The Minnesota Martian – Conceptual Portraits of a Mars One Astronaut Candidate

A Minnesotan’s One-Way Mission to Mars

Meet Jackson. He’s a man on a mission… to Mars!  (Seriously)


In case you haven’t heard, there’s a worldwide initiative called Mars One that is preparing for the first human settlement on Mars. More information may be obtained on the Mare One website:


Our friend and long-time client Jackson surprised us with an interesting request for a unique photoshoot to support his promotion initiatives. He’s been selected above many thousands of applicants, and is still in the running to be one of the first humans to set foot on the planet of Mars.


Jackson has branded himself as the Minnesota Martian, and has set up a website as well as a Facebook Page for people to follow his progress.


The objective of the photoshoot was to create a number of conceptual photos for Jackson and the media to use in his promotional initiatives.


We went for variety and creativity. Jackson mentioned that he recently invested in a custom space suit with a bubble helmet, so we thought of ways to creatively capture the uniqueness of his aspirations. Heavy Photoshopping initially came to mind, but we thought we’d try using a projector to capture images of Mars and other  space travel related photos behind him (mainly to avoid the challenges of Photoshopping them within the bubble of the helmet.


The results were spectacular. While these images appear to be cut-out and Photoshopped, we only used this (and a few other editing tools) to enhance the images for dramatic effect. No backgrounds were added to these photos in post production! Here’s a sample of the many images we created using projected image backgrounds – a very difficult photography technique.


Photographing a highly reflective spherical object– such as this helmet – is never easy… they reflect EVERYTHING! To show a little of the editing needed to reduce the distraction in each of these shots, below is a before and after demonstration.




And AFTER (with some touch-ups to remove the reflections over the face):


And here’s another with a different treatment.


Jackson is also a musician, so he cut a hole in the helmet to allow him to insert his saxophone. Note: We advised him that he probably shouldn’t to this when on Mars.


This photoshoot went late into the night; far beyond what we anticipated. Just for fun, we tried projecting the images onto him instead of upon the background. The results were interesting, and the ones using the projection of the Earth turned out the best.


Aside from the fun and conceptual photos, Jackson needed some headshots that went along with his marketing initiatives. He’s a man of many expressions, so we had a little fun doing something a bit different.


And last, he wanted one isolated, full body shot in his spiffy space suit.


We wish Jackson the best of luck, and hope gets his one-way ticket to “get off our planet!”

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