Retouching Khaz Studios

Photography by Toby Pederson

Photographer Paul Barshon recently shot in Joshua Tree for luxury car brand Genesis. We sat down with him to pick his brain about the process.

How did you choose Joshua Tree?

It fit the narrative that the agency wanted to apply to this car.  We only had one day to shoot and wanted two different environments. We chose Palm Springs for the indoor portion of the shoot and since Joshua Tree is amazing and closeby we drove there for the second portion of the shoot which involved outdoor/action scenes.

Also, why wouldn’t you want to shoot at Joshua Tree?!  It’s such an amazing place and we had the most incredible sunset that we couldn’t have planned in a month of Sundays.

Were all of these shots taken in one day?

All in one day!

How do you handle that?

Good planning and a great team.  I have worked with all the members of my team for years and they know exactly how I work.  We had each shot/scenario worked out to the minute so we wouldn’t end up losing images due to time constraints.  

Do you enjoy shooting people with cars?

Sure.  The challenge for me is to make the talent look like they belong and don’t look too “model-like”.  It’s a fine line between realism and bad-acting and it’s trying to get the most of the talent in a very short space of time.

Did you have a prop stylist?

We had a prop team with us as there was a ton of propping to do to make this work.

Were any shots added during the shoot spontaneously?  

With shoots like this, I like to separate the day into scenarios rather than a shot list.  This allows me to work independently with the talent and work to their strengths rather than force them into positions and ideas that don’t suit them.  This makes it all feel more realistic and natural.

Check out more of Paul's work at

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