Today I want to bring you through a magazine cover shoot and some inside photographs for an article we shot on Monday, April 11th. We had about 30 minutes to shoot: the cover with logo, bar code, etc. in mind, one picture for the editors letter, a table of contents shot, and an opening shot for the story inside (full page or spread). I also shot two individual shots that were used to go with their BIO's in the story.
Things to keep in mind: it's for the May/June issue of Utah Valley Magazine, so they want it to look summery and the mountains were full of snow as you can see in one of the overviews. We wanted green grass, with a little piece of baseball markings showing and the stadium providing the atmosphere and the BYU team colors. The time for the shoot was set to 12:30 pm with sunshine, and due to baseball practice, we had to follow their time schedule.
I said it before and I'll say it again: I love to photograph in midday sun! Remember that NOON (or the sun at its highest peak) is almost never 12 pm. That day it was at 1:28 pm in Provo, Utah, USA where the shoot took place. The appointment to shoot this cover was at 12:30 pm, (as I said, not my choice) but that is when it's useful to know something about light. I was early, like I always like to be, so I could set up and be ready to shoot at the time of the appointment.
This table of contents picture was shot before the scheduled shooting time of 12:30 while we are testing light for the cover.
We started by doing the cover shot (see underneath) using a California Sunbounce Sun-Swatter on a solid Manfrotto 007bu tripod to diffuse the bright sun hitting them. The tripod is sand bagged and also features a "lazy leg" adjustment for leveling the stand on uneven terrain. I also picked a shaded area mostly as a background, the magazine wanted the shot to show some grass and stadium. In the overview underneath you can see the California Sunbounce Mini Zebra and how we bounce with a in on them. A very simple and very effective method for midday sun.
The two spreads underneath are also shot about 30 min from midday which is perfect down in the dugout. There is so much light bouncing in to the dugout since the sun is so close to it. In some of the shots we added a little soft/gold called Zebra in the CSB language. (Sun-Bounce to give the directional light a little more punch and add a little warmth on the subject so they would pop out even more from the blue background (which is a complimentary color to their skin and a color that creates distance).
Underneath you can see the full size file as shot. I composed this shot for a 2-page spread to start the story inside the magazine, the crease in the middle of the magazine is what I always have to keep in mind when I do that.
When I first had them sitting there, I also made sure to get some pictures of them individually. It was fun to see how much more comfortable they were sitting in the dugout than standing out on the field posing, they were in their right element. We could easily have used this for cover, but the magazine wanted some summer and the local stadium look. In the overview underneath, see how close the dugout is to being in the sun which gives it a nice tunnel effect of light with the roof making a perfect block overhead. I'm so in the zone when I shoot and I try to respect my clients time, so the overview is shot right after the we shots used. That was a wrap for the shoot, total time shooting with subjects on hand 30 min. I have a lot of respect of people's busy life and schedules and find it very important to be ready on time, and use no more time than necessary.
Vernon Sanders Law (born March 12, 1930 in Meridian, Idaho) is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher. He played 16 seasons (1950-1951and 1954-1967) for the Pittsburgh Pirates. World Series Champion with The Pirates in 1960. Law was a member of the National League All Star Team in 1960. He won the Cy Young Award, and led the National League in complete games that year.
Vance Aaron Law (born October 1, 1956 in Boise, Idaho) is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball. From 1980 through 1991, he played for thePittsburgh Pirates (1980–81), Chicago White Sox (1982–84), Montreal Expos (1985–87), Chicago Cubs (1988–89), and Oakland Athletics (1991). He was an All-Star (NL) in: 1988. He also played one season in Japan for the Chunichi Dragons in 1990. Law batted and threw right-handed. He is the son of Cy Young Award winner Vern Law. He is currently the head baseball coachat Brigham Young University
The biggest problem with most candids is that people don't look as good as they could in them, often bad light, background etc. Often it's well worth compromising to get a real moment. The alternative on a shoot where you can control things is choreographed candids, of course you are not going to interfere with something like a wedding ceremony.
Here is some samples with comments underneath each image.
This picture is taken right outside my studio in Norway, I loved the cobble stones. It was hard to get a true candid without getting buildings and power cords through their faces. I think it is very important to have peace around their faces when they look at each other. Also wanted to incorporate the beautiful antique Mercedes so I planned the shot to be right there, but then have them start walking a bit before where I want my shot.
A beautiful wedding in Santa Barbara, the brides home is right up from the beach so the location is meaningful to her. It was hard light so a good time for interacting. So yes, I asked him to do what he is doing, choreographed again, but have a candid feeling.
The family picture is taken on one of Salt Lake City's busiest streets with lots of people around. using my favorite lens Canon 70-200mm 2.8 L. Going in a bit low angel getting some old pillars from a store entry as a background, a bit busy but work fine when blurred. It is all choreographed telling her to play with the baby and him turning back towards her.
I think some of the most beautiful things I see in life are pregnant women. Christina got married to Trevor in September 2001 and we have been so fortunate to Photograph them and their additions ever since. We usually shoot 4 times a year, InStudio, at their beautiful home in Park City and at many different locations. It's been so great to be able to watch them over the years, great parents, great kids.
Today I want to show you just 3 of the images we have done. One from each of Christina's pregnancies. These 3 images were never shot thinking of them hanging in a group of 3 which they now do in their home. I think it is fun how we had Trevor the first time and then have added the kids as they come. I love modern photography but I try to make sure I always shoot some classic timeless pieces which was good in this case, hope you enjoy?
A while ago I had the honor of photographing one of the nations VERY best story tellers Mr. Donald Davis of Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. I was very excited since I am very much into expressions which is for sure a must in a great photograph of a person. It was very good to have watched Mr. Davis perform before the shoot.
My job was to portray him as a storyteller to hang in a storyteller center. My message with this blog is to suggest if you want a very grateful subject for expressions find a storyteller and get him going telling a good story. I posted first a collage we made for a fund raiser performance, then each individual image underneath here in order so you can better see his expressions.
Hope you enjoy the pictures and have a very nice weekend.
I will be teaching a class "How to Avoid the 10 Most Common Mistakes Photographers Make" on Saturday May 21st, from 1-5pm @ my InStudio Photographics in Orem, Utah It's number 1 in my new "NO SECRETS series" of half day classes. For so long I have wanted to do this class, simply because I am so frustrated seeing even well know and respected Photographers year after year doing this mistakes. It takes so little, like attending my 4 hour class to make many images go from good to excellent, small things often makes a huge difference. My most important thing in Photography is to make people look their very best with good light, angels, perspective etc so they can feel good about themselves and be a happy returning client.
To make it available to most people I have priced it as my lowest priced class EVER, $85 for 4 hours of education. learning from 36 years of success and failure. Please email: email@example.com if you want to sign up. This is a class I am just going to promote through FB, Twitter and this blogpost, so we have made no sign up on the web. Hope to see you there.
PS. NO actions or presets can replace lighting a subject well ~ Kenneth Linge