SSR Designs 2.0

Hannah - In The Basement
Composite photos are some of my favorite work. This particular photo features model, Hannah, in a basement with several other photos from the series used to create the texture.

Over the weekend I spent a great deal of time re-vamping my portfolio as well as my website.  Here are a few highlights from that experience.  I hope to be adding more of my actual art pieces, much like the photo of Hannah featured here, very soon.  I not only enjoy the art of photography, but the whole concept of visual art as well.  I have recently had the pleasure of going back through some of my older portfolio shots and being completely re-energized with inspiration. The first photo of Hannah here was one of those fun days where we decided to just do a random photoshoot…just for the sake of getting dressed up crazy and playing outside.





One of my favorite pieces from my Firestarter collection.

The second piece was inspired by Stephen King’s Firestarter and Carrie.  I loved the ideas of fire and insanity, so I mixed the two together. I get a lot of my inspiration from good stories.  The model in this series was a great deal of fun to work with.  Blainne is from the Kansas City area and working on being a rock fashion model.  I originally printed this on metallic paper which made the background look incredible. This photo eventually ended up being displayed on the back of my business cards.






Jewsome J CD Cover
Jewsome J is a great hip-hop artist from the Kansas City area.

This next photo was created for a great Christian hip-hop artist.  I met this artist while working with his wife where she told me he needed a little help with his upcoming album.  The story of how the album came about is a great story for another post, but I wanted to share with you the vision of this young man.  The concept was his and I just put it together.  He was incredibly happy with it as was I.





Angels and Demons Wallpaper
Angels and Demons was my first composite production and to date still my favorite.

The final preview piece I am going to show you is the first piece I did.  This was commissioned by a band wanting an Angels and Demons theme.  We rented an empty warehouse and spent the day shooting an entire story line.  To date this is still my absolute favorite piece in my portfolio.  There was something about the way this came together from beginning to end that made this a special piece.  Not to mention it is where I first started really honing my style.


I hope you enjoy this preview and feel free to check out more work at


Long Live the 80’s

So here are some photos from my latest photoshoot.  My makeup artist wanted to do an 80’s theme. I believe that the 80’s was one of the last great decades…so in the spirit of having fun, we got first time model Madison to help us out.  She was a real trooper.  So here is my tribute to the 80’s SSR style.  I hope you enjoy.

We had a lot of fun doing this shoot.  It involved many hours of preparation to get Madison’s hair to do that.  And in true 80’s fashion we went through an entire can of Aqua-net.  Just the smell of the hairspray alone made me want to go to a school dance and a pep rally.  On this end of the camera it was incredibly hard to do this shoot without laughing which made the entire crew laugh and in turn made for a great day of shooting.

Until my next update…I wish you all a wonderful day.

My favorite project.

Son anyone that knows me, knows that I am a musician first.  I have been in bands through my entire life and I have a lot of great memories of each of these bands.  One of my favorite projects was Fuse 22.  This band not only produced great music but it created some friendships and experiences that have shaped my life to this day.  While the band officially went on hiatus in 2009 the dream is still very much alive.  Currently I am in the process of building a website de

voted to those songs and those memories with the hope that life will come back around and allow this band to create more music together.  This particular post is dedicated to some of my favorite memories with the band and I will continue to post more Fuse 22 related stuff so I can share that with all of the SSR Designs readers. You can find a link for the site here. Fuse 22 website

For this post I present some of the land mark photos for the band.  The first photo is the first promo shot taken for the band. (Complete with original contact info).  This photo highlights the bands love of including friends and family as part of the project.

Fuse 22 Promo
This is Fuse 22’s first official promo image. Shot in Lawrence KS by Bryan Dillon.

This was taken by 16 year old Bryan Dillon, Denny’s son, and budding photography student.  Friends and family would come to the aid of the band in many different ways throughout the life of the band.  Either providing funding, food, and even places to stay.  This was absolutely the best part of being in Fuse 22.

Another crowning moment for the band was teaming up with Larry Perez.

Flyer by Larry Perez
Original Larry Perez graphic design for the band.

Currently Larry is a nationally recognized rockstar photographer.  He has worked with numerous national acts including Shinedown and Jackyl.  Larry teamed up with the band to completely reimage their visual appeal and created some graphic work that is, to this day, the most popular with the band’s fans. This particular design was used in the band’s original website as well as being made available as a mobile wallpaper.  Thousands of downloads later the band is still thankful to Larry for his generosity in working with the band.

Another great memory from the band is the time we spent in Carl Dunlap’s studio Raven Studios.  Carl was hidden gem.  Sitting in the woods surrounding Grand Lake in Oklahoma, he had retired from a long career as a touring sound engineer.  With credits from Jimi Hendrix, The Stones, and ZZ Top he decided to work with up and

Jon at his best
Jon is seen here doing what he does best, Thinking. You were probably thinking lounging, in which case that is what he does second best.

coming bands and pass on his years of experience in a laid back pure hippie mentality.  I can honestly say some of the best times and best laughs were had in that studio.

Dan and Craig Studio
Dan and Craig listening to some play back. If memory serves me correctly Craig was telling Dan not to be a diva


There are a lot of great memories from the band.  I am trying to collect some photos from actual shows so I can post those as well.  So if you are a fan of Fuse 22 keep checkin back as I attempt to compile some of the best memories of my life and maybe even some of yours.

One Year Ago

It was  a beautiful Midwest evening.  Birds chirping, sun shining, and that perfect breeze that puts you right out.  I decided it would be a good time to lay down for a nap and collect my thoughts.  It had been a rough year for me and I was trying desperately to go out on my own to start my business.  I had also been working with St. John’s Regional Medical Center and the surrounding clinics supporting one of the largest software changes they had ever seen. In short, I was tired.  As soon as my head hit that pillow I was in Heaven.  It was to be the perfect early evening nap.

I was awakened by a small tapping on my door.  It was my father who told me we should be getting in the storm shelter.  Well, this was odd.  I don’t recall even a thought of rain. However, I followed him to the shelter to wait out the traditional midwestern spring welcome.  Having lived in Missouri all my life tornados were as common as hot dogs at a ball game and only slightly more dangerous.  So I took my time getting there.  I will say, I started to get a strange feeling the closer I got to the shelter.  My hair began to stand on end.  I felt as though I were in one of those horror movies where you can feel the evil coming over a town.  Suddenly, I wasn’t pokin’ around.

Looking out over our back pasture I could see the storm clouds moving in. I thought it was beautiful so I pulled out my phone to begin getting some video. In just a few moments I realized I was shooting something that would make things different after it rolled over my property.  It was truly scary. Not scary in a “I don’t want to confront this sort of way”, It was scary in an apocolyptic evil sort of way.  The cloud coming in filled the entire horizon with black.  There were magnificent explosions of green and white.  This is one time where ignorance truly was bliss, had I known those explosions were my town being leveled, I would have had an entirely different reaction. I knew now it was time to get in the shelter.

Inside the shelter the fear took over.  I had sat in this shelter many times before and laughed waiting out tornados and such.  This time wasn’t funny.  We could hear it approach.  As the storm passed over our property, it became angry.  I don’t know if it was angry that we were underground or if it just had a chip on its shoulder, but it was trying desperately to pull our shelter out of the ground.  The concrete box buried six feet under ground began to shake and wobble back and forth.  We were underground! How was this happening? For fourty five minutes I sat cramped in that tomb like shelter.

Photo: Joplin Firefighters Remember
Joplin firefighters stand at attention and observe a moment of silence on May 22nd, 2012 5:41 pm, 1 year after the deadly tornado destroyed 1/3rd of the town.

Cut to today.  This post is not at all about what happened a year ago.  It is about what is happening today.  It is about how May 22nd, 2011 was the beginning of the rest of my life.  One week later on May 30th I hopped on a plane to North Carolina to begin one of the best jobs I have had.  I was doing the same thing I was doing in Joplin, except, this time I had a little more experience under my belt.  I also found that I could use the stories of Joplin and the will to survive to help put doctors and nurses at ease. I am very proud of what I do for a living and how it is changing the face of healthcare for the world.

During this year I hae had the opportunity to polish my photography craft and move to a new level allowing me some opportunities I would never have had.  SSR Designs and Seventh Seal Records are taxing down the runway getting ready for take off.  Some things are about to change.  I am about to introduce a brand new product line.  I’m about to introduce several new websites.  I am even working with some folks that will make things a lot easier.  Things have just been falling into place this last year.

As I continue to move through the journey of this last year I take a lot of Joplin with me.  I notice a couple of things the last chance I got to go back to Joplin.  There is still a scar and a very open wound left by that day, however,

its healing.  You can see trees beginning to sprout.  The grass is adding some color to the rubble.  People are out working. Most importantly, people are rebuilding.  They are moving forward with their lives and refusing to let something so massive stand in their way.  That whole spirit of Joplin has been an inspiration to me as I am moving forward.  May 22nd 2011 was not the end…It was the beginning!

Publicity Shoot = Epic Goodness

So while doing a photoshoot for a local pop singer, I had the best DIY moment ever and I thought I would share it with you.

This particular young lady had gone through a lot of trouble to make a silver sequined bra for this photo shoot.  Unbeknownst to her, if you use fabric glue on the stretchy part of a bra it is no longer stretchy.  So what she ended up with was a very shiny, very hot…shell.

Never fear, DIY Dan to the rescue.  So while everyone at the shoot was looking for bobby pins and tape, In true man fashion I was looking for duct tape and WD40.  You know that will fix anything. To continue, looking through my lighting bag I discovered a bunch of ball end bungee cords.  That’s right, bungee cords! So off I go to strap the unsuspecting pop diva into her wardrobe.

I tied one cord around one side of the bra, another cord around the other, hooked ’em in the middle, and voila we have a new shiny bra that fits perfectly.  I hope to be posting some pictures of this contraption very soon.

Until then…keep thinking outside the box.

Welcome to SSR Designs!

Hello everyone and welcome to our little spot on the web.  We will be using this blog to update you on our special assignments, new artistic endeavors, and a few specials every now and then.  Make sure to follow us so you can stay up to date on the latest SSR News

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