Indiana Commercial Photographer Brian Rodgers Jr

Settings Goals & Reaching Milestones | Brian Rodgers Jr. South Bend Commercial Photography | Digital Art That Rocks LLC

This past year has been a crazy one. A lot of great things have happened. And rightfully so. I have found that when you set goals for yourself, and you actually put them down on paper (or in Evernote), you are more likely to accomplish them. I know, it’s hard to believe (sarcasm), but there are only a small amount of people who actually do this. It’s great to have goals. It’s even better to write those goals down and stick to them. I promise you, it will make a difference! 

It’s easy to forget what you've accomplished over the course of a year. That’s why I have a notebook in Evernote that is specifically dedicated to keeping track of milestones throughout the year. It’s a pretty simple idea really, but it allows you to reflect on your accomplishments at year’s end. I simply make a quick bullet pointed list for each month of the year. Anytime something note worthy happens, or a milestone is reached a new bullet point is added to that list for the month. 

Here are a few things that I was proud to accomplish this year:

  • Really pushed myself to create a better body of work this year

  • Won several contests

  • Won 4 Addy Awards for Commercial Photography: American Advertising Federation (AAF) - ADDY Awards

  • My photography was selected as Image of the week twice by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals

  • I was asked to be a guest blogger for (Scott Kelby is the best selling photography and photoshop author for the past 10 years & is President & CEO of KelbyOne.) See my post here:

  • My work was featured on popular web show The Grid-The Path to Inspiration Episode 142 for My ford focus time lapse (I'm referenced at about 34:20 & 1:03:15)

  • Became a member of the American Society of Media Photographers

  • Started Digital Art That Rocks LLC - Commercial Photography Studio

  • Created a Digital Art That Rocks Youtube Channel & posted my first youtube videos

  • Taught myself how to shoot and edit video

  • Taught myself how to fluidly use Adobe Premiere

  • Taught myself how to create animated display ads using Photoshop & After Effects

  • Created TV commercials that ran on air and corporate videos

  • My work was featured on the Photoshop Daily News

  • My work was featured on the KelbyOne Blog


Not all of the items listed were goals that I had written down. Some were just pleasant surprises. However, I can say that mostly everything I set out to do this year, I've accomplished. What are you goals for this upcoming year? Do you want to learn new skills? Further your career? Start a business? Donate to Charity? Run a marathon? Be a better person?

Even if it doesn’t seem like it sometimes, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. We are all living in "post industrial revolution," where anything is possible. Now more than ever, we have all have the resources the enrich the lives of others, whether that’s creating an amazing product and using Kickstarter to bring it to the market, through writing and distributing your own music, self publishing your own books, creating your own website, starting your own business and the list goes on. I encourage you to make 2015 your year!

Commercial Beer Photography South Bend | Brian Rodgers Jr. | Digital Art that Rocks


What do you get when you combine, a sexy bottle, amazing light, some fire, and Avenged Sevenfold piercing through your speakers? You get commercial photography that rocks!

I'm just going to say it, I love a good challenge. And this bottle was no exception. I love shooting liquids and bottles because each shoot is different. Every bottle and liquid has it's own unique characteristics. There's something about the way light and liquid play together that really ignites a fire inside me. This shoot was a little different because I introduced a new level of complexity into the shot; That's what my studio Digital Art that Rocks LLC is all about, taking images to the next level.  

Adding fire into the mix was both exciting and a little dangerous. I think the end result speaks for itself. And as with every project I take on, I let the music guide me. For this shoot as mentioned earlier, Avenged Sevenfold was my inspiration. The pyrotechnics of their live show and intensity & precision of their music influenced me in the creation this stunning image. 

Brian Rodgers Jr | Commercial Photographer/Digital Artist | Digital Art That Rocks LLC

A Commercial Photographer's Guide to Animated Gifs in Photoshop CC | Brian Rodgers Jr. South Bend Commercial Photography

Often times we see animated gifs in the form of humorous animals doing funny things in the context of an email or social media site. However, in this tutorial, I'm covering a more practical use to approaching animated gifs. I'm calling this tutorial "A Commercial Photographer's Guide to Animated Gifs in Photoshop CC."

Depending on your client, it's a safe bet to say that they are not experts in the field of photography. Some clients have a better understanding than others, however, it is our job as commercial photographers to educate our clients. In this tutorial, I will show you an effective way to create animated gifs that visually demonstrate the creative post production processes we endure to create a finished retouched image.


I'm the Guest Blogger on Today! | Brian Rodgers Jr. Commercial Photographer

I wanted to let the readers of my blog know that I wrote a guest blog post for Scott Kelby! So make sure you head over to and check it out!

Commercial Automotive Photography Retouching Time-Lapse | Brian Rodgers Jr. South Bend Commercial Photographer/Digital Artist


Recently I went out and shot an automotive self assignment. The subject: a Ford Focus Titanium. I think the overall design of the car speaks volumes over it’s predecessors, and I really wanted to capture that in this composite image. I cannot stress enough that self assignments are worth your time. You need to shoot for yourself, not just for clients. It’s the only way you will ever bring out your true vision as an artist.  

The Studio: I used an empty parking lot as my studio for this shoot because I knew that I wanted to build a composite shot of the car in some kind of scene, at the time of shooting, I had no idea what that scene would look like. 


Composition: The composition for this shot was so important! I can’t stress that enough. If you want to get a professional commercial automotive shot, it starts with the composition. I suggest looking at a lot of commercial automotive photography for inspiration. Look at where the light falls on the vehicle. Notice that this front 3/4 shot of the vehicle shows off the design of the car? Notice the interior details? 

The Lighting: I used natural light for the most part. I paid very close attention to where my light was falling on the vehicle. Notice that beautiful horizon line that paints the landscape on the side of the vehicle? How about that beautiful light that kisses the hood of the car?  That was completely intentional. You really have to pay attention to the details on a shot like this. If the car had been positioned in a different direction, the light would have looked completely different. I used a speedlight to light the interior of the vehicle ever so slightly. Even though this shot is primarily an exterior, It’s important to show some interior detail as well. 

Here is a behind the scenes image of me light painting the vehicle as the sun started to go down.

Here is a behind the scenes image of me light painting the vehicle as the sun started to go down.

The Composite: I had no idea what the background would end up being until I started building it. I shoot backgrounds all the time and keep a library of images that I can pull from on any given day. In the video, you will see me experimenting with some different backgrounds. They all looked pretty good, but I thought the mountain range worked perfect for this shot. The background was derived from the smoky mountains of Tennessee during a family vacation. I shot them years ago, with no intention of ever using the as a background for an automotive composite, in fact I was using a point-and-shoot camera at the time.  With Photoshop and a little creativity, the possibilities are endless! So never throw away your images, you may end up using them as backgrounds someday ;)

Composite side notes: Notice that the background light matches the light on the car? When looking through your library of backgrounds, keep that in mind. Look at the overall direction of light. Also, I knew that when building this composite image, that the foreground would work to my advantage. I had a little cleanup to do on the pavement, but I didn’t have to go out and shoot separate pavement and build a new shadow for the car. I used what I had shot, defined the horizon line of the image, and composited in a background that I thought fit the car. For this shot, I wanted to convey traveling in style. If this image makes you want to to test drive this car, and possibly buy it, this image has served it's purpose.

Brian Rodgers Jr. of Digital Art that Rocks featured on the popular web based photography show "The Grid" Check it out at 35:12 & 1:03:15 mintues into the show!

Until next time, Rock & Roll