Scheduling is hell. Going into this concept I wanted to go big or go home. All outlandish locations, crazy outfits and over the top makeup. When you’re dealing with a large team of people and trying to work out shoot dates, locations props, all while working outside of normal dayjobs, it can be stressful. So stressful I was about to make some drastic changes and cut the concept in half.
Two days before the first shoot, I came to the realization of something. Why do I do this? I do this to have fun and have a creative outlet. I do produce creative concepts to help my business, but more to have fun with friends and work with a great array of people, who like me also do this as a creative outlet. It was like a cloud disappeared over my head and I had a new outlook on photography. I haven’t looked back; I was ready for GAGA to begin.
I knew the location for “Heavy Metal Lover” had to be interesting and scouting for locations was going to be an important part of the entire series. I started small and worked my way up. Emails turned into phone calls and phone calls turned into meetings, meetings turned into booked dates. Luckily this is my second concept, so I used a few friends/contacts from “Bond Girl - A Portrait Series” to lead me in the right direction. For “Heavy Metal Lover”, I wanted a badass motorcycle juxtaposed to a rundown junkyard.
First thing was first, the bike. I called a favor from Jason Fessel of whom is the leader of the New Albany Riders Club, which I shot a calendar for. Thankfully he was more then happy to offer up his 2010 Honda Fury VT1300. I then called a friend in the automobile world; Glen Kern. He directed me to Tommy @ Gilbert and Mitchell Auto Salvage.
I chose Kelly Campbell for this song because it was unlike anything she had ever done. I knew she had the right attitude and look for the image, plus she is super cool! I suppose I like to feel overly prepared before going into a shoot, especially one that has a lot on the line. I felt under-prepared because the look of the models were out of my hands, but I wanted it that way. I’ve had to trust my models and creative director; Micah Severo Ruelas 100% and it’s something that I really have never done before.
10AM came early and both Micah and Kelly we’re on their way over to my house to begin the look preparations. I really didn’t know what to expect, especially with Micah asking me to straighten out a few wire hangers!
An hour in I was already blown away with the look and the confidence started swinging in. Okay, everyone is bringing it, so I better bring my A-game and pull out all the stops. By 1:15PM, Kelly was ready to rock and we all jumped in my car and hauled off to the junkyard.
Arriving at Gilbert and Mitchell Auto Salvage, I had my shot ideas in place and knew where I would be shooting, just didn’t know how quite yet. We settled on a small shed with about 20 engine blocks all thrown in together in a dis-organized mess. TOO COOL. Jason backed in the bike and away we went.
Lighting took about 20 minutes to key in and Kelly took about the same to warm up to the camera. Shooting on a bike is awkward, so once the groove was found and lighting was in place, things started clicking. It was sort of like a dream from that point on, the results we were seeing on the iPad(which was tethered to my camera) we’re better then I think any of us expected. We ran around the several acre junkyard finding little cool spots and cars we could “play in”. Micah jumped in front of the lens on few playful shots and we had an absolute blast, just doing what we love.
My goal for this entire series was to think outside of the box and sell the expression and pose of the model. The environment and lighting has always been key element for me, but I wanted it to simply be a amazing backdrop rather than the focus. So by the end of this shoot, I was pretty much sticking with one light with one softbox and or natural light. I experimented with A LOT of lighting techniques and what I realized is a small touch of soft light really brings out that expression and look I’ve always wanted.
Less is more. Is it a phase? Perhaps, but it’s working for me.
We wrapped up the shoot around 5:00PM and were pretty much on high from the days work. We we’re covered in dirt and grease and dog tired. But, surprisingly I ended up having one of the most fun nights I’ve had in quite sometime, that is being Josh’s Exposure party which I spoke briefly about in the previous post.
What a great way to kick of GAGA. I truly believe this is some of the best modeling Kelly has ever done, some of the best shots I have ever captured and I can’t say enough about the stunning styling/makeup from Micah.
More to come, so much more, so be prepared. We won’t be getting anymore sane with the next…