Promo Shoot - Was I prepared?

in story •  last year


📸 A follow up to my ominous rant about being prepared!

Ahhh, Ireland. Land of Guinness, sheep, and weather. Lots of weather. Yesterday morning before a photo session, I wrote a post about preparing for a promo shoot, with the intentions of returning to gloat about how well everything went because of my impeccable planning. Today I'm (quite literally) licking my wounds and counting my blessings.

Turns out Canadian President Justin Trudeau was staying in the location where we had planned on shooting, Farmleigh in Phoenix Park, Dublin. Of course, we only found this out when we were suddenly surrounded by armed police, who I'm sure were curious why a grubby antifa looking dude with a huge bag, was blocking the convoy route, accompanied the cast of Alice In Wonderland.

No shooting there then. Just to clarify, I mean shooting in the photographic sense. I've no quarrel with Justin Trudeau, though I do think he might have spent July 4th doing something more productive than interrupting my photoshoot with his merry band of black cars. Some people think they're sooo important.

Plan B... To the forest!

This is where I wanted to shoot in the first place, but clients tend to have their own ideas sometimes. Of course, being Ireland, we had four seasons in one hour, so setting up our tea party was bizarre, as we battled blistering dappled sunlight and wind that would rip your skin off. Alice put in an epic performance. I've never seen anyone open their eyes against a raging tempest for so long without shedding a single tear. Impressive!


I don't like those gaps in the trees, but this was the most dense bit of cover we could find near our cars. I'll definitely touch them up, though the budget for this shoot didn't extend to extensive proofing and retouching. Basically, I'll be picking my favorites and giving them a once over, as agreed. That's something I failed to mention in my post about preparation. Managing expectations and agreeing a price is a good idea in advance of paid work.

Light 'em up!

I was reasonably happy with the lighting. I purposely underexposed the background and went for a really punchy feel. Above and slightly left I had my Godox TT685 mounted on a light stand with a "softlighter" type modifier for key light. To the right, my fill light. Another Godox TT685 but with my Rayflash as a modifier. Only for the wind, I would have used a larger modifier here. Unfortunately I only have one sandbag and that was working overtime to keep the key light from launching its own moon mission.


Some observations from zooming in: The Tamron 45mm is as sharp as a butchers pencil, and my fill light was a little hot. Ceis la vie. Not the end of the world, but something I should learn from. Theater people are a law unto their own. Crazy but very professional. No tantrums or slip-ups, these guys stayed in character for over an hour. Not even a single epileptic seizure from about 200 flashes in quick succession, while I forgot their actual real life names. "Rabbit, head down please... Mad Hatter, be more weird... Alice, you're nailing it."


They also wanted a shot out in the open, with the sky in the background. This presented me with a problem, as the sun was trying to outdo the wind in the pissing-everyone-off stakes, and it was winning. So I shot with the sun behind the talent, and lit them with the two Godox flashes in split fashion...


Murphys Law

Not my favorite shot from the day, but I gave the client what he wanted. Of course, just as I was setting up, the wind picked up and knocked over my key light, turning the flash off and dismounting the modifier. And that's when I learned a valuable lesson: Releasing a light stand grip, and letting the flash mount slide down onto your fingers is not very clever. You end up with a huge gash in your hand and so much blood all over your light modifiers, it would effect your white balance. Not the best look, not the best look at all.

Thankfully we had more shots than we needed at that point. That was as they say, a wrap. Better not high five them with blood dripping down my wrist. It was time to go home. Enough madness for one day.

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big up bro upvoted


Cheers dude!

Lovin your work.

Oh wow. I don't envy you for this shoot. Sucks about the injury, too.
The worst injury I've ever gotten from a photo session was about 13 years ago, was shooting a high school senior portrait session when a bee latched onto my big toe (was wearing sandals). I'm not allergic to bees or anything, but bee stings suck in general. Sucks more when you're trying to maintain a professional attitude throughout. lol


Oh man. I think the worst I ever saw was a girl turn blue from the cold during a group shoot on a harbor. She couldn't feel her arms. It took about an hour to get her warmed up. Scary for a while.

I think the shots turned out magnificent


You're too kind! Thanks. I need to do a little retouching but I'm happy enough.

Yeah, you've gotta watch out for those men in the back car convoy - they'll get you every time!

Very cool pictures!


Thank you. I appreciate the kind words!



Thanks for reading!

Love me some Alice in Wonderland themes :)

The second photo looks like their setting in front of greenscreen and random forest was added in heheh
But overall looking great as usual mate, was that an ad for something?
Btw I dropped your name in one of my posts :P muahah


Thanks dude. Yeah the strobist look can make your subjects look superimposed, but I was going for an over the top style. I'll check out that post now!


Hmm nothing in 10 hours. I guess you're still writing!


That's because its 11hrs old :p
It's in spices..

This post received a 1.6% upvote from @randowhale thanks to @condra! For more information, click here!


Love you Rando

Nice shoot guys! Here's how I shot promo in a hallway in Budapest:!/v/givesaminute/fyvw7zfr


Despite of everything you have great pictures :)


Thanks so much. It was a crazy funny day!

hey ,good stuff as always :)


Thanks dude!


Good to know that 🙂

Ahh She is So Cute @condra Followed you Nice StorY Upvoted visit me if u can plz thanks alot have a nice day

This post has received a 3.67 % upvote from @booster thanks to: @condra.

you look awesome in shoot

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