Heather Elder Represents
Reps Journal

Kremer/Johnson, Ryan Schude, and a Grandiose Collaboration

“Created in collaboration with friend and fellow photographer Ryan Schude. Lifeguard tower 2 looms over this rocky stretch of the Pacific shore, just north of Malibu. We created this tableau vivant and the accompanying vignettes to give a nod of our collective hats to the people and personalities which typify sandy SoCal beach culture.”


Clients value artists who are collaborative and team players. Today, people use these terms interchangeably. We’ve seen through the years that collaboration and teamwork are different from one another — terms that live on a continuum based on whether people are working toward independent goals or whether they are working with a shared purpose.

Kremer/Johnson‘s partnership and approach to their Sequit Point project provide real-life examples of both collaboration and teamwork.

This project was a collaboration between Kremer/Johnson and Ryan Schude where due to permitting and sunlight, they collectively had eight hours to create living pictures and tell mini-stories of life at this Southern California beach. Working together, accompanied by stylists, assistants, volunteer talent, and including many hours of post-work, the end result is an artist’s dream; evocative stills depicting multiple individual stories. Here is how this all came together.

What did you learn while creating this series?

This series, created in collaboration with tableau photographer Ryan Schude, was an excuse to work with and learn from each other. Kremer/Johnson worked with Ryan in the past, lighting a shoot. The three of us discussed embarking on a project together for several years. With the arrival of COVID, there was no better time.

Developing the concept was an interesting endeavor. This project was not unlike working with an agency and art director in listening to and respecting each other’s contributions. At the same time, having a third person in the concepting stage was grounding. We always say that two heads are better than one. Three heads that work well together — are even better. 

What was a memorable moment?

Two things stood out:

We went into this shoot inspired by a collection of old paintings, remarking on the lighting and poses. We wanted to hint at that style and had a plan for how to achieve it. When we got to the beach, we had to make some quick changes due to lighting limitations. Once we reconfigured our approach, the rest of the day went smoothly.

This shoot proved that teamwork pays dividends too. Shooting at Sequit Point was a personal project, so all assistants and stylists gave us their time for free. We loved their collaborative spirit and have since hired many of them. This trial-by-doing influenced how we hire people. 

What do you hope people learn about you and your work after viewing this?

We formed the Kremer/Johnson partnership based on collaboration — because we share a common purpose and have mutual respect for each other’s creativity, skills, and opinions. We extend that thinking to others with whom we work, such as with Ryan when we all brought our ideas, each contributing to the vision for the end product. This project could not have come to fruition without the people working alongside us, where each was interdependent upon one another.

We understand that the role we play varies based on whether we are leading the project or we are working as team members servicing a determined narrative.

Follow Kremer/Johnson on Instagram for more story-telling scenes.