Retro Ad Photo Shoot


This weekend I had a fun little photo shoot for my new game Amphibian Wars III with my son. I wanted to try and reproduce the ads from the early to mid 1980’s. I created two ads. This photo is a preview of the first retro ad.  This is not the final ad.  This is just a quick fun outtake from that final image.

I shot this in my garage with the door open.  It faces north/north west so I had some great ambient light pouring in.  For a reflector I used my white refrigerator!  It worked surprising well for what I needed.  I used  one speed light with a diffuser as another fill.  I’d move that around based on how I positioned the model. I had the model sit on a bucket for  most shots because he’s too tall and I wanted to get a good light bounce from the refrigerator reflector.



To get the light I wanted on my sons face I made a snoot out of black straws, cardboard and hot glue.  I covered it with gaffers tape to make it look better that the lame cardboard color.  The image above shows it on the floor but I had the model hold it between his knees.  It took a bit to get it positioned where I liked it.  I had a green gel over the flash to make it case the color I needed for the ad.



As far as editing I used Lightroom to catalog all the images and them photoshop for all of the editing.  I left some Photoshop artifacts in, like the black halo, because I though that added to the retro look.  This was the first time I used Alienskin.  I’ve been using Nik or OnOne’s and I’d though I give alienskin a try. Let me tell you, I really like Alienskin.

The game should be released soon on iOS and the web.  I’ll post more info at when it’s released.

Christmas Card 2014



How to print custom Holiday/Christmas cards at Costco.

For this years holiday card I wanted to to try something new. I wanted to completely avoid the stale Costco card selection that we all use.  At this same time I still wanted to use Costco photo services because it’s the best value for the buck.

If you want Costco to print a custom card it’s pretty easy.  Just follow these steps.

  • Create your image and be sure to crop at 6″ x 7 1/2″.  Leave a 1/4″ bleed around the edge just in case.  (I left about 1/2 inch but that was too much.)
  • Export you image with 300 DPI
  • Go to’s photo center online and upload you image
  • Then go the the Greeting Cards page where you can select a design
  • On the Select A Design page there is a column on the left.  Click the “More” link
  • Select the “Custom Template” with text saying  “Place your own 6 x 7″ 1/2″ Image here. Full Photo”
  • Select you image,then fit the image to the template.

That’s it.

For my card I added some text because that’s you do with holidays cards and Lori insisted. :p  The final image printed at Costco looked like this.



I left about 1/2″ of bleed but that was way to much.  It ended up printing just like this.  It also printed darker than I wanted but in the end I was pleased with the result.

This photo is composed of three images.  The snow flake is CC image I got off flickr, the “magic dust” which is actually a photo of the night sky and  the image of the kids taken in my bedroom.  To create the glow I used one Canon Speedlite with a 1/2 stop green color overlay on the flash.  I placed the Speedlite on a mount just behind the kids facing the camera lens.  I edited out the Speedlite and only used it’s halo.  This is what the original looked like.

Christmas Card outtake


I used my Canon 5D Mark II.  Settings are: Exposure was 1/200 at f/9.0, ISO 160, Lens Canon EF70-200 f.2.8 at 70mm  I wanted to share what my photoshop layers looked like but Lightroom did something to the file and flatten that damn file.  Ugh.

It was a lot of fun to make.  The hardest part of making the image was getting the kids to freakin focus!    I think I’ll be doing more of these kinds of images form now on.

Happy Holidays.




The Last Year Before the Teenager – A 365 Project


This past Sunday I started my second and final 12:365 project.  The project is about me taking a portrait of my daughter everyday from the day she turns 12 until the she becomes a teenager.

I did the same thing for my son when he was 12.  I didn’t get to do the entire 365 days for him because he was away on vacation or I was unable to because I wasn’t around that day.  I don’t think I’ll get all 365 days for Sophia either but I’ll sure as hell try.

Most images won’t show any technical mastery, composition skills or anything like that.  It will only tell a story.  A story of an artist, writer, volleyball player, a daughter.  I hope one day she’ll look back and show her kids and family how awesome she is even at 12 years old.


Marine One Flying Over Playa del Rey


President Obama flies over West Los Angeles in Marine One.  It’s pretty cool for me to see the POTUS and his crew do their thing right above me.


Beneath The Surface

Pectus excavatum-Reese-Mark-Andrade

Beneath The Surface sits a metal bar anchoring his sternum and ribs in place from Pectus excavatum.  In a few weeks it will be two years with the bar.  He’s now taller, stronger, faster, happier and healthier.

This photo was inspired by ludumdare theme “Beneath the surface” that I participated in.

The x-ray is a photo I took of his x-ray shown to us after surgery.  The main key light is a beauty dish set at 1/2 power elevated just above his head on angled down about 40 degrees.  Behind him is a speed light set at 3/4 power with a light blue gel.  Shot with my Canon 5DMKII with a 24-105 lens.  Camera was set at 1/100 sec at f/22, ISO 200.  It was processed with Nik Software and Photoshop CC.

Ryan Mendez Recording a Guitar Track for Southern Air

Ryan-Mendez-Playing Guitar-Mark-Andrade Going through my archives today I found an image of Ryan Mendez recording a guitar track in studio.  This is one of many photos I took of Yellowcard recording their album “Southern Air” at my friend Neal Avron‘s studio.  I don’t remember if I ever posted this one since it was taken a little over two years ago!  With the Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs I thought this would be an appropriate image to share with Yellowcard and Red Wings fans.

Sled Push on Asphalt

Trent Bender Pit Fitness pushing a sled in the road.Another crossfit portrait photo from my recent photography session with Trent Bender of Pit Fitness in Venice, Ca.


Reese’s Love of the Game

Reese-Andrade-Mark-Andrade-Love-the-Beautiful-GameYesterday Reese turned 15.  He’s been playing soccer now for 10 years and his love for the beautiful game has only grown more strong.  He’s transitioning into a young man with dreams of playing at a great college and hopefully the pros.  Happy Birthday Reese!  Proud of you!


Trent Bender Sled Pull

Trent Bender by Mark Andrade

Trent Bender of Pit Fitness by Mark Andrade

I’ve been focusing a lot on my software company Sputnik Games that I’ve having been giving my photography the attention that I want to give.  I’m changing changing that.  I’m kicking it off with some fitness photos and a couple of portraits in the next week.  To start, here is Trent of Pit Fitness pulling a lot of weight on a sled.

New portfolio site.

I’m finally getting around to making my site a portfolio site.  I hope to have it ready today or by tomorrow.