Saturday, January 12, 2013

"May the Force Be With You"

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            Back in July of last year I posted about my trip to Upstate New York to photograph for The Triple Cities Martial Arts Academy’s youth program. You can see that post here, “Karate on the Chenango.” Just so happens I did two other shoots that day, one in the morning and one in the evening. Though successful, they didn’t garnish as much attention as the Karate Kids. No surprise, it's hard to beat kids looking badass. While sifting through job folders from the past year I rediscovered the other sessions and decided to share them here. I'll start with the last shoot first.


          Sensei Rick needed a new headshot for his social media marketing campaign. What I like about photographing headshots for friends is that you can play around more than you could with say, a corporate C.E.O. or a busload of lawyers. I broke from my usual corporate headshot lighting formula which consists of a medium softbox, a reflector and a gridded backgound light. Instead I used an 18” Dynalite beauty dish for the main light, which was boomed over the camera.  For fill I used a Photoflex medium softbox directly behind me. Two small Chimera strip lights were placed on either side of the background paper and pointed back toward the subject for edge lights to separate him from the dark background.
            
            Rick and I have been friends a long time so I had no trouble getting him to look natural.  I was seeing this Morgan Freeman kind of look and just went with it.  When I was confident we had plenty of usable headshots, I asked him to put on the Anakin Skywalker pod helmet. His son Evan, was having a yard sale the next day to raise funds for a trip to Ecuador. The helmet was with other yard sale flotsam in the garage that was acting as my temporary studio.

           What I found interesting about this series was the juxtaposition of the silly helmet and goofy goggles with Rick’s dignified demeanor.

          After the shoot Rick and I agreed we would try to convince Evan not to sell the helmet. I don't know if he kept it or not, but a least I have this photo.