Behind the Scenes – Pool Shoot

Behind the Scenes – Pool Shoot


So, what do you do when you aren’t liking your shot? You change your angle, lighting, exposure, or… you can jump in the pool. When planning this shoot, I had thought that I’d might need to get in the water, but for concern of dipping my camera in the water, and/or loosing my footing while working and my camera going under with me, I didn’t want to risk it. That and once I was in the water I would have to stay there and finish out the shoot so that I wouldn’t be trailing water all over the place and most likely all over my equipment. So I didn’t have any intention of getting wet, didn’t bring a suit, towel, or a change of clothes. Hey… I wasn’t getting in… right?

I gave it my darndest, trying to get the shots from dry land, it wasn’t working. It took all but about 5 frames before the shoes and shirt flew off. Checked the pockets for items, applied a kung fu grip to my camera, and jumped in. The water was super warm, like almost bath warm, which ironically made me worry more. The temperature difference between the air and water was so minimal that I couldn’t feel when my arms would start dipping in the water. Great… I’ll soon be dipping my camera in the water and the only way I’ll be able to tell is when my pictures begin to have a really weird waving look to them. Camera didn’t get wet, super happy about that one, it lives to click another day.

Had to overcome a couple hurdles for the shoot, like lack of power (all but one of the outlets in the area were dead), and had planned to used a fog machine to give some more attitude to the shoot, but the ventilation system they had going in there swept the fog out as soon as it came out of the machine. Oh well, ya gotta improvise, work with what you get tossed. That’s the blessing and curse of location photography, there will always be positive and negative surprises waiting for you every time, even if you think you’ve scouted out the joint prior to.

Thanks to my good friend, Andy, my most helpful production assistant, he’s always lending a hand, ideas, and taking shots like these during my shoots up in Bellingham. He took these pictures of the action.

Below is a shot from the finished shoot. And believe it or not, this guy wasn’t photochopped. Infact it’s just a blue color filter and a bump in contract. The lighting is key here, like most photography. The strobes throwing out so much power, I’m able to suck all of the ambient light out of the room, leaving just the strobe flash to be captured. It’s typically the first thing from a client’s mouth when I show them the first couple frames of the shoot… “wow it looks like it’s dark out!” Of course it being a well lit room or outside location, it is hard to image that lighting can perform such feats when you are not used to seeing it done. Was a fun time, got some great frames.