The Journal

A collection of curiosities by photographer/director and storyteller Adam Ryan Morris.

August 20, 2018

A Study in Strength + Vulnerability

Clients often hire me to make emotionally nuanced images. In one case this year, my team and I weren’t allowed to share the results but we loved the pictures so much we shot a similar project of our own: a portrait study gently juxtaposing strength and vulnerability. But this time we’d be working with hired talent rather than real people. Here’s where directing — much like directing for motion, actually — comes into play. Creating a narrative and guiding the talent to that fine line between too much and too little. Talent are so often used to their energy…

July 9, 2018

The Golden Years

On set — as with life in general — every second counts. When your shooting time shrinks yet your shot list keeps growing, that’s even more true, and working with the right people becomes paramount. We’d need a moderate crew footprint on set, so we found people who were either the best at what they do — or could wear multiple hats. So it was that 8 seasoned senior talent, 1 prop/wardrobe stylist, 2 hair/makeup artists, 2 trusty assistants and 1 highly organized photographer/director set out to capture 8 key lifestyle concepts and additional library assets over one day…

June 6, 2018

Mister Roboto

We recently directed a day-in-the-life-style anthem video for the studio of painter and commercial illustrator Bigshot Robot. If there’s one thing we think of when we see Bigshot Robot’s work, it’s his fluid style. Those curvy lines! So, in approaching the camerawork, we opted for the buttery smoothness of a Freefly Systems Movi to reflect his work. (Freefly makes our favorite gimbals — you can even run like mad next to a bicycle and still get silky, stabilized shots.) Bigshot Robot — aka David Zimmerman — reflects the kind of passion and heart we look for in clients of…

May 30, 2018

Comm Arts annual selects our mini-doc

Our short documentary of 83-year-old illustrator Joanna Poehlmann has won a spot in the 2018 Communication Arts Photo Annual! This is the fourth time in the past six years that our work has been awarded by the creative industry’s bible alongside a few dozen of our heroes. This year the jury picked 127 projects from nearly 3,500 entries. Wow.

April 3, 2018

Eye of the storm with Nick Cave

Back in February, Surface magazine invited my team and I into what felt like the eye of a hurricane. We spent a rapid-fire morning making portraits and videos of Chicago-based artist Nick Cave as he prepared for a trio of New York-bound exhibitions, two of which would open simultaneously and the third shortly thereafter.