Todd Wilms: A Martin Schoeller Inspired Portrait


I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bay Area marketing expert Todd Wilms for several years now, and I feel lucky to have made a great friend along the way.  You can see the images we created on location in San Francisco for his website here.  Recently, we took things in a different direction and did a Martin Schoeller inspired portrait shoot in my Oakland studio.  Schoeller is a German born photographer who works in New York.  I love his photography, including his celebrity portraits and his conceptual work. He is particularly well know for his detailed close up portraits, shot with a shallow depth of field and a lighting style that results in intense catch lights in the eyes. While I didn’t spend the thousands of dollars it would take to replicate his exact lighting and camera set up, I created a set with my trusty Profotos that yielded results we found quite pleasing. Thank you, Martin, for the inspiration. And thank you, Todd, for being the perfect model!

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Professional Portraits And a Mini-Interview with Todd Wilms, VP of Digital at Neustar

Todd WilmsMeet Todd Wilms, the new VP of Digital at Neustar!  As a social media leader and brand evangelist, Todd was the perfect client; he knows his brand and had a clear idea of what he wanted to convey.  Todd’s relaxed, personable nature really comes through, and that was one of our main goals.

Our photo shoot was awesome, in large part because Todd is one of those people who makes you feel like you’ve been friends for years.  We spent a half day roaming the Neustar San Francisco offices to find cool backgrounds, and we found plenty.  They’ve done an amazing job with the interior design.  I love the booths (above) among many other interesting touches in their decor.  I did resist photographing him in front of the Etch-a-Sketch display (yep, this is San Francisco.  But I didn’t see any bean bags, the sure sign that you’re in a startup.)  After working with Todd, I thought he would be the perfect person to start my mini-interview series on the blog. Todd Wilms, has often written for Forbes as one of their chief contributors, is a great keynote speaker as well as frequent guest lecturer on topics of leadership in digital, business and social. Check out his LinkedIn post “The Best Commencement Speech Never Delivered” which offers some timeless advice delivered with enough humor to keep you reading; love it.

Needless to say, he’s got a busy professional schedule, so we caught up via email as he was sitting on a plane, where he graciously responded to my request for a light hearted mini-interview. I just knew his answers would be interesting and leave you smiling. So, here goes…



Where were you born? Cleveland Ohio. The river there wouldn’t burn for another 8 years.

What is your favorite thing to cook? Ratatouille. Love autumn vegetables when the air gets cool and prepping a great stew all day for a warm meal that night. Add some French bread. Yum!

Funniest thing your kids did lately? Oh that is easy. Naked dance time singing Britney.

What do you love about marketing? I love marketing. I love helping consumers find brands; helping them find that thing they want, need or desire to make their lives better.

Fill in the blank. Happiness is…a warm gun. Sorry, but grew up on the Beatles.

My 5 year goal? To be 3 years older.

My ambition? World’s tallest man.

My heroes? Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, and Luther. Lex Luther.

My greatest attribute? My humility. I am awesome at my humility.


Find Todd: LinkedIn | Twitter

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