Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hi! Is this Shane? This is Leah Seidl

Do you ever sit back and wonder what has happened to certain people from your past that you lost track of for one reason or another?  Last week I received this text from my old friend Leah Seidl.  I used to photograph Leah for her modeling portfolio and work with her as my hair and make up stylist on various projects.  About 8 years ago she left lil' ole Northeast Wisconsin to move to the California Coast to pursue her dream of working in the Fashion Industry.  Come to find out she did the make up for the Jean Paul Gaultier runway show in San Francisco last weekend.  I always knew she was destined for greatness.  I'm so proud of her!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A.G. in Chicago

Here are some images from my latest shoot for American Girl.  Although this isn't everything we shot, these images were created over the course of three days in Chicago: two days in studio and one day at a montessori just outside of the city.
I'm very proud of these images for a couple of reasons:  I've wanted to work with American Girl for many years, so to be chosen to shoot this job was an honor.   They are such an incredible company in many ways.  The other is just having the experience of being part of their world for the better part of a week.  You have no idea what all is involved in one of these shoots.  They really know how to do it right.  Even the dolls have their own stylist!

If I've said it once I've said it a million times -- it takes a village.  And this was no exception.  American Girl's incredible village consisted of some real talent: models, producers, hair stylists, make-up stylists, set stylists, set builders, doll stylist, prop stylist, art directors, motivator, lab tech, myself and my two assistants.  

After walking thru the store in the Water Tower Place so many times over the years, it was Wonka-esque to be on set, bring it to life and watch it come together so seamlessly.  I'll cherish this one for a long time.

Insight on Orion Energy Systems

The challenge with any publication photo shoot on location is figuring out --on the fly, mind you-- where, what, and how you are going to shoot the person or persons that are being featured.  And don't forget to include two more very important factors that add to the challenge: how much time the "subject(s)" has and how much they are willing to play.

The main objective in these shoots is getting images - images for the cover, the inside spread and secondary images.  This is not an easy task when a president or CEO has about an hour or less of their time to give. In a situation where there is no time to pre-scout a location or discuss concepts with your subject, there is always a bit of the "unknown" present.  You can concept all you want in your head beforehand, only to have all your brilliant ideas dashed upon arriving at the location.  You just never know what you're going to walk into.  You certainly hope you have a friendly and willing subject because this can make or break any shoot. You also hope you can find some subject matter that is visually pleasing, which adds to the story while making the photograph great.  Then - and we are still on the fly at this point - after a quick walk thru you create your list of cover, inside spread and secondary -- not that it won't change later.  After all, sometimes the best ideas do not end up being the best shots.  Oh, and did I happen to mention you haven't met your subject yet?  Last but not least is the set up and execution of the vision.  CLICK!

At times it can get kind of crazy, but this is what I thrive on.  And when it all comes together it feels like a walk in the park!