A Covid-Safe Winery Photoshoot at Dusky Goose

Dusky Goose tasting room and wine bottle styled shotDespite the multiple challenges Oregonians are facing right now, communicating well with customers still needs to happen. Dusky Goose, a boutique winery in the Dundee Hills was underway with a website update when the pandemic began. We worked with Dusky Goose Operations Manager Pamela McClellan and consultant Chris Cullina to complete a set of photos for their new website that strongly created a sense of place.

To keep this shoot Covid-19 safe, we broke the project in two parts. For part one, John and I worked together to style and shoot a set of  beautiful styled bottle shots in and around the tasting room. With different prop setups, we built a distinctive set of photos for each wine.

For part two, Pamela and tasting room manager, Kelly Karr, invited wine club members to a private tasting. All Covid-19 protocols such as spacing groups 6 feet apart, masks for servers, and gobs of sanitizer were maintained. Each of our tasting groups were in their own “bubble” so we could shoot their close interactions safely and from a distance.

Styled wine bottle shot plus aerial shots of Dusky Goose tasting room To finish the project, John and I took the drone up at sunset to photograph how beautifully the tasting room sits amidst the vineyards.

You can see the finished website at www.duskygoose.com


Custom Photography for Winery Digital Marketing

John Valls and I have been photographing for West Coast winery brands for the last decade. For us, a typical winery assignment would include a mix of tasting room images, beautiful vineyard landscapes and on-brand beauty shots. However, Covid-19 has turned life upside down for most of our winery clients. With limited to no tasting room activity, our winery clients are counting on their social media and websites to maintain customer relationships.

Simply, their social media needs to work harder than ever. Here’s how we’re helping.

With input gathered from our clients and our longstanding knowledge of the wine industry, we are creating custom image libraries at our studio. Wineries can use the photos in their social media, websites and email newsletters. Taking into account the mood and tone of their brand, we style and shoot photographs that resonate with their customers. An Instagram feed with beautiful and engaging content builds audiences and keeps customer relationships alive. Here are two examples.

A location shoot at Roco Winery was on the calendar when the Covid-19 shutdown began. Because the photography was necessary for a website update, the project was a must-do. Of the 50+ images we created, some were intended to hint at the tasting room experience, others suggest Roco wines for enjoying at home. A third style of top-down assemblages were designed to support a direct sales campaign.

Challenging ad formats in The Daily Beast and Variety online created a photography need for A to Z Wines. The advertising opportunity called for a number of narrow images with strong impact. Because these publications target a more youthful audience than typical wine media, we responded with a color-blocked series in a playful mood and spare but vivid visuals that feel right for that generation.
Wine photography for A to Z Wineworks, an Oregon winery
As a photographer/stylist team, we can work seamlessly within the Covid-19 limitations. Wineries ship us their bottles and we take it from there. We always begin with an informal brand audit and an understanding of their demographic and sales goals. Our styling and photography is designed to reflect each wineries’ brand. Clients can monitor our photoshoots remotely and we offer web hosting of the final images for easy access and downloads.Packages usually include 12 or 24 images, but this can vary based on needs. Get in touch to learn more about how we could work together.

Tempranillo for Two in the Umpqua Valley

John and I so enjoyed capturing the photos to go along with this wine travel story that focuses on the Umpqua River Valley region. We’ve photographed Abacela before, but this time we were able to shoot some lovely landscapes at dusk with our drone. We visited so many interesting wineries and met the loveliest people. The writer captured the personalities and qualities of the region–giving plenty of reason to take the trip. Here’s the link to Margarett Waterbury’s article on the Travel Oregon website.scenic view of Abacela vineyards near Roseburg

Field Trip: Cowhorn Vineyards in the Applegate Valley

No matter what, DO NOT tell anyone how beautiful it is in the Applegate Valley. I’m worried that if the word gets out, I won’t be able to afford to retire there. There is so much to admire about the burgeoning wine scene in Southern Oregon. We’ve been working on a broader photo project in Southern Oregon and a recent part of that adventure was a field trip to Cowhorn Vineyards near Jacksonville, Oregon. Deep in the Applegate Valley, Bill and Barbara Steele are cultivating about 25 acres of certified biodynamic grapes within a polyculture framework. They also have built the world’s first tasting room that meets the “Living Building Challenge”, which is the highest level certification for a LEEDS-type standard. It’s more technical that I can understand, but I understand it is the highest standard for net-zero energy use, free of toxins and materials that create pollution and has a reduced carbon footprint many times smaller than a conventional commercial building. Plus, it’s incredibly beautiful.

You can visit Cowhorn and see all this for yourself. But please, let’s keep this our little secret. 

High-Key and Backlit Bottle Shots for Loosen Bros. USA

Loosen Bros. USA is the sole U.S. importer of the wines of celebrated Riesling producer Ernst Loosen, including Dr. Loosen and Villa Wolf. We’ve been collaborating with Loosen Bros. USA on a distinctive style that helps telegraph the nature of their wine’s flavors. The lighting setup we designed for them minimizes reflections on the surface of the bottle while highlighting the delicate colors of the wine, or in some cases, the gem-like colors of the bottle itself. After Loosen Bros added a few new labels for distribution, we updated their website header image to show their entire portfolio of brands. We also styled and shot the image that would ultimately be used for case-cards and other POS materials. 


Eye Candy at Dancin Vineyards in Jacksonville

John and I have been working on a project that’s been taken us to Southern Oregon and a recent visit was to Dancin Vineyards. Because this project has a broad scope, we’ve been having loads of fun setting different objectives for each segment. One of those ideas was to make some photos that say: “I’m on a really nice picnic with some great wine.”  I was thinking something feminine, a little bit romantic, and super duper pretty. Upon arriving at Dancin and seeing their thematic labels and the Italianate architecture, it was clear this was our chance.

We brought glassware and picnic supplies, dishes and linens. Our hosts at Dancin were so incredibly agreeable, giving us full run of the picnic areas and supplying us with any and all bottles we wanted. I’m 100% delighted with how it all turned out.

Shaping a Brand Story with Photography: Boedecker Cellars

Athena Pappas and Stewart Boedecker are a winemaking team with differing ideas on Pinot Noir. Stewart likes his Pinot Noir delicate, Athena prefers a more powerful style. And therein lies one aspect of their unique brand story. In preparation for updating their website, Stewart and Athena collaborated with us on a set of photos intended to tell that story with subtlety and nuance. Additionally, Boedecker Cellars had expanding their tasting hours and wanted to showcase their added offerings to the public and wine club members. Here are a few of our favorites from the shoot. Both John and I are delighted with the photos of Athena and Stewart making tasting notes on their current wines–we think it’s the perfect expression of their partnership.

Website Updates with R Stuart & Co Wines

If you’ve ever been tasked with updating your winery’s website, you know what a hair-pulling, mind-bending, cat-hearding exercise it can be. Imagine if you could call your photographer and say, “Help me, please!” Well, this is exactly what we’re good at. With our years of experience in winery photography, we know what kind of photos are successful at promoting your brand. Furthermore, since we’re also fully versed in market positioning and visual communication, we know how to make photos that depict a brand exactly where they want to be in the market. We’ve been lucky enough to work with Rob and Maria and the team at R Stuart & Co over several years, seeing how their brand has evolved. This latest set of photos was designed to capture the various moods of their lines and update staff portraits. My favorite of this set is the high-key styled shot of the Love, Oregon wines. 

Southern Oregon Wineries

We’ve been exploring what’s going on in the growing wine business in Southern Oregon, and I’ve got to say it’s fab. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say, since for now, it feels like an undiscovered treat. It’s relaxed, unpretentious, knock-out beautiful and refreshingly friendly. While I was making one day’s itinerary, I noticed I written “So Oregon” for Southern Oregon. Now I think that could be a tag line–It’s so Oregon! 


Local Chefs Feature Food-Friendliness of Oregon Wine



OWM-2017-case-card-Jason-RieslingEach year the Oregon Wine Board celebrates Oregon Wine Month with a richly detailed promotional campaign. This year’s campaign highlights the food-friendliness of Oregon wines. We were excited to be a part, capturing photos of some of our favorite chefs in photos that play off food and wine pairings. Besides being just being generally awesome, all these chefs are at restaurants from the Oregon Wine A-List Awards, which recognizes restaurants around the world enthusiastic about Oregon wine.

Our creative partners at the Oregon Wine Board were as much fun and enthusiastic as our chef subjects. It was our joint assignment to figure out to how to share the essence of the personalities along with the environment. I think the passion comes across, too. And of course, we got to dig in to all the lovely dishes at the end of each session.