The Queen City Project

Update: It should be noted that the two businesses (Bluestone Creative and Alias Imaging) behind The Queen City Project are based downtown. Three of the four businesses profiled so far (Shadeau Breads, Coffee Emporium, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra) are located in Over-the-Rhine and the fourth (Arnold’s Bar and Grill) is in downtown. Soapbox Cincinnati, which is also mentioned in this article, is based in Over-the-Rhine as well. -Seth

The Queen City Project is genius. It is a collaboration between Bluestone Creative and Alias Imaging that has “found a way to shine the light on local independent businesses sans the glossy packaging.” Connect with The Queen City Project on facebook here and on twitter @theQCP. Read more about it here; find out how it works here; and recommend a place here.

The Queen City Project is featured in a Soapbox Cincinnati article by Evan Wallis that begins like this:

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then thousands of pictures strung together in two-minute videos must be worth at least a million. Focus those two minutes of visual storytelling on local businesses and you have the mission, and the creative drive, behind the Queen City Project.

The two owners and photographers of Alias Imaging, along with a team from Bluestone Creative, decided to test an idea—to put their collective creativity behind a cool local business—and see where it would take them. With no real planning beyond that blue-sky thinking, The Queen City Project was set in motion.

Radio station 91.7 WVXU interviewed Evan Wallis of Soapbox Cincinnati and Adam Henry of Alias Imaging to discuss the Queen City Project here.

A couple excerpts from the 11-minute interview from 91.7 WVXU:

Mark Perzel, WVXU: Where was this brainchild hatched?

Adam Henry, partner at Alias Imaging: It was born of pure passion. It had nothing to do with anything commercial. Alias Imaging is a commercial advertising studio, and Bluestone is a full-service advertising agency – web, design, all sorts of creative things.

Adam Henry and John Carrico of Alias at their studio, photo by Scott Beseler for Soapbox

Later in the interview, Adam describes how Alias and Bluestone joined forces:

All this was born of just pure, genuine interest. We wanted to go and step into their world and just take a bunch of pictures. So, we told Adam Browning at Bluestone that we were doing this and they said, “Well, let’s see what we can do with these images. What are you going to do with them?” Well, we had no idea so we handed them all of our images. They came up with a really nice montage – a mosaic I guess – a grid of images. Like Evan does with Soapbox, we wanted to do with pictures.

He then explained how the photographs taken by Alias were used by Bluestone to create the QCP’s signature videos:

One of the guys there [at Bluestone], Walt Keys, has been playing a lot with time-lapse and some long video stuff made from stills. He said, “You know, these images flow really well,” and that’s always the way we shoot. We shoot from beginning of process to end of process and try to find that perfect image in the middle. Well, it’s not always the one perfect image. So he said, “What if you put these in a video presentation?” …so, he came up with this great treatment for it. We started calling it the “flurry flip.” It’s not time-lapse, it’s not video.

Walt Keys and Adam Browning of Bluestone Creative, photo by Scott Beseler for Soapbox

This was an unsurprising realization. In my opinion, The Queen City Project has a very Walt Keys feel. I say this because I’ve shared his work on the OTR blog in the past. Walt is an OTR resident, and he photographed and made great videos at the first City Flea and 2011’s Go OTR 5K run and Summer Celebration. Walt maintains a blog at and an online portfolio at But the QCP involves the labor and genius of many people, both at Bluestone and Alias. Here’s a Christmas video from the team:

Of course, the QCP could not exist without the unique businesses and organizations it features. So far, the QCP has showcased four local institutions. Visit the following links for a behind the scenes look at each shoot:

Connect with The Queen City Project on facebook here and on twitter @theQCP. Read more about it here; find out how it works here; and recommend a place here.

5 Responses to “The Queen City Project”
  1. john carrico says:

    Wow Seth, thanks for the post. Much appreciated from all of us at the QCP!!!!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] The Queen City Project featured the Moerlein Lager House in its latest installment. The following video and photos are from the QCP (this blog loves the QCP): […]

  2. […]  a video series about Cincinnati’s food scene and the people who make it interesting. Like the Queen City Project, Cincinnati Deconstructed showcases unique, local people and places that are taking the city to a […]

  3. […] Arnold’s Bar and Grill, the city’s oldest tavern, is the first business in Cincinnati to be included in Google Maps Business Photos. Business Photos shares 360° views inside businesses as part of Google Street View. Owner and head chef Ronda Androski announced the news on the My Life At Arnold’s blog today. The photographs were taken by Alias 360 Photos, a Business Photos Trusted Photographer. Alias 360 Photos is an offshoot of Alias Imaging which plays a crucial role in The Queen City Project. […]

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