Man flying through space in a space suit

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).

Conceptual portrait of a man wearing a space suit looking from Mars

In case you are in the dark (as we were), 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 Mars 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 among 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 of him as a space traveler 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!  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.
Man wearing a space suit playing a saxophone
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.
Projection of Earth on a man's face wearing a space suit
Man flying through space in a space suit


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 for the last one, 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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