This five-year relationship between BOTE and Sean Murphy all started with one image. An image of an attractive blond girl standing on top of a blacked-out postal truck, pouring gasoline down onto the head of the driver. A picture is worth a thousand words – but this one spoke millions.
I had just started as the Creative Brand Director for BOTE, at the time a relatively new stand up paddle board company, and was looking through the creative assets they had to get me started. I was getting ready to put a catalog together and came across this image. I said to Corey Cooper, the owner of BOTE, “I don’t know who took this shot, but he gets it, and he needs to be our photographer!” That photographer was Sean Murphy.
I’ve worked with some very skilled photographers over the course of my career, but Sean takes his craft, and whatever he’s shooting, to another level. Photography isn’t a job for him, it’s his everything. The intensity with which he approaches photography is manic. We collaborated on that first catalog shoot and realized right away we had a special thing happening. The creativity and ideas were endless. Only after that shoot did I started looking into his past work. I had no idea how extensive and diverse this guy’s career was. It then made perfect sense to me why he was so perfect for the BOTE brand.
His rock & roll portfolio is staggering. Sean has shot some of the biggest bands on the planet and has created some of their most iconic images and album covers. This experience is what gives Sean the edge that’s perfect for us and is just one of the many facets of his work that have helped BOTE define our image and vibe.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s his Nature and surf experience. Sean is happiest in the water which makes the relationship we (BOTE) have with him a perfect match. He shot surfing for decades, from South America to Fiji, and will do anything to get THE shot. I have watched him dive into shark-filled water, grab an alligator by the tail and plenty of other crazy shit that no one else is willing to do. But he knows that's exactly what you have to do in order to transform a good shot into a spectacular image.
Having a photographer who is multifaceted in the subjects they shoot is amazing, but if they don’t understand the end use, even a great image can go unused. Sean has achieved this in rock star fashion as well by creating images for many iconic brands. His extensive experience with global ad agencies expanded his understanding of what exactly what designers and Creative Directors need to create that next ad or piece of marketing collateral.
We at BOTE understand what Sean Murphy brings to the table. Yes, he brings ridiculously creative ideas and a barrage of insane imagery, but he also brings with him an infectious energy and a laugh that can only come from the kind of crazy that we here at Bote celebrate. The past four years has been a roller coaster of bad-assery, and I like to think that as a creative team, we have developed one of the strongest, most recognizable brands in the industry. Sean Murphy is a huge part of that team. Here is to many years, road trips and radness to come.