7.19.2016

Testing a lighting set up before an important shoot (they're all important!).




The business of photograph is mostly about getting good images delivered. Clients don't really give a crap why something "didn't work" they just need photographs they can use. The better the photographs the happier they are to pay on time and hire you again next time. Since guaranteed delivery is essential we try not to leave much to chance and usually will have an assistant step in for some test shots. That way we can fine tune a lot before the clients arrive on the set. 

The test shot above was supposed to be of my assistant. We were going to photograph former president, Bill Clinton, in conjunction with a Dell, Inc. event. The problem in this situation is that, at the last minute, the secret service refused to approve my assistant. They wouldn't give him security clearance to be in the room.  I would be making photographs of the former president, and a big collection of Dell executives and local dignitaries and, all of a sudden, I found myself flying solo. 

Well, that's why camera makers put self-timers on our cameras. Sure, it's a pain in the butt to shoot, then chimp, then shoot and chimp again while walking a circuit from the subject position to the back of the camera but it beats the hell out of noticing that something isn't working in the middle of a non-repeatable assignment. Especially one on an insanely tight time schedule. 

The tension of a last minute change in staff, along with the pressures of the moment probably go a long way toward explaining why I am not smiling my usual endearing smile in this particular image....


7 comments:

Nigel said...

I dunno - I rather like that self portrait.
You should do multiple copies labelled "Kirk smiling"; Kirk frowning"; "Kirk thinking deep thoughts" etc...
Works for all of the above.

Eric Rose said...

Was the SS profiling? Or was your assistant a pretty girl and Bill wanted to check her out himself ;) I'm just joking, I feel you pain though. I got manhandled by our RCMP while photographing our Queen in the 70's.

PittsburghDog said...

Kirk, for times when you are flying solo, do the iOS apps for Sony work as a remote trigger/shutter?
I'm not sure it provides the ability to change the settings that you would need, but if it does, I could see you standing there changing the settings in front of the camera with a phone or tablet, quickly, until the adjustments are complete vs. walking back and forth to the camera 1/2 dozen times.

Kirk Tuck said...

Hi Pittsburgh Dog, No smartphones allowed in private sessions with former or sitting presidents. Also, much as I love the Sony cameras I've never, ever been able to make Play Memories work with any of the cameras. Rather than waste time trying to get a rogue app to work it's easier just to use shoe leather.

Kirk Tuck said...

Eric, No profiling. A case of mistaken identity. The (middle-aged, white male) assistant had the same name as a convicted felon and it kept coming up in the records search. The secret service was under a time constraint so they elected for safety first. There are rules against violent felons being in close proximity to high value targets. Or maybe they were just trying to protect me...

Patrick Dodds said...

I like your glasses.

Paul said...

So how does open carry work in this situation - do second amendment rights get discarded when someone thinks they are more important than others? Or is it a case of no phones but AK47 equivalents are ok :)
I've never had much luck with the self timer option - maybe because I blink when the flash goes off