Thursday, April 2, 2009

Preshoot thoughts...

Outdoor preshoots are a wonderful thing. As photographers we spend hours every year scouting new places and looking for an ideal spot, allowing our creativity to flourish. On this particular job, we were preshooting for an evening confirmation. The day for the preshoot was first class. Temperature was between 68-72 degres F., no wind whatsoever and an amazing overcast sky. Natures softbox came out to play. I was hoping for more of the same during the actual shoot but I knew better.

During the preshoot, I was looking for appropriate backgrounds. The Cathedral courtyard itself was going to be packed with hundreds of people. Brick walls, service alleys, the state capitol, composition curves and a few others were the assortment of options available. The wife knew I wanted something real creative and special for these kids. She had to reign me in. " Nobody wants a picture of their kid in a service alley" she said. It'd be cool, I thought before letting the next random thought pass though my creative process. Hmm, what about the neon of the Crest theater, that would be amazing and artistic, but it does not fit the event. Nope, she was right. These were first time clients that didn't know my work. Time once again to play it safe. I was going to be completing a simple portrait. I found the spot immediately. It was a tree on the south side of the cathedral.

Yes, this tree will do nicely, admiring the framing. Perfect spot too. Oh what is that orange thing in the background, it won't be in my shot but could be on the right angle. Oh boy, Sleeping bag? Well it was so tucked away that he was hard to see in the first place. Many transients that hang out or live in that area and appear harmless. This is based on my only experience a couple years back. One particular one liked to be photographed. So much in fact that he joined a few families in pictures, invited or not.

Time for Option 2. I started looking around for another location and noticed that a that a transit autority officer was heading back behind my tree. What was he looking for? Turns out that part of his job duties was to ensure the homeless don't establish a residence in the area. Wow, that was convinient. He said that the homeless shouldn't be sleeping there and he was planning on removing him. Great! got the spot I wanted and didn't need to say anything. The homeless have enough problems, I didn't want to add to them. Turns out, that he must have liked that spot because he was back the day of the shoot but didn't give anyone problems. Cool.

For this preshoot, I took along my favorite model, my son Andrew. He is good at taking directions when posing and is always willing to help out. This was another random concept during the creative process. Have the confirmant with a bible or rosary in hand with the cathedral in the background. The confirmant sitting beneath the amazing building would have been a beautiful shot. Unfortunately, there were a myriad of artistic, and technical issues related to this shot and concept was abandoned. During the shot the Metro rail came by and I asked him to step on the other side of the bench with the same pose. I liked the color scheme of the metro and thought I can pull an urban shot. Preshoot was taken with a 20D and Kit lens 28-135mm.

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