Letitia Frye — America’s “auctiontainer”

I’m guessing you haven’t heard the term auctiontainer before, am I right? I hadn’t either, at least not until I stumbled across Scottsdale’s Letitia Frye via an article in Modern Luxury. She has a very unique job title: Auctiontainer.

As you can imagine, this was more than enough to pique my interest and so after doing a little research on her, I learned that her unique title was a direct result of her personal style and approach to live auctioning at charity fundraisers.

I couldn’t help but to reach out and ask her a few questions. Here’s what happened:

[Ryan] You have been called America’s foremost Auctiontainer. What exactly does that mean and when did the title really start to stick?

[Letitia Frye] Funny, America’s Foremost Auctiontainer came from my client and friend Alice Cooper. We were at a soundcheck for his annual Christmas Pudding event and he saw me working the mic while warming up my chant and said it was like watching another performer. I don’t stand at a podium or use notes because I have a photographic memory so it leaves me free to roam the crowd with a handheld wireless mic and perform rather than just auction. In fact I have been known to dive off stages into the crowd like a rock star, thus the auctiontainer.

How do you prepare for an upcoming auction? Is there a method you use to better understand the audience or prepare for the unexpected?

There is so much more to prepping for one of my events than meets the eye and I tend to do more prep work than the typical auctioneer. For one, most auctioneers do many different types of auctions from real estate, livestock, cars, benefits and more. Although I did my training in a multitude of mediums in the auction industry, about 8 years ago I decided to only do benefit auctions and to specialize as a charity fundraising professional in addition to auctioneer. I volunteer for every client I work with. I have been to Haiti twice to work with orphans, I trail hospice doctors, rescue horses on the border, volunteer at various camps for kids with cancer and at risk teens, and so much more. That is the first part of the prep work and the most important so that I can become passionate about who we are working to help with the funds raised at the event. Then it’s time to analyze the event itself. The timeline, the items, the crowd demographic, the benefit of creating a customized fund a need, etc.. There is so much work that goes into this process before the actual event, the event itself is probably what I consider the icing on the cake. The fun part after all the work leading up to it.

Letitia Frye an auctiontainer

With all the auctions you’ve supported over the years, I’m sure you have some good stories. What’s one of your favorites?

I average about 107 charity auctions a year and I have seen a lot of wild and interesting things happen. One of my favorites was with Larry the Cable Guy. We were doing Alice Cooper’s golf tournament and I sell actors and musicians to play in the tournament as part of your foursome. Usually the sexy, hot beefcake type sell really high, but Larry took the cake. He actually used to auction himself and we had worked together before so I had us do kind of a tag team auction almost like a duet. The crowd was going crazy and the bids getting higher and higher. Then I jokingly told Larry he should take his shirt off and get the ladies going. I was only joking as Larry is a lovable big guy, not really your body builder type. Well he did it and the crowd was in hysterics and one woman stood up and bought him for $20,000. He sold higher than anyone else, who knew!

Meet Letitia Frye

Contact Letitia Frye:

You can learn more about Letitia Frye on her website, here. And be sure to check out her recent feature in Modern Luxury, if you haven’t already.

Featured Arizona photographer: Chris Loomis

I recently discovered a very talented Phoenix and Scottsdale area photographer in a roundabout sort of way. I had stumbled across the “auctiontainer” Letitia Frye and happened to pick up on the photography on her website. Turns out it was the work of Chris Loomis, a multi-faceted photographer who has shot everything from architecture to portrait to high fashion.

[Ryan] You seem to photograph a range of subjects, from high fashion to architecture, how would you explain your personal style and approach to photography?

[Chris] I have become proficient shooting a range of subject matter (in the commercial arena) by necessity in the Phoenix area. To make a living specializing in just one area can be difficult in a particular market. That being said, I believe my portfolio/website is a comprehensive look at the subject matter I most gravitate towards and in some cases the blending of these subjects, i.e. fashion in context with architecture, etc. My style is driven by finding a relationship between my subject matter and the environment…in the case of my editorial portfolio I love illustrating through environmental portraiture, people intimately embedded in their place of work or amongst things they create…or even creating that relationship through my own sense of art direction (I art direct most of my photo shoots.) This is also how I handle my fashion photography…I’m really into high fashion/wearable art and also vintage styles. Additionally, I like to use unorthodox lighting, when appropriate, to create more drama and interest in my imagery…it is also my own personal touch. My Personal (fine art) work and Theme Park portfolio is more about capturing subtle moments candidly while traveling or through concept that are powerful and full of memory, yet still tell a story.

Chris Loomis Photography

When shooting, where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from pretty much everywhere…but I’m a total fan of surrealism and creating projects that are high concept. My background is growing up watching healthy amounts of Star Trek, weird sci-if movies, 70’s cartoons etc. I’m also very impressed by architecture…particularly mid century modern and futuristic…but I also love gothic cathedrals and even ruins…then putting a model in these places!!!

Chris Loomis Photography

I think that a lot of men don’t feel real comfortable in front of a camera. Are there some simple things men can do to get more of a “red carpet” look?

For men being photographed: DONT BE SHY….let yourself go….don’t constantly wait for direction from a photographer…they will tell you what to do when they need to push you in a certain direction. Be yourself!

Chris Loomis Photography

Contact Chris Loomis

Visit the Chris Loomis website to view his portfolios and contact him directly!

Colorado Wedding Photographer, Daylene Wilson

If you follow BE you know that I have a tendency to reach out to wedding photographers. As a custom clothier, we certainly make our fair share of wedding suits and wedding tuxedos. And we love seeing our happy grooms in spectacular photography. Therefore, I recently reached out to one of Denver’s leading wedding photographers, Daylene Wilson.

Here are some highlights from our talk.

[Ryan] How would you describe your particular style of wedding photography?

[Daylene Wilson] I find great joy in making art out of everyday wedding photography. Couples who have chemistry and seek to have authentic moments with each other is what I am drawn to. I love raw emotion, tears, laughter, pure joy and I love to witness it from the corner instead of being out front. Taking a pair of shoes or rings to a quiet corner and making them sparkle or using dramatic light is just as fun to me as finding the moments that show how people felt on the wedding day. I would say my style is artistic, romantic, and true.

daylene wilson photography example

When shooting, where do you draw inspiration from?

There are so many places to find inspiration, but I tend to look to my fellow photographers. I try to continue to push myself and to see things in a different way. Each time I shoot I try to do something I haven’t done before and usually for me, that comes from watching how other people see the world.

another daylene wilson photography example

What have you learned over the years that grooms can do to look their best?

I feel there is so much time and energy spent on the bride for the wedding. Often the groom doesn’t put much thought into bringing his personality or style into his “look”. I have learned that if the groom takes time months in advance to think about how he would like to represent his personality and style on the wedding day, he feels much more confident and himself. Choosing a tailored suit, and going through each item and putting his unique mark really makes him stand out. Cufflinks, tie, socks, shoes, pocket square; the whole deal. Along with that is learning in advance how to wear and put on all these items and not trying to wing it on the wedding day.

What do you want your photos to be remembered for?

I want my photos to make people feel something emotionally. I want them to remember how they felt when they looked at my image. I want it to capture a time in their life that they may not even remember and immortalize it for them.

Contact Daylene Wilson

Reach out to Daylene and her team via her website, here.

Spotlight on fine art photographer, Tamara Gruner

As Bespoke Edge matures, we are beginning to realize that our clothing tends to look absolutely great on film. Then again, most things do! Recently, I had a cup of coffee with one of Colorado’s leading fine art wedding photographers, Tamara Gruner.

When you sit down with Tamara it becomes clear very quickly that she’s a wonderful person. Very personable, yet efficient — two qualities that I think make for an excellent wedding photographer.  She’s even a growing name in her field and is busy organizing a photography workshop to be held in France later in the spring.

Here are some highlights from our talk:

[Ryan] You have quite an interesting background in a technical field, can you explain why you made the switch to fine art?

[Tamara] Yes, originally I am a PhD in Cancer Research. Although I took a different career path, at first, I was always associated with photography from the beginning of my life. My dad was a photographer primarily bringing out the art of landscape and event photography. Although he passed away when I was very young I grew up with his art and passion for photography. I wanted to follow my passion for photography. I started my business in April 2013 and together we are a boutique photographer team – a husband and wife dream team. Thanks to my role model Jose Villa, whose workshop I attended November 2014, I discovered film photography new and I simply love what I am doing best – capturing the love between two people.

Tamara Gruner wedding photography

When shooting, where do you draw inspiration from?

I am inspired by beautiful people and things. A beautiful wedding is the perfect inspiration for me and makes me feel to give my best on that day. I want to produce beautiful images for the couple, the vendors, and myself.

What should grooms understand about film versus digital photography?

I am a fine art wedding photographer and I shoot in both film and digital formats (more film than digital). I work with the finest vendor when it comes to film processing (Richard Photo Lab). Shooting in film makes me think before I press the shutter – I need to first frame the image correctly. This makes every image unique unlike digital shooters who often deliver images of the same frame / type. Image colors of film images are also more beautiful and richer than digital images. I simply love film photography based on the quality of images and quality always pays over quantity.

Tamara Gruner photo and wedding suit

What do you want your photos to be remembered for?

I aspire to produce artistic, timeless, and romantic pictures the couple will cherish for the rest of their lives. My favorite time of the day is during sunset – when the light at its best to capture romance.

Contact Tamara Gruner

See more of Tamara Gruner’s excellent work on her website, here, or send her a message via her contact form.