Earlier this year, Pixels.com hosted a national photography contest for all of our members which offered an incredible prize. Each winner received an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Los Angeles to meet our staff, take a tour of Pixels.com headquarters, relax on the beach, and… star in their very own Pixels.com TV commercial!
The contest was judged by world-renowned photographer, Anne Geddes. Out of 12,000+ photography submissions, Anne selected three winners: Colt Forney, Rob Blair, and Don Mennig.
About the Three Winners
Colt Forney – Colt Forney is a storm chaser and photographer from Denton, KS. He has always had a passion for nature, but weather and storms caught most of his interest. Growing up in Kansas, he witnessed numerous severe storms and tornadoes by the age of 10, and this inspired him to attend the University of Oklahoma for a degree in Meteorology. He began chasing storms in 2008 and has racked up 40,000+ miles per year chasing storms across the country. He chases severe storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards. Witnessing mother nature’s awe inspiring beauty led him to become interested in photography and wanting to share these beautiful scenes with the world. pixels.com/profiles/colt-forney.html
Rob Blair – Rob Blair is a nature photographer from Munroe Falls, OH. Rob is a professional videographer and recently developed a passion for still photography. He has always enjoyed exploring the beauty of creation and finding fresh ways to share the experiences he encounters. pixels.com/profiles/rob-blair.html
Don Mennig – Don Mennig is a landscape photographer from Wallingford, PA. He is a nationally recognized, award-winning artist whose photos have appeared in Forbes Travel, on Yahoo.com, MSN.com, and numerous other media outlets. Don’s photographic goal is to connect to others by capturing moments and scenes that create an emotional response. Most often, you’ll discover that his images elicit feelings of tranquility, humor, reverence, and energy. pixels.com/profiles/don-mennig.html
A Week in Santa Monica, California
After being chosen as the winners of the contest, the three photographers and their families flew out to California at the beginning June to be filmed and interviewed for our commercials. Everyone stayed at the lovely Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica, which is right next to the ocean.
Photo Courtesy of Fairmont Hotel
Photo Courtesy of Fairmont Hotel
When the photographers weren’t on location filming, they spent their time enjoying Santa Monica with their families and our team. Activities included morning fishing, walking on the boardwalk, relaxing on the beach, taking a tour of Hollywood, and lounging by the pool. For dinners, the Pixels team took everyone to the Watergrill and Fig Restaurant in Santa Monica.
Photo Courtesy of Santa Monica Watergrill
Photo Courtesy of Fig Restaurant Santa Monica
Commercial Production Team: Jeff & Noah
Jeff Bloom and Noah Kloor are a Los Angeles based filmmaking duo. They specialize in creatively developing projects from the initial idea through the very last step of post production. Their work ranges from viral advertisements to large-scale national commercials along with a wide array of film and television content. jeffandnoah.com
For the Pixels TV commercials, Jeff and Noah scouted all filming locations, coordinated daily film scheduling, filmed and interviewed all three of the winners, and worked on post production – adding their own amazing special effects.
Jeff and Noah on location in Lancaster, CA
Sean CEO of Pixels.com, Rob Blair, and the Production Team
The Bunker in Downtown Los Angeles
The Shoot Schedule
First Day: – Colt Forney was filmed on location in Oxnard, CA. The day included many action shots of Colt riding in a truck chasing a storm. Rob and Don did not have to film this day.
Colt Forney on location in Oxnard, CA
Second Day: Colt Forney was interview and filmed at the Bunker Loft in Downtown, Los Angeles. During this day, Colt sat down with our production team and Pixels team to discuss his own work and topics about selling and buying on Pixels.com. Rob and Don did not have to film this day.
Third Day: Rob Blair and Don Mennig were both interviewed at the Bunker Loft in downtown Los Angeles. Don was interviewed first to discuss his own work and get his thoughts about buying and selling selling on Pixels.com. Rob was second to be interviewed. Colt did not have to film this day.
Rob Blair on location in Malibu, CA
Fourth Day: Don Mennig was on location in Saddleback Butte State Park, Lancaster, CA. This day included action shots of Don climbing up rocks, stopping to take photos of nature, and looking over the wide desert sunset. Colt and Rob did not have to film this day
Don Mennig on film location in Lancaster CA
Don Mennig on location in Lancaster, CA
Fifth Day: Rob Blair was on location in Malibu Creek State Park. This day included shots of Rob hiking along Malibu Creek and photographing animals and nature. Colt and Don did not have to film this day.
Colt checking out his canvas prints before being filmed and interviewed
Don Mennig being interviewed at the Bunker
Don Mennig on interviewing on camera
Rob Blair meeting the production crew and getting ready to be filmed
Wrap Party at Nobu
Our great week of filming ended with aFriday night Wrap Party at Nobu – a popular beachside restaurant in Malibu, CA. All of the winners, their families, the production crew, and the Pixels team enjoyed appetizers, drinks, and dinner at Nobu. A fantastic ending to the week and a great ocean view!
Nobu website: Noburestaurants.com/malibu
Courtesy of Nobu Restaurant in Malibu
Colt Forney and his wife Lauren
Don and his son
Rob Blair, wife and daughter
Dinner is served!
Watch the Pixels TV Commercials: