Under the Sea – A celebration amongst the Wynwood Walls @hypestudios

“Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.” – Danny Kaye

So I just finished up a pretty cool project over the weekend with a client that I have treasured working with for sometime now. Ill share a few links to a few other posts from his events at the end of the post, but for now, lets dig into this project!


First off, I had never really ventured into this revived area of Miami called The Wynwood Walls before, but its worth a trek there to explore some AMAZING art. There are no warehouse or building walls safe from the paint cans of the street artist. In fact, after just a half day of parking our production truck in the lot across the street, the roll up door to the box in the back was tagged! A nice white surface for the artist. Now lets just hope the insurance covers the repaint 🙂

So the guests were dropped off at valet and after entering the private gate, were treated by the beach scene above. We used a few wireless LED lights to pop a bit of color to the custom painted sun backdrop, the crates and trees, as well as the photo op of the shark up by the main door. Its blue now, but we switched up a bit of the color just before the guests actually arrived. It was a little brighter and “sunnier” in its feel, but I had a little fun making the image a bit more moody. A little creative license 🙂

As production designers working in hotels and unique spaces, its always refreshing to work in a raw space like this. Hype Studios is actually a photographic and production space and unlike a hotel, is a blank canvas for us to create and paint with light. This place was a nice blank white canvas with plenty of places to hang lights as well as 2 convenient power drops. Something that even many of the NEW hotels and ballrooms forget to design into their spaces. Check out their site here for more info!


The overall design, decor, and concept creation was conceived by our client, the amazing Sean Defreitas. The basic idea was to have the look of the room change from day to evening to match follow the sunset that was playing on the video projected on the wall. Our lighting design approach here was to create a sort of mid day sunlight under the palm trees kind of feel with a slow 30 minute crossfade to a “just after sunset” feel. _MDS6741-HDR

The room below served also as a room for cocktails, but for the adults of the group. Love those seashell and sand tables Sean created! And what a cool room to light 🙂_MDS6736-HDR

So after the cocktail hour came to a close, another “custom video” clip played to direct the attention to the reveal of the underwater experience. This was the area where the DJ, dancers, and party really kicked off! We had a few movers and effects to create that “under water” ripple effect as well as haze, smoke, and black light. I tried to keep the tones for the first hour at least in cool tones as to really keep the underwater vibe going. Man….I LOVE what I do 🙂_MDS6721-HDR_MDS6726-HDR

So these last 2 shots were grabbed from the ole iPhone and are a bit grainy, but I forgot to capture the scene from the Nikon and sticks before the doors opened! When the the doors DID open, it was kinda cool to see EVERYONE come rushing in and run over to the “fish tank”. Off to the left side of the space and behind the sliding glass door, Sean created this blacked out little room that the people peered through the tall glass sliders into that he had the most amazing costumed characters, jellyfish decor, coral formations, and airbrushed under water stretch backdrops. All lit with Wildfire backlight and kinetic water effects…..it truly looked AMAZING and quite realistic!Photo Feb 20, 6 52 38 PMPhoto Feb 20, 10 43 10 PMI sometimes forget how lucky I am to have been able to have worked with so many creative and talented visionaries throughout my career. It’s a lot of work, but SO rewarding when you step back after a hard day to enjoy what you have played a small part in helping to create. As I begin a sort of transition of sorts in my business, it’s location, and the work I continue to be a part of (more about that in future posts!), it’s nice to take the time on a quite evening with the candles lit and remember what continues to keep me interested in the business. Well, there is a lot, but it’s the people for starters 🙂

More about what we do at Hylite Productions over here btw…

For those that follow me here for pics and images from my travels and such, I know it might be a bit confusing to see a post about this kind of work. Its this work though that has allowed me to take the time to “play” in my world of photography that I share here. And in posts like this, I guess those 2 worlds kind of collide!

I hope you enjoy this kind of behind the scenes look from time to time too 🙂

I have a few more posts from some events I have worked with Sean and his team on before here on the blog. If you are interested, here are some more cool events to check out!

Floral details from a wedding

A wedding at Turnberry

A corporate event in Arizona

Oh yeah, here is a cool video about the amazing Sean here! I almost forgot about this one. It actually brings a tear to my eyes every time I watch it. Having lit many of the events in this as well as photographing many of them, I again realize how special the the collaboration of artists is in the work we create. As I watch this again, I am also reminded of the fact that life is about who you choose to surround yourself with. Choose wisely 🙂


The Video

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