Friday, April 23, 2010

Lagging behind

I've been sick for, basically the month of April. So I haven't had much drive to update much here lately, but that's not to say I haven't been busy.

Over the past few weeks I've done two wildly different shoots. One, a portrait session for an local Hip-Hop artist in Boston, hoping to use the materials for future promotion. Two, being an event hosted by and for M.I.T. at the Prudential Center allowing teams of graduate students to present their competing ideas for a real estate project in downtown Boston.

First up for this post:,Terence, aka "Blaq Legend", a super nice guy who not only wanted my input on how to get the best shot, but had a great idea and vision of what he wanted as well. A fairly rare combination in subjects I've found.
Prior to the shoot, Terence scouted locations and we decided on a meeting spot at Boston Symphony Hall. We concentrated on several areas that focused on his past, places that he spent time in his youth living in the city.
It was a very mobile shoot, capturing everything from a local pizza joint, to the subway system and Boston Landmarks like the Prudential Center etc. Aside from some local *ahem* over-served individuals, it was very easily managed session as Terrence and his Cousin, who accompanied us, were very easy going.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Catching up

A few weekends ago I accepted a last minute gig to cover an engagement party that my wife's co-worker was having. Having little or no expectations in terms of what the client wanted, or what i was truly working with in this situation, I boldly thrust forward....into near panic.

Let me try to explain to you the difficulties of this shoot

1) The reception area where the happy couple greeted guests was a bottleneck.. It was dark where they were standing, I had almost no choice of angle, distance from subject. Solution: Photograph what *is* working at that moment, even if you didn't plan on it. In this case, kids being ridiculously cute worked better than horribly crowded and poorly framed shots of the couple in bad lighting. However, it wasn't soon after this small triumph when I realized...

2) Everything was reflective. Stainless steel doors, plexiglass display cases, even the wooden walls had a sheen to them, I constantly had to deal with shooting a flash, and having the environment flash back at me. Solution: Angles are your friend. If you're you're in a room where practically everything is acting like a mirror and you have no choice but to use flash, minimize the damage. Avoiding, as much as possible, being perpendicular from the wall while maintaining proper composure seemed to work best for me.

3) The lighting that was available was very yellowing. Combined with the hue of the walls, choice of clothing, and natural skin tones, people were looking a bit jaundiced. Of course when I say "a bit", I mean "oompa loompa". Solution: Go with the flow, because there's almost you can do short of on-the-fly white balancing etc, so I let LightRoom take care of this one after I was done.

4) No working space, and competing photographers. I was the only hired photographer there, but when people lined up and posed for me, enthusiastic family members would quickly fill any spot that was left empty around the seemingly shrinking room. I also had trouble navigating from one end of the room to the other once all the seats were filled. Solution: If your environment is hindering you, think of ways you can use it to your own advantage. In this case since i often couldn't move to get where I may have wanted, I was forced to take the time to see what was immediately around me that I could make the best of. This led to a bunch of the party's detail shots that may have otherwise not been captured (which my client ended up loving)