When a client calls and asks me to do a portrait these days, usually the first thing that I ask them is “You have seen the kind of work I do right?”, because some people just assume that most photographers are alike… we just point the camera, snap the photo and make you pretty.

Now, I can do that… and still do occasionally, but more of the work that I do these days… and the work that I would like to be known for tends to be a bit more on the dramatic side. They tend to be carefully lit and sometimes processed to more resemble a work of art than your average portrait. I feel my portfolio reflects this. I don’t display the more standard photography because I want people to hire me for the work that I’m more passionate doing.

So last week I got a call from a Mother of a High School senior who is the Section Leader from the Wetumpka, Alabama band. When I asked her whether she knew what I did or not, she said that she did and that she was most definitely not looking for the Olen Mills shot. She said that she wanted something that she could blow up and hang on her wall, something that would make her son proud of the uniform that he’d worn for the past 4 years.

My immediate thought was that we had to get this guy on the field. This was before I realized that… d’uh… it’s winter, High School football is over, the fields are dead and the lines are all gone. What was I going to do? I really felt that we needed the field as an element in these shots.

The day before the shoot I was scrambling to figure out something. My last resort would be that I’d shoot against a green screen and then find some stock or something that I could composite in afterwards. Suddenly I realized that the Prattville High football team had a beautiful artificial turf field and it was only a short drive from Montgomery. As luck would have it the Mother had a contact that got us access to the field.

The next day we pulled up to the stadium and began to unpack all of our gear. I had 3 AB800′s and was ready to light this thing up right. Unfortunately the power that looked so readily available could only be accessed when the stadium lights were on… and they weren’t coming on without permission from the City Council.

Luckily the day was overcast and we weren’t having to compete with broad daylight. So we pulled out the speedflahes and went to work. The following photos were lit with a Vivitar 285hv through an umbrella as the key and a bare Canon 430 ex as a backlight. Before the afternoon was over we lost the Vivitar to a gust of wind which picked up the umbrella, flash and C-stand and sent it crashing to the ground.

I turned the lights on in post and darkened the sky to appear to be twilight.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the photos, the model’s name is Corey Bacon and I think he looks like a rock star in these photos… don’t you agree?

I liked seeing Corey’s snare drum as the “0″ in the 50

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One Comments

  1. Dave
    on January 22nd, 2010

    Nice shot, I hope she payed you well!
    On the football fields: A lot of them are artificial turf these days. It’s really less expensive in the long run as the maintenance is much less than keeping up a grass field. You probably could have shot either at Cramton Bowl or on our practice field.
    Give me a call sometime, we should grab lunch or something. I need to learn some video tricks.

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