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"This is the guy you want in your Rolodex, he's the photographer that shoots the shit that nobody else shoots. And really well."
J. Steele, Director of Creative/Production NBCUniversal TV

My Philosophy


I've been doing this a long time, long enough to evolve out from the analog 'Rubylith' years, right into working in the beta version of Photoshop®, going fully digital in 1995, then onto becoming a mentor and lighting fanatic. My style is a bit edgy, a tendency to pull from the bizarre corners of life's trends and creative energies, melded with my sense of design, when appropriate, usually looking for the uniqueness that sets the image off. I love injecting something, the magic of the lighting style, maybe the angle, the slight transition of selective focus, or a touch of strange, but something about the image becomes extra interesting.

Lighting alone can make a modest to drastic change, invoking a sense of direction or purpose, all of which I have focused upon as my client base and relationship with commercial photography developed. I have enjoyed being able to provide the expected, the clean and precise product photo, designing the image from the imagination of an art director, designer, or entrepreneur. Challenges are the norm for this business; you step up or step out. I love playing engineer or inventor, seeing a vision of completion before the shutter is ever snapped.

I have an odd obsession with the shape of the light as it falls onto the scene, the product, the person, whatever I may be shooting. I have developed theories about shape and form of light and how it enhances or detracts detail in the photograph. Light is primarily round, in our everyday lives, the sun, lightbulbs, a flame on a candle, etc., always round or elliptical in design. Light can be square if shaped that way, a manufactured falsification of sorts, all of which I am not necessarily a fan; I prefer a soft-edged rounded highlight on my subjects. I almost exclusively scrim, shaping the light to fit the objective, rather than using square cornered hard edge soft boxes; this simple attention to detail provides a reality unachievable any other way.

How does this work for you or for the advertising client? I deliver experience with every photograph I shoot, not only the ability to finish the shot in the digital darkroom of Photoshop®, perfecting the image for print publication or electronic promotions, but to give each shot a sense of presence. One of my favorite self confirmations ring frequently upon image delivery when the client exclaimes "I feel like I can reach out and touch the product." This expression is a nice kudos, and more importantly, proving a higher quality photograph improves dramatically the marketing quality of the item on display. If it doesn't look like the actual product a person is buying, picking up and holding in the store or when it is delivered in the mail, then I didn't shoot it.

My Professional History:

1969-73: United States Coast Guard

1973-75: Communications technician for Kentron Hawaii on Kwajalein, Marshall Islands

1975-78: Academy of Art University, San Francisco

1979-83: Designer and Art Director @ KATU-2 Portland, Oregon; KECH-22 Salem, Oregon; KWGN-2 Denver, Colorado

1984-88: Entrepreneur; Invented and marketed airbrushing color onto fingernails - COLORMIST

1989-97: Created Equinox Communications, a self contained design/photography/advertising firm.

1998-Present: Professional photographer, designer, professor, and creative dude.

©2015 Robert R. Sanders, Photo-Creative • Portland, Oregon • 916.804.9312 •   Linked In Logo   Facebook Logo

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