14 Sep Fall Without Fail
Meet Spencer, a senior in high school this year. He’d been on the books for about a month and our date was all set for the first weekend in September for an outdoor shoot (the type you can typically plan far in advance for in the summer). The day before an outdoor shoot I’ll use good ol’ weather.com for hourly reports for the coming 24 hours, the thing is pretty darn accurate. It wasn’t looking good, the chances of rain happened to peak the same hour we scheduled to shoot, awesome… A backup location was selected and we would reroute to it last minute if needed, and boy did we. Though we are not officially in the Fall season yet it certainly felt that way. Rain coming down in sheets, hardest I’d seen since the Spring. Wind blowing in gusts, so even if we got lucky and had a dry window, a good puff from the Gods would use my softboxes like sails and toss my lights to the ground, most likely shattering the bulbs. While shooting in an old garage the wind still found one of my lights and tried it’s darndest to trash it before I could get a sandbag on the base, but Spencer was heads-up enough to catch the thing to lessen the blow on the way to the ground (thanks, bud ;)).
Given we had to rework our location, we were shooting from the hip. I’d shot in this area before but didn’t have any exact concept in mind prior to arrival, I just knew that it would be dry and a fairly good wind buffer. Close to this old parking garage was a huge antique store. I’d previously talked to the owner and gotten the ok to shoot in the building any time I want (believe me, this will be a life saver in the winter months, out of the elements and heated)!
Spencer, with family in-tow, arrived and I showed him our last minute options. I had the outdoor shoot stuff mapped out, but this being spontaneous with the location switch, I asked Spence to peek around and let me know what catches his eye. I walked them through the 3-story antique store (it’s huge!), and came across a really well painted studio room that we all loved… location one… check. Lights up and shooting, 15 minutes later we are packed and moving on. Lemala came to assist on the shoot, her help made the job much quicker, easier, and more fun. Without her help the shoot would have taken at least another hour and I’m sure that cursed wind would have claimed a couple lights and sent them off to really really big light in the sky.
Spencer was a joy to work with, sense of humor, relaxed, worked well with the camera. He asked “how do you want me pose, what do you want me to do?” I replied with “just be you, look at the camera when I ask, besides that, stand how ya want and look where you want.” I don’t do the hand on the chin, head crooked just so slightly to the side crap. Every time I think of the cheesy senior picture poses I’m reminded of that scene from Napoleon Dynamite, the girl who took glamour photos of Uncle Rico. God knows that we didn’t do that for real, but Spencer did bust out a couple classics and I snapped them for goofs. Got him to jump off a wall for me for some interesting and fun still action captures.
Spencer’s GF (short for girlfriend for those who haven’t found the texting world yet), came along and we threw her in a couple of frames for some quick couples shots. The rain continued to come and go in sporadic buckets. Spence wanted to do some of those classic corny movie shots where the couple are kissing in the rain. Why not?! They can get sopping wet, I’ll stand under the cover of the garage with the light, we’ll get a nice shot. So, we used the nasty weather to our advantage and finished the shoot with that last frame.