Dallas-based photographer Gustav Schmiege collaborates with businesses of all kinds to bring their stories to life. He describes his approach as “branding through imagery,” and his process involves working closely with each client to understand who they are as a company and what makes them unique, and then translating those values into an ownable look that can be carried through all of their marketing. He’s been doing what he calls his dream job for nearly 30 years, and it still feels as fresh and exciting as day 1. “I really, truly love what I do,” says Gus.
A versatile photographer who tailors his style to each project, Gus has worked with everything from hospitality to fashion, food, lifestyle, and sports brands. For the recent debut of Dallas’ National Hotel, his images established the look and feel that would create anticipation for the luxury hotel, capturing the property, rooms, and food, as well as lifestyle shots of talent enjoying the amenities. For Lucchese, creative agency Lodge 26 brought Gus in for brainstorming sessions to help shape the look and feel of a brand refresh for the legendary bootmaker. The collaboration proved fruitful: On the strength of two teasers from the campaign, one of the boot collections sold out before its official launch.
His storytelling also takes the form of active portraiture. For The Land Report, a magazine that takes readers inside the lives of noteworthy landowners in America, Gus essentially hangs out with the featured landowner and documents them as they enjoy their property. In photographing the story “Clint Eastwood Presents a Master Class on Stewardship at Tehama,”
Gus presents a different side of the iconic actor, including lounging on the golf green with a gaggle of geese.
If you know Gus, you know that he’s also an avid waterman. He comes from a long line of sailors, and he and his wife, who live across from the yacht club in Dallas, race whenever they get the chance. (Their kids, now grown, raced too.) Naturally, he also creates branding imagery for wind-sports clients—kiteboarding, snowkiting, sailing—you name it—and he does so with a passion and insight that are deeply personal. “I’m incredibly enthusiastic about every project I do,” says Gus.