More From the Theater

February 25, 2009

So I didn’t get to shoot a lot during the workshop because I was kinda there to help the students.  (who got some really cool stuff by the way.)  Whenever I did get the chance to shoot it was with very quick setups and I spent most of my time working on interesting compositions rather than technically spectacular lighting.

Since this was also a portfolio building exercise for the models, I set up some regular ‘ol head shots too.

I got a little carried away with exploring compositions that create tension at the edges of the frame like the two below.  If you follow the “rules” of composition, the images below are crap, but if you don’t believe in “rules” then you either think it works as an image or not.

I love fashion shoots.  From throwing concepts around to the planning, to the day of the shoot, it’s all a lot of hard work, but in the end you get to see your work printed on glossy pages and it’s all worth it.

The work is especially fun when you get the opportunity to collaborate with a great editor and art director.  For this fashion spread we decided to do away with the typical theme-  models in clothing, on location just standing there.

This time we wanted something fun, bold, and maybe a little crazy for the maternity fashion.

So I said “how about a pinup theme?”  That got a great discussion flowing about all of the possibilities, all of the fun, campy things we could do, how the makeup would be, props we could get, not to mention all of the ways we would have to avoid offending our target audience of 100% women, most of whom are pregnant.

The photo shoot that resulted was a blast, and the graphic designer took the images and sent them over the edge with her great background treatments and graphics.  Next week we meet again to discuss the upcoming Bridal Fashion shoot.  The concept is set and it will be wildly different from anything we have attempted before.  Stay tuned, I’ll be able to share those in January.

For those who like the behind the scenes dish, one of the models really was seven months pregnant, the other was “virtually pregnant” for about five hours.  To make things more scandalous we did the whole shoot in a night club downtown.

We studied a lot of life magazines from the 40s and 50s for inspiration and were constantly amazed at how politically correct the world is now compared to then.  We ran across lots of cigarette ads claiming that “four out of five doctors agree that our smoke is less irritating to your throat and lungs than the other brand”  how effed up is that?

I used a total of four studio strobes to get the effect we were looking for, then I spent about 2 1/2 hours per photo cutting the models out of the background.  That part was tricky, and took so long because of the hair.  The edges of the hair have to look wispy which takes a lot of work, simply making the edges fuzzy just won’t do.

Seeing Results

December 3, 2007

When I shoot a commercial job I rarely if ever see the final results of the photo shoot. Whether it’s packaging or signs in a store or corporate sales literature, I’m not usually in places where I would see that stuff. Yesterday though, I finally got out to look for Christmas decorations and got to see the boxes of the items that I photographed back in March (see this blog entry). I snapped a shot with my phone and here it is on the blog.

I recently did a commercial job for a company called Eco Eternity.  It is a concept that has been around for quite a while in Europe and Korea and is just emerging in the US.  It is basically an alternative to the traditional burial plot in a cemetery.  The company leases parts of mature and pristine forests and you can designate a tree for your family.  When the time comes, your ashes will be interred in a biodegradable container near the base of your tree, and a marker placed on the tree. The trees are not only marked, but GPS locatable for future family visits.

They don’t just use any trees either, trees have to meet certain requirements to be offered based on size and species, and each forrest location has a professional forester to help with the process.  Each forest is designed to be more of a nature hike than a resting place, so that family can return for many years to enjoy the nature and reflect on loved ones.

This concept serves several purposes.  First it offers a middle ground between traditional burial and traditional cremation.  Second, it gives family members a place to return should they choose, third, it preserves mature forests from development or logging.  There are currently two forests in the US.  One in NC and one in VA with more expected next year.

The goal is to keep the space as natural as it was found, therefore floral arrangements are not allowed.  It is encouraged to plant wildflower seeds that are native to each area.