no frame of reference to even make a guess at the answer. Even just a ballpark number would be great.

You also mentioned that the crew was 30+ people shooting stills and video. Were you and your team shooting both stills and video or were you primarily hired to shoot stills and someone else was there to shoot video? How was the rest of the crew split between those focusing on the stills and those focusing on the video or was there no clear-cut division?

I really loved reading your diary these last few days. I’m sure writing a blog post wasn’t really something you wanted to do after a long day of shooting, but the effort is really appreciated. Thanks.

Ted McAusher says:

Looking forward to Live, I missed the last one. Thanks for such great posts during you hellish week Chase, I hope looking back is more fun than the moment

Mark D says:

How many images will you have to review from the nine days?

Dan says:

q: how did you deal with any condensation on the gear in that type of weather? (warm hotel room, cold shooting and back again).

Q. please any composition, framing and perspective tips ? Anything related to vibe, feel and aesthetics of a shoot, how to identify it and what errors to avoid?
Do’s and Don’ts !

Hi Chase,
First of all you rock and I love your work !
Q. I mean if a person only has $2grand to spend what route he should follow:
1. cheap camera, expensive glass ?
2. cheap prime glass and expensive rugged camera ?
Q. Are zooms really a necessity in your kind of work ? will the primes not pull off? I am asking this because there are lot of cheap primes that are amazing at quality!
Q. How to attract the athletes and talents available in our city to shoot with us I mean if I am a beginner and I want some beginner athletes to shoot with me for exchange of photos and prints, what can I do to catch their attention and convince them ?

Brian says:

Hi Chase,

Thanks for posting all of the great diary entries. It has been amazing to see some of the behind-the-scenes stuff required to do what you and your team accomplish.

One thing I think would be fascinating would be to see a follow-up when the client starts to have the shots out in public for their campaign. It would be neat to be able to see how each of the final product assets match-up with the diary entries so we can see what was happening when a specific asset was created. More work for you, but would make an interesting read.

Thanks for taking us along on your trip!


Panos says:

Simply amazing! good work guys !!!

Philipp Ulrich says:

Do you plan on getting more into R/C aerial photography/videography? I think it’s simply fascinating!

David says:

To add on to David above, how also did you change the lenses in such tough conditions i.e. tricks techniques. Thanks for the opportunity to ask and questions.

Tom says:

Thank you for sharing your experience on this shoot. In spirit I stayed up late reading all nine posts. Very informative stuff.
What would be your game plan, if you didn’t get the shots you needed on day Nine? With another client expecting you the next day, I can see some tough choices having to be made.

Really found this interesting if you do more of these series you should call it “Chasing Chase.” I felt like I was right behind you through this whole process. Very Cool.

S. Allman says:

I’ve heard that the D7000 doesn’t have manual mode control of exposure like the 5D. If this is true, why use the D7000 instead of the 5D? – beside the Nikon endorsement relationship you have.

Betcha got great high ISO performance in the freezing weather. Amazing how much better CMOS sensors are in the cold.

Anne-Marie says:

And PS. ….how do you de-ice a camera?

Peter Gallagher says:

What techniques do you use to record your shot storyboards?

What techniques to you use to communicate to the talent and crew before and during the shoot?

Thanks for sharing!

Anne-Marie says:

I’d like to see the parts of the D7000 video rig and how you protect it in a snowstorm???

And you hardworking guys& girl look like you need an open fire, a nice dinner with great wine followed by 12 hours of sleep. Hope it’s coming your way!

Per comment/questions regarding the Day 7 shoot see below. I think you answered some of it with your post on Day 9. Having the bucks to utilize a big crew helps you crank out stuff quick when you need too… Would love to hear more insight on this.

In the past year I have started to make a transition in my career from photojournalism to corporate/advertising. Its been a bit of a learning curve, and this series of posts brings up an issue that I still have a lot to learn about, (dealing with large cast and crew). As a PJ there are no assistants (well maybe one assistant for a higher end editorial shoot), asset managers, producers, ADs, etc… involved. The largest crew/cast I’ve had the chance to work with yet on the advertising side of things added up to a massive 10 people including myself, and even at that level I was finding myself a little stressed having to act both as photographer and producer. Your mention of not being able to wrangle a small/light crew to take advantage of a weather window really struck me.

It seems to me there are benefits and draw backs to both large/small crews. When you have some time I would love to hear how you managed this before having your own in-house producer and other staff, as well as insights on the benefits of shared work load of a larger crew vs. the agility and ability to adapt and go guerilla style of a smaller crew. I completely realize with a client/project like this, a small crew probably isn’t an option. Would also love to hear if you have a preference in working with a small crew vs. big crew.

David Johnson says:

Can you explain the process for how to ‘de-ice’ or ‘defrost’ a frozen camera body and stabilized lens, both in the field and/or at the hotel later?

And to repeat someone else’s question, how do you prevent condensation from forming inside your lenses and camera bodies when you move from the extreme cold to the indoors?

Even though our shoots don’t compare to yours in size and scope, these are gear issues we all suffer.

Dmitry says:

Jason’s face the most jaded! or it was raised during the night after weeks of insomnia and spree!)
1.As I understand this whole process is no small force your costs and kleenat you ureguliruete with him all these questions in these conditions (not scheduled weather, being late for a flight to the fault isportivshesya weather)?
2.How much was your Chase to organize such a team, serious, brave and willing to do anything to target professionals?

Thank you Chase and Short free to all who participated in the work! for your people see how much it was difficult to

Ahmad says:

why dod i feel i look at bunch of idiots? :D
(sorry chase and ur respectful crew)
Love ur works always inspiring

Jesse says:

I’m a big fan of after-party/end-of-night/sunrise portraits, and these kinda get at that idea :)

no questions, just two thumbs up for a great job and a nice series of posts. been through a similar weather roller coaster in the dolomites a few weeks ago. nothing beats being towed by a totally insane skidoo pilot and hanging on for dear life, or jumping out of helicopters on mountain ridges with $6000+ of gear in your backpack.

Shane Srogi says:

Chase great read. Especially when your time is in such short supply on a large scale shoot like that. (not counting the weather related down time).

My question is on the day you and the producers called it. The weather broke in the afternoon. Any lessons learned? Is there a way to respond to near real time weather changes on a large production?

Alternate question. Having been a ski photographer in collage I know how brutal Colorado weather can be on equipment. How did the D7000 hold up?


Amy Kim says:

I’ve also been following your blog as if it were a mini series.
I’m sure I have more questions, but something that I’m always wondering is
how one makes sure all the footage is safe.
Can you explain your storage, backup workflow on the field?

Chase says:

Did you have client approval for 1 day over on shooting if needed? Never saw that answered (unless I didnt see it)

What do you guys do to prevent condensation from forming inside your lenses and camera bodies when you move from the extreme cold to the indoors? Looks like a tiring but successful gig. Props.

How are you keeping charged batteries in that cold? Tough job, hard work pays off though!

Kip says:

Loved each of these posts. Thanks for sharing. As mentioned on Day 1… I can’t wait to catch up with Connie about all this.

Gosh, you poor guys! Glad it all worked out in the end so you have something good to show for your suffering! ;c)

Hart says:

What’s your favorite part about Telluride? and…. how do I become part of the crew?!

David Clarke says:

Jason probably looks the most hagard haha. Same with Chase sitting in the snow storm.

Carlo says:

I vote for Jason for “Best Post Shoot” pic.

What does “de-icing” entail?

Joey says:

the 7000 is just used for personal stuff, or commercial too? Nice photos, brutal seems to be the right word to describe it hehe

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