St. Petersburg Photography Studio on the Main Stage at SunFest

Shooting great rock bands on the main stage of a summer music festival is every photographer’s dream, and recently our St. Petersburg photo studio had a chance to do just that at SunFest Music and Arts Festival in West Palm Beach.

Chris McCarty performing at SunFest, Florida's largest waterfront music and arts festival

Lead photographer Christian Schwier backstage

On Friday May 4th, photographers Christian Schwier and Anthony Brock traveled cross-state to document the Chris McCarty Band and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran perform before a crowd of over 20,000 fans. But as the crew pulled up backstage, a sudden and torrential downpour unleashed over the festival, nearly making a mockery of the SunFest moniker. “We had to cover all our equipment with tarps and make a mad dash backstage,” Schwier recounted.

Yet within a few minutes, the clouds parted and Chris McCarty and co. launched into a feel-good set of reggae-inflected tunes peppered with crowd-pleasing covers.

McCarty's charismatic stage presence shines through when he performs

Our team maximized the stage lighting and live action to create vibrant photos

The Chris McCarty Band after their set

Later on when Brit rocker Sheeran took the stage, the crowd absolutely roared. Our professional Saint Petersburg photographers worked all the angles, expertly capturing the energy and excitement of the live show while effortlessly negotiating a dynamic stage setup. Pre-and-post show backstage shots rounded out the assignment, resulting in a vivid work of narrative photojournalism.

Ed Sheeran headlined the night

Singles like "The A Team" and "Lego House" had the crowd singing along

Ecstatic fans inspired us during the documentary-style shoot

If you are looking to hire the most experienced and versatile commercial photographers St. Petersburg has to offer, please e-mail us at for a free consultation. To keep up with our photography studio’s latest projects, be sure to like our page on Facebook and follow our adventures on this blog.

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St. Petersburg Photography Studio Photographs New Catalog

Saint Pete Photo recently completed a photography shoot for Tampa-based hair accessory company, A Whirl & A Twirl. This unique brand creates hand-crafted hair accessories, including barrettes, hair sticks, and headbands in addition to custom and bridal designs.

The photo shoot involved more than a dozen models and yielded thousands of images that will be used for their 2013 advertising campaign. “Our Tampa photography team shot over fifty scenes for A Whirl & A Twirl’s new wholesale catalog and for their new website,” says Christian Schwier, founder of the St. Petersburg photo studio.

Taking place at a private residence in North Tampa, the Tampa commercial photography project involved Schwier as the lead photographer and Andrew Ortoski as Lighting Director. Integral to the shoot were make-up artists Anya Yuschenko and Hollie Lynch O’Brien, hair stylist Michael Georgianni, and Yara Ocasio, who did both hair and make-up. The vision was led by A Whirl & A Twirl founder Kasey Ortoski.

Photos of the fifteen models were shot using the Canon 5D mark III camera with Canon 100mm Macro 2.8L and Canon 24-105 IS f4.0L lenses. Andrew managed lighting with six Photogenic Studio Max III Strobes to provide a smooth even light for the portrait photography.

What began as a one-woman operation, A Whirl & A Twirl now has an entire staff that designs, creates and distributes the pieces. “Each one is unique,” says owner Kasey Ortoski. “We use real gemstones, freshwater pearls, crystals, and shells, so they’re all different.”

“We love working with local businesses and supporting their expansion,” says Schwier, a St. Peterburg photographer for more than seven years. “We also love connecting local companies with each other. For this project we teamed up with award-winning graphic designer Jeff Zampino, who is designing and laying out the catalog. And our lighting director, Andrew, also runs dual duty as A Whirl & A Twirl’s webmaster, so he’ll integrate all of the photos into the site’s online store. It’s exciting to work with a team as passionate as this.”

If you are looking for a St. Petersburg advertising photographer for a project that could benefit from our expertise and equipment, please e-mail us at for a free consultation. To keep up with our photography studio’s latest projects, be sure to like our page on Facebook. Are you ready for your close-up?

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St. Petersburg Photography Studio Photographs New Steampunk Movie

Film and video production partner Litewave Media hired our professional Saint Petersburg photographers to capture some behind-the-scenes photos of their next film, The Skyship Chronicles, a Steampunk action-adventure. The photos will be used for marketing the film and storyboarding, as well as testing how costumes, props and locations will look prior to filming.

Tommie Turvey as stunt double for Gustav.

Day one of shooting took place at Tommie Turvey’s Equine Extremist Liberty Horse Ranch in Brooksville, FL. “The day consisted of scouting locations and photographing scenes where two of the actors are chased by a horse ridden by the evil Gustav (Ed Olson),” explains Saint Pete Photo founder, Christian Schwier.

Christian Cashmir as the airship pirate Lucius Black, with Rachel Simone Lappe as Alex.

Horse stuntman Tommie Turvey was the stunt double for Gustav and performed all of the stunts with his horse, Blade, who has starred in various films and TV shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead and Jonah Hex. Actress Rachel Simone Lappe and Costume Designer Bridget Desjarlais were also on set to rehearse and work with Tommie and Blade before filming began.

“We filmed in close quarters with the horse chasing and rearing up at the girls. Blade got extremely close to them—it looks very intimidating on film,” says Schwier a St. Petersburg photographer for more than seven years. “He may look fierce on film but he’s a big softy at heart. Blade is one of the most well-mannered horses we’ve ever seen.”

Our actress, Rachel Simone Lappé, playing the heroine Alex.

Bridget got to see her costumes in action since most of the characters were clad in her designs. “It gave her great insight as to what adjustments needed to be made for filming as well as some ideas for the other characters’ costumes,” adds Schwier.

Our St. Petersburg photography company with the cast and crew.

The second day of shooting took place in a Tampa photography studio where three scenes were set up and filmed.  “We did a brain dissection, an interrogation, and a death scene,” explains Schwier.  Bridget stepped in on this photo shoot to play a beautiful woman having her brain dissected by the evil Gustav. Bridget’s husband, Stephen Desjarlais was also on set to stand in and facilitate the dissection.

Costume designer, Bridget Desjarlais, as a beautiful woman being dissected by the evil Gustav.

Stephen also helped craft a Steampunk mask that he and the film’s Writer/Producer, Jeff Zampino, built.  “It was constructed from an old gasmask by taking bits and pieces away and adding tubing and some other Steampunk elements,” Schwier says. “It turned out great and filmed really well- fortunately since it took Stephen and Jeff almost two hours to build it!”

The Skyship Chronicles’ writer, Jeff Zampino, with the evil Gustav.

Our St. Petersburg portrait photographers shot with the Canon 7D and used a variety of lenses and a slider dolly to get some moving shots. “The film crew was really happy with the photography,” says Schwier. “We’re thrilled to be adding film work to our Tampa photography portfolio. The movie will be shot with a RED scarlet Camera in 4k and these stills are reflective of the high definition quality they’ll see on film.”

Here’s a look at some of the test footage for the film:

The Skyship Chronicles [Test Footage Trailer] from ChristianSchwier | LitewaveMedia on Vimeo.

If you have a film project looking for set photography, e-mail our Saint Petersburg photo studio at Like our Facebook page to keep up with all of our photography adventures. Until next time, Ready, set, shoot!

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St. Petersburg Photographers Capture South Tampa Architecture

Once again, Soleil Design Build, Inc. turned to our St. Petersburg photography studio to capture the beauty of their exquisite home designs. A design-build firm that specializes in both new home and remodeling construction, Soleil builds only in South Tampa, Florida, to ensure the highest quality control for all of their work.

A low angle showcases one of Soleil Design Build's South Tampa masterpieces.

One of Soleil's unique dining room designs.

“This photography project, which consisted of about six new houses, was all about the architecture,” says Saint Pete Photo principal, Christian Schwier. “We’ve come to specialize in architecture photography where it’s important to find the perfect angles to complement the design itself.”

A wide angle photo captures this open space architectural design.

Even this small nook gets a unique make-over design by Soleil.

Using a Canon 7D Camera with Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L, Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS,  Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L and Rokinon Fisheye lenses,  Schwier explored different angles to find the perfect shot. With the help of photography assistants, Jamie Parslow and Rachel Lappe, our St. Petersburg photographers identified the best lighting to produce high-quality stills for the client.

A luxurious kitchen design by the Soleil architecture team.

A great night's sleep is guaranteed in this modern bedroom design.

In addition to new construction and remodeling, Soleil Design Build’s talents include interior design and architectural imports. “They do magnificent work,” Schwier says. “We’ve partnered with them on a number of projects and look forward to building their architectural photography portfolio, as well as helping them to create a new web site design that really showcases their talent and unique sense of design.”

The small powder room in this lovely South Tampa home.

A colorful and intimate living room design by Soleil.

If you’re looking to showcase your architecture design through photography, e-mail us at for a free consultation. And to be a part of all of our fun projects, like our Facebook page. Until next time, ready, set, shoot!

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St. Petersburg Photography Studio Captures The Beauty of Nevada

Saint Pete Photo has completed another chapter for its Cross Country photography book! On a recent trip to Nevada, the St. Petersburg photography crew discovered an abundance of magnificent landscapes, beautiful rock formations and stunning night skies. These photos will complement the other locations, like New York City and the Southwest, already slated to be in the coffee table photography book.

The night sky lighting up the horizon in Nevada.

Many of the photos were taken in The Valley of Fire, the oldest and largest Nevada State Park, where petrified wood and 3,000-year-old petroglyphs offer visitors a glimpse into ancient life.

Petrified wood in the Valley of Fire.

The park has been home to many film productions over the years, including Star Trek: Next Generation, Total Recall and Transformers.

Another stunning portrait from the Valley of Fire.

Accompanied by photography assistant, Rachel Lappe, Saint Pete Photo founder, Christian Schwier, was amazed at the amount of photo opportunities.  “We explored dirt roads and climbed the countless rock formations we found to capture our images. The landscape was breath-taking – nothing like Florida!” he says.”

St. Petersburg photography studio owner, Christian Schwier and photography assistant, Rachel Lappe.

This was the inaugural shoot for Saint Pete Photo’s brand new Canon 5D Mark III camera. “It was amazing to see how well it performed,” says Schwier, a St. Petersburg professional photographer for seven years. “It’s really great in low light so we were able to keep shooting even after the sun had set.”

The first hint of the Nevada sunset.

Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L and Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS lenses were used, along with a Manfrotto travel tripod for the long exposure night shots. “Believe it or not, an iPhone flash lit up the scene of the long exposure night shot in the foreground to give the road some light among the stars,” he adds.

The magnificent rocks outside Las Vegas.

Pleased to have more photos for the book, Schwier hopes to return and explore more of the area.” “The park was huge and we look forward to coming back soon and spending more time in the area.  Who knows what other great locations might turn up in the photo book!”

Red rocks taken from a wide angle.

If you have a photography project that could benefit from our expertise and equipment, please e-mail us at for a free consultation. And to keep up with all we’re doing, be sure to like our fan page on Facebook. See you next time from behind the lens!

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St. Petersburg Photo Studio Visits New York City

Saint Pete Photo principle, Christian Schwier, recently traveled to New York City to capture its unique energy on film. This is the third trip our St. Petersburg photo studio has made to Manhattan and Brooklyn this year. Our photographers have been working to photograph the New York skyline and other landmarks in new and memorable ways.

The ceiling at the NYC library.

The NYC library.

Schwier grew up 45 minutes outside of the city and admits he took it for granted a bit when he lived there. After almost a decade in Florida, this trip afforded him to the opportunity to see the city with a fresh perspective. He spent time taking photos in many of the iconic places—the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Little Italy, Brooklyn, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Bryant Park, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center—and also had the opportunity to snap some shots at a performance of Shakespeare in the Park with Amy Adams and Glenn Close.

Foliage in Central Park.

An archway in Central Park.

Using a Canon 7D with L series zoom lenses and a small traveler tripod, Schwier shot mostly in the afternoon light and at dusk. “The way the sunlight hits the city at that time of day is really amazing. Buildings cast long shadows across the avenues. It’s such a great time to make photos.”

The ceiling at the Guggenheim Museum.

The Guggenheim Museum.

Surprisingly, there weren’t a lot of challenges involved in the shoot for our St. Petersburg photographer. “Everyone is pretty open to photography in New York,” he shares. “Lugging around the gear was probably the worst of it as we trekked over from Brooklyn and traveled by foot and subway for the week. But we were able to see so many new places in the city. That made it all worth it.”

A view from the Empire State Building.

Looking up at the Empire State Building.

There are lots of possibilities for the photographs taken on this trip. First up is to create Giclees from a select few to show at an upcoming exhibition in Saint Petersburg, FL. “The Giclee process really captures the original tone and hue like no other printing method,” explains Schwier. Be sure to check back here on the blog or on our Facebook page for more details.

A NYC Gelato shop.

The Statue of Liberty.

Schwier, a St. Petersburg photographer, is excited to have a portfolio of Manhattan, Brooklyn and New York City under his belt. The professional St. Petersburg, Florida photographer is excited about possibly tackling Japan next. He also has plans to shoot in Russia, Thailand, and in the U.S., the Rocky Mountains and National Parks.

Colorful and practical.

If you have a Tampa or St. Peterburg photography project that we can help you with, please Email us at

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