Thursday, May 30, 2013

North Dam Mill Portrait

Our studio has been located in The North Dam Mill for almost four years. We love it here! The Mill used to be a textile mill in its heyday and is located in Biddeford, Maine just about twenty minutes south of Portland. If you walk into the mill today you will see something vastly different from what you would have seen a few decades ago. In its current renaissance many businesses and residential tenants call the mill home and are not only contributing to make the Mill but also Biddeford a better place to be.

To view a higher resolution version of the image click here. Your browser may require you to click on the image once it loads in order to view it larger.

Here you will find creative professionals such as sculptors, photographers, book binders, woodworkers, painters and a wide range of businesses that include accounting services, personal trainers, massage therapists, music instrument repair, cafes and restaurants among many more.

We consider many of the people here our friends and decided that we would like to create an image depicting many of those people. A while back I was contacted to shoot an assignment where a group shot was needed for a corporate client of ours. I suggested a couple options on how to go about creating the shot. Our client chose one that worked for them but left me wanting to create the other option. So I decided that this would be a good opportunity to execute my idea including some of the people that work around the mill.

My goal was to craft an image where everyone was shot separately and then combined in post. This way I could show future clients the possibilities. Often we get requests to photograph many people and get into a situation where one or two people cant make it to the shoot. Well, that is no longer an issue if we photograph everyone separately. The other advantage is that by photographing each person individually we got to choose an image in which we thought the person look best.

Technically speaking, the major advantage was that by photographing people individually we had a chance to use the full frame of our camera in just that one person versus utilizing one frame to capture everyone. That translates into more resolution and a larger file size, therefore we would have the ability to create a large print without having to up-res the file. So we ended combining twelve 21MP files instead of having only one 21MP file. For reference, this image could easily be printed on a billboard without having to mess with it.

We are really please about with the final image and cant wait for the opportunity to create something like this for a client. Would love to hear what you think, so please leave us a comment below.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hyperlite Mountain Gear - Coming Soon!

We recently did a shoot of Mike St. Pierre and Hyperlite Mountain Gear for a feature in an upcoming issue of Down East Magazine. We are really looking forward to seeing the article in print. Interestingly, the project was a true Biddeford collaboration. The story was written by the incomparable Joshua Bodwell, a resident of Biddeford, Maine and both Hyperlite Mountain Gear and Irvin Serrano Photography are located in the North Dam Mill here in Biddeford.

Keep your eye's peeled for the article in June or July issue of Down East Magazine, and if you are in the need of some remarkably light mountain gear, you can check out their gear here.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


A couple of years ago my girlfriend Melanie and I made a list of places we would like to visit. Traveling to Mexico was pretty much a given since I try to go there as often as possible to visit family. In our first trip we traveled to Mexico and explored Oaxaca and other places around the city. Melanie is a French and Spanish teacher so we thought that it would be interesting to get us both out of our element and travel to a place where neither of us spoke the language. Turkey made it to the top of our list.

Just last month we were able to begin crossing countries off our list by heading to Istanbul. We only had a little over a week to travel so we decided to stick around Istanbul and not try to see too much in a small amount of time. I am happy to report that I am glad we did that. In my travels I had never gone to a place that had a culture that was completely new to me. The places I have visited in the past have always been similar in culture and I could most likely get around speaking Spanish, English or my limited French.

Istanbul captivated me from the moment I got there, the people, smells, architecture and not long after our arrival, the food. The language sounds awesome. I had heard Turkish spoken in my college years while hanging out with my friend Serdar. Unfortunately, any Turkish he taught me could not be used in regular conversation. After a couple days we were able to start deciphering some of the sounds and begin to make out familiar words.

My plan was not to go too crazy with photo gear so decided to take only one camera body and about five lenses to choose from. Each day I would pick one or two lenses and leave the others behind. That worked out great given that we were walking almost everywhere we went. Took a couple tilt/shift lenses to shoot architecture, a couple of prime lenses and my trusty 24-70mm. There were two things I wanted to primarily shoot, the first one being general shots of the culture and life. Secondly, I wanted to shoot a series of time-lapse videos whenever possible. Here you will see a rough version of one of those time-lapse videos.

It was a great trip and would recommend experiencing Istanbul to anybody. The people are great and for those of you wondering, yes, we felt safe all the time. A friend predicted we would come home with a rug…we did. Those guys selling rugs are good I tell you…good! Car sales people should learn from them. The guy we got our rug from was very nice and genuine when compared to some of the other salesmen we had encountered. A couple of days after we bought the rug he spent some time with us and gave us a lesson in backgammon while drinking tea and puffing on a nargile (hookah). Tried a couple local delicacies out of our comfort zone, drank some Raki and realized in a short period of time that someday we would want to visit Istanbul again. Oh and by the way, I am now addicted to Turkish coffee.

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