Texas DP Heads To Portland For HGTV Sizzle Reel

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Nothing says Portland quite like a mural that says Portland.


I think it’s safe to say that I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to home renovation shows.  This is what happens when you work on Fixer Upper for three years and DP about 45 episodes of HGTV’s biggest hit.  With that said, it’s no surprise that a producer is willing to fly me to Portland, ME for a two day sizzle reel shoot.  It should also come as no surprise that I was super excited about the opportunity to put my stamp on another potential HGTV home renovation show.  Armed with my trusty C300 and every L-series lens you could want, I hopped on a flight to Maine.

I felt right at home doing a sit down interview in the middle of a demoed house.

I met up with Director of Photography Apprentice, Jacob Satterfield, who by the way is awesome.  Jacob ran audio for me in Portland.  When he didn’t need to have a Sound Device 664 strapped to his chest I put a Canon 5D Mrkiii in hands to shoot some additional scenics.  This was incredibly valuable because we only had so much time to shoot interviews, walk throughs, and scenics of Portland.

Our first day consisted of shooting interviews with the designer and her contractor.  We shot the sit down interviews in the house they are currently working on.  It had just been demoed so the house was nothing but bare bones.  I used three Lite Panels to light my subject.  The C300 was rocking a 85mm prime (the majority of the time) and the 5D had a 35mm prime attached.  Jacob ran audio and the secondary angle (5D) while I manned the C300.

This framing was captured using the Canon 85mm f1.2 at a f2.0.


Afterwards the designer and contractor did a walk through of the house and talked about the design plan.  Once we wrapped talent Jacob and I shot b-roll of the house.  We ended our day with scenics of Portland but unfortunately that was cut short due to some rain.

The Portland designer featured in the sizzle reel went shopping at a local antique shop.

On the second day we shot a shopping scene with the designer.  She took us to one of her favorite antique shops in Portland.  The lighting was all over the place so it was essential to have a camera light ready to go to her a little pop when needed.  Once we wrapped there we went over to her house to get some b-roll of her in her “element.”  She has two adorable dogs that made for some great b-roll shots.  We ended our time with her at a park by the ocean.  We shot some ‘hero shots” and said our goodbyes.

We were way ahead of schedule on day two, which is always awesome.  We spent the rest of the day shooting scenics all over Portland.  Jacob traded out the audio bag for a 5D and shot supplemental b-roll  while I rocked the C300.  We even managed to shoot a couple time-lapse including one with a Go Pro Hero 4.

One of my favorite shots that Jacob got with the Canon 5D mrkiii.


It was so much fun to shoot in Portland, ME.  I had never been there although I’m no stranger to New England.  I use to live on Nantucket.  My main goal, aside from delivering awesome footage to the client, was to eat as much New England clam chowder as possible.  I’m happy to report that I accomplished both goals.

I would say this is one of the better crew selfies I’ve been a part of.


New England clam chowder, it’s what’s for dinner.