These Are The Finalists For The Fstoppers 2011 BTS Contest

We're so excited to announce the finalists for our 2011 Behind The Scenes Contest. Thank you to EVERYONE who participated. The videos this year really blew us away! We were forced to choose our top 12 videos to make it to the finals instead of the the top 10 we had planned. From this stage, they will be sent off to our celebrity judges for the final round who will choose a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner! Good luck!

1. The 360 Project by Ryan Enn Hughes

Final Product:

This video was one of the first videos submitted and it caused a huge amount of interest. Obviously we have seen setups like this before but the power really lies in the final editing. Because the final product was not simply a single photograph, Ryan Hughes had to submit a behind the scenes video as well as a final product video. Lucky for us we have two final products, one featuring ballet and another featuring breakdancing, which you can watch below.


2. The Whistleblower - Music Video by SIX NINE THREE
Behind The Scenes

Final Video

When we said we didn't want to see anymore "Music Videos" what we were referring to was those uninformative highlight videos of photographers running around shooting everything without any substance. Luckily we did get some amazing true Music Videos with behind the scenes footage of how they created their final production. One such project was The Whistleblower by Maya+Nadia of SixNineThree. Just like any other video production, contestants had to include a behind the scenes video along with the final video. Check out both above to see an interesting use of a 3D pyramid.


3. The Black Light Warriors by Julius Ise

We received so many videos about lighting, and everyone tried to come up with something just a little different. This video by Julius Ise stood out to us because he decided not to use strobes or natural light at all. Instead, Julius painted his subjects with fluorescent paint and lit his tribal portraits with a blacklight. Of course we've all seen images that use blacklight instead of 5000K lighting but we were all so impressed with the theme and final images that we knew our judges would enjoy watching this one.


4. Street Fashion Photography with Nick Fancher by Andy Newman

When we first featured Nick Faucher's How To Shoot Fashion Quickly In Any Location, people freaked out over his simple no nonsense product and portrait lighting. Blog after blog started featuring his original video. Clearly photographers were learning and enjoying Nick's product work. So it was no surprise when Nick submitted a second video showing how he photographs up to 10 products a day for JackThreads. It's easy to get consumed with perfect lighting and debating which light modifier you should utilize. Watching Nick shoot campaign after campaign with barebulb speedlights was probably as refreshing to us as it was to most of our readers. Congrats to Andy Newman and Nick Fancher for making another killer BTS video about their photography.


5. Go Pro Wedding by Jaroslav Repta

One of the most challenging aspects of this contest was to come up with something not only creative but also informative. Having started out as wedding photographers ourselves, we know how saturated the wedding market can be and how much information there is already out there about wedding photograph. So when Jaroslav Repta created his Go Pro Wedding video, we were shocked at how easily he created something we had never seen before. Jaroslav not only allowed viewers to see what a day in the life looks like for a wedding photographer but he also stopped to explain some of his go to setups that work day in and day out. This video was a huge success with our readers so we knew this had to be included in the final mix. Check out the original Go Pro Wedding post here if you missed out on the conversation the first time.


6. The Little People by Robert Simpson

It's fair to say that Robert Simpson was the hardest working photographer to enter the Fstoppers 2011 contest. With at least 9 full blown entries, Robert proved that not only was there plenty of time to photography and film a contest entry, but there was also plenty of ideas to explore. Our favorite video of his is titled The Little People. Using nothing more than a Nikon D70 (yes Seven Zero) and kit lens, Robert created an interesting image that definitely pulls some influence from one of my favorite childhood books The Indian In The Cupboard. Congrats to Robert on all of his contest submissions and for making the final 12 with this entry.


7. Trapped Under Ice by Cory Albrechtson

Cory Albrechtson wanted to take his contest entry into a more eerie direction, and his final image definitely got our attention. The way Cory constructed this shoot wasn't rocket science however the images he got afterwards are fantastic. The post production really made a difference with the images in achieving the scary look. This video is simple, informative but also very creative. Even if you never plan on making your own horror movie style image, Cory's frozen corpse shoot should inspire you to take your own concepts to the next level production wise.


8. The Never Ending Fashion Shoot by Amy Lynn Straub

Click the image below to see the finished product.

Amy Lynn Straub was another young photographer who instantly impressed us with her ambitious photo idea. Running with the idea of a never ending 360 pano, Amy was able to stitch together multiple fashion photos of her friends into one seamless clothing campaign. Not only are the photographs themselves great but the amount of work required to produce the final interactive media showed us how much thought went into this project. Like all of these contest finalists, Amy's original post The Never Ending Fashion Shoot sparked a lot of positive conversation.


9. This Is How We Do Justin Wojtczak

As professional wedding photographers we are extremely critical when we see "how to shoot wedding" type videos. After only a few minutes of watching this video we knew Justin Wojtczak's submission was going to make to the finals. Not only is the video fun to watch but it is also fantastic information. When you see the shots that these guys are getting, you will see what we mean.


10. The Making Of 'Grolsch Idents' by Curtis & Kar Productions

Final Product:

We cannot say enough good things about this behind the scenes video. The concept is extremely simple but the finished product is amazing. Curtis & Kar took something that had the potential to be really boring and they made it fun to watch and wildly informative. Even if you don't shoot video there is so much to learn from this BTSV.


11. The HDR Strobed Action Snowmobile Shoot by Andy Kawa

We got so many submissions this year that it took us weeks to finally see them all. This video by Andy Kawa was one of the last videos that we watched. We really appreciate the fact that Andy packed this video full of useful information. When he had lighting issues, he didn't edit it out, he showed us how he worked through it. After watching his BTSV we felt like we could attempt a similar type of shoot without any issue.


12. The Chase by Eric Herrmann

Click the image below to see the finished product OR using your smartphone log onto

"The Chase" by Eric Herrmann was one of the entries that made us all look at each other and go "wow". These guys had an incredible concept and they made it happen even with major obstacles (like having to turn red cars black). The finished image from this shoot was probably our favorite from this entire contest. We all appreciated the fact that these guys did something completely out of the ordinary and they did it very well.


Congratulations to everyone who has made it this far. Your videos will now be judged by Chase Jarvis, Vincent Laforet, Stacey Pearsal, and Scott Kelby. At this point you have a 1 in 4 chance to win one of our massive prize packages.

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Dave Wallace's picture

Love the Grolsch Idents video most. But all are fantastic. Congrats to the finalists!

Seshan's picture

Glade to see there is no "WTF how did that make the finales" videos. Good luck to everyone!

Harun Butt's picture

The problem with the 360 video(s) are that the stuff they got is great but they seem preoccupied with trying to give you an epileptic fit in the final product, and by jumping around all over the place you don't really get the impact of what they did if you hadn't seen the BTS video.

Nicholas Gonzalez's picture

Superb choices. Some of my favorites survived. I must say though, 2 360 panorama videos making the cut? Could one have been chosen? I forgot about one of them days after I saw it, yet I remember the very first post, the Toy Car Tutorial (ironically another car stunt shoot but with a smaller budget) and that was a long time ago. 

Lee Morris's picture

We tried not to penalize people for what others did. There are also 2 wedding photography videos that give similar tips but they are so well done that we thought they deserved to be finals. 3 of us sat down and watched every video one by one and we ended up having to choose 12 instead of 10 because we couldn't agree on which 2 to shave off. 

Anonymous's picture

Awesome! I'm really glad my video has the honor to make it to the top 12. I wish the best of luck to everyone and their killer videos!

Spot Puff's picture

Some great videos here. I was sad my bird video did not make the cut but I knew it would happen when I saw some of the other videos >_<

I think the Grolsch ones and "This is How we Do weddings" are my favourites.

Jeremy Zeigler's picture

I can't wait to try again next year, gonna start thinking of ideas now. I have never made a video before and it was something new and fun.

Joshua Pierson's picture

I'm thrilled to see The Little People shoot made it. Best of Luck Robert!

Jeremy Cupp's picture

Awesome. Can't wait to sit down and watch all these!

Andy Newman's picture

Great company to be amongst. Good luck everyone!

Mark's picture

good choice, very hard to pick a winner for me. 'little people' and the 'grolsch' are top for their sheer cheapness. Cheap in a good way though.

Casey's picture

The never ending fashion shoot absolutely destroys the 360 project. The 360 project is so incredibly boring and underwhelming. The never ending fashion shoot is so much better and more interactive and she accomplished a much better final product with a fraction of the equipment.

Patrick Hall's picture

ha and to think some people were saying the contest was over before it even started!  We had great entries from the beginning to the end

Stephen Reasonover's picture

All great work and I can't wait to see who wins.

11 is my pick

Anonymous's picture

The Street Photography with Andy Newman, and the Grolch adds were the only one's I found really interesting and well done.

Von Wong's picture

Great selection guys, Congrats on the nominees and best of luck ! 

Cory Albrechtson's picture

I am honored to be among these. The talent is great all around.

Nick Fancher's picture

Congrats to everyone. I am thrilled to have made it this far and have my video seen by so many people, including the celebrity judges. Thanks, FStoppers, for putting this together.

11 is extremely similar to Chase Jarvis' video of shooting strobed sequences of skiers... same kit, same technique, same concept...

can someone explain what is the "85 trick" that they talk about in "This Is How We Do Weddings….by Justin Wojtczak"
can it be done with another lens or just the 85mm?

Lance C's picture

I agree with another poster, the snowmobile, video 11, hits it out of the park. A lot of effort put into this video!!!!

The Dark Room Co.'s picture

ALL of these are solid (to me anyway)...

I'd have a hard time picking one for the win myself...

I'm really proud to be one of the 12 finalists. I like all the videos and wish everyone good luck!