Generally, one wouldn’t view the picture below as a promising start.
But it actually is. The blackness of the room heralds control of the space. Wonderful. The peace and calm of utter lack of environment. One’s own photographic sensory deprivation tank. Turning a location into deep space, where, as has been famously noted, no one can hear you scream. Like the way I was, in my head. I recall my line of interior discourse going along the lines of, “Ok, it’s dark, whaddaya gonna do now?”
When you get to a desperate tipping point such as the above on assignment, it’s instructive to remember, “You said yes.” But that’s the point. It was a terrific opportunity to explore, and create. You always say yes, as it’s in the photographer’s nature to explore the boundaries, where success and potential failure are close neighbors.
I did have the keys to the kingdom with me. New technology! The Profoto Connect Pro, hot-shoed to the camera, making me feel somewhat Leonard Bernstein-esque, baton in hand, conducting a symphony of lights. (For a while, solving the problems, moving the lights, failing along the way, correcting, correcting, correcting….it was less like a majestic symphony and much more akin to a funeral dirge.)
But, eventually we got here.
In the above, there is out there on the floor, a peacock, clamped to a c-stand. We eventually decided there was no room for the feathers, attractive as they may be. That’s what we did for two days. Move the pieces. The entire set was a jigsaw puzzle, involving the talent, the furniture, and the lights. Placing one element often meant moving another. A process. A game of checkers, played against oneself.
The story, in brief, is told below, in a fun, BTS video.
Huge thank you to the amazing crew and talent!
Flawless production, styling, hair, makeup, as well as Andrew, Casey, and Hannah on the set. Lots of photo knowledge, pushing the equation forward.
Lynn DelMastro – Executive Producer, Andrew Tomasino – Crew Chief, Casey Mathewson – 1st Assistant, Hannah Mitchell – 2nd Assistant, Samantha Brown – Lead Wardrobe Stylist, Sophia Phillips – Wardrobe Assistant, Michelle Coursey – Lead Make-Up Artist, Jayme Jennings – Assistant Make-Up Artist, Olivia Boucher – Assistant Make-up Artist, Hide Suzuki – Lead Hair Stylist, Ubu Nagano – Assistant Hair Stylist.
And the video storytellers supreme….
Melanie Mclean Brooks – Director / Flying Giant Productions, Ryan Brooks – DP / Flying Giant Productions, Heather Ender – Producer / High Grove Productions, John Henri Cohn – B-Camera, Ruben Hernandez – Assistant Camera, Ray Suthinithet – Sound, Al Roberts – Gaffer.
And to the wondrous, expressive, larcenous talent!
June Nichols, our grande dame of the house and the party. Nik Pjeternikaj – the light-fingered diplomat, and his nefarious consort Laeticia De Valer. The lovely uninvited guest, doing her best imitation of elegant but tipsy – Marisa Roper. The devoted butler, Parker Smith – but is he really? The sumptuously beautiful Jarry Lee, fending off the relentlessly smarmy movie producer, Charles Sammann, he of the, “My movie’s gonna make you a star!” ilk.
Sincere thanks to the Profoto team for being a wonderful partner in creating this content. It was great to get into the field with a camera and work with all these creatives, expressing and showcasing their unique abilities. Check out the Profoto website for the full interview.
More tk! I will use upcoming blogs as a series to talk about the lights and problem-solving on location. The Connect Pro rocks. A great lighting system just got better.
Alvery Guiler says
Your lighting and storytelling never ceases to amaze
Great image Joe and great job, very hard work I guess. You even took into consideration the daylight coming in from the front doors, that’s something I wouldn’t even think about. I really enjoy this kind of videos when we get to see you work.
Such a complicated shoot made to look easy, Joe! I love the Profoto lights. Need to try the Connect pro.