Jessica is a person that I’ve known for a long time. I believe we go back as far as 2nd grade. After graduating high school, we lost touch. A few years ago, when she knew that I had begun photographing weddings, she told me “when I get married, I’m gonna hire you.” Sure enough, when she became engaged to a great guy, Omar… she reached out and booked me for her wedding.
The excitement that she brought and the trust that she instilled was outstanding. Needless to say, it was a fantastic day with a great bunch of energetic people.
Nick reached out to me and asked if I would photograph him as he did a cut and style. Now, I’ve worked with hair stylists before and I would snap the occasional behind the scenes photo to document the photo shoot that we were doing. Plus, it’s cool to see what went on before the final image was created. In this case, the BTS photos are the final photos, so I wasn’t sure what the expect when shooting, or when I was done. I approached it like any other shoot though, planning, setup and execution.
I knew I wanted high contrast and that eventually I would process the images as black and white. So, I did what I almost never do; I previewed the images as black and white vs color on the back of my camera. This was super helpful because I knew what my end goal was and shooting this way allowed me to get a great idea of where my tones were without having to transform into a dog. Many times when I’m shooting, I can visualize what a color image will look like as a black and white because of the tones and contrast in an image. This tiny change made a huge difference.
I almost never shoot just black and white images, especially in studio with a full lighting setup – in this case, I used 2 – 72″ shoot through umbrellas as rim lights and a 22″ beauty dish as my key. I’ve got to say, I really like how they turned out and think it works well for the subject matter. We played with a few different scenes and some variations of the light, but overall I early dig how it turned out.
As serious as these photos appear, behind the scenes, these guys are just fun to hang around with. At one point, I recall the guys breaking out into a hoedown sing-along. Something they do to pass the time when touring on the road. With ages ranging from 15 to 23, I couldn’t help but feel like the “old guy” in the room. In my mind I was just playing the wisdom card, as to not focus on my lower back pain at the time. Haha.
When I first heard their sound, I told myself that 16 year old me would like these guys… as it turns out 32 year old me likes them too.
This first image worked really well as a black and white, back-lit, dramatic photo and I liked it. I also thought it might look cool with some texture, so I decided to go through some of my archives of photos and add in a background…
This is the same image as the one above, but I just added in some gritty abandoned warehouse (super original I know, but it works) to the background. The effects I wanted with the back light is still there, now with some texture. Man I love photoshop.
Jen and Alex have an energy that surrounds them and puts them in their own world. The best way I can describe it is… well, I can’t describe it but I think I can capture it. Congratulations to Jen and Alex. I’m looking forward to shooting their wedding in 2014.
I had fun joking with Katie and Mike about the setting of our shoot. We (or should I say I) went on about how “we were breaking new ground” by shooting in a location that had a lot of grit and texture. We even went ahead and shot on some train tracks. As cliche as it is, it works. It does add nice texture to an image and makes for some compelling shots. I think Mike and Katie did a great job with this shoot. Congrats to them and I wish them nothing but happiness in the future.