A couple of weeks ago we did yet another personal shoot. This one was a lot of fun and we got three completely different portfolio shots out of it. This test had been in the planning since early December, but we had to keep pushing it back because either crew was not available or I was not able to find the talent I wanted. The shot I’ll share first was the first shot of the day and the most difficult to cast. It is a conceptual portrait. I had a very clear mental picture of the type of person I wanted for the shot, but after putting my feelers out for almost two weeks I could not find the face I was looking for. So I pushed the shoot back yet another week in order to give myself some time to continue looking for the right face.
Finally I succumbed to the fact that I needed to impose upon my extended resources to get what I was looking for. So I called Gayle Means, a casting director here in Los Angeles. Gayle does a lot of casting for print photographers and within an hour she had a bunch of faces for me to look at.
As I scrolled through them there were indeed several faces that were more along the lines of what I had been looking for but still not the exact one. All of sudden, towards the end of the pack I saw a face… It was not the face I was looking for, but this face… I had to shoot it! While it was not the exact face I had envisioned for the shot, no one else knew this and my vision could simply be shifted a bit in order for it to work.
I called the talent’s agent and explained the project and what we were able to pay, and and they got back to me within and hour saying that the talent was “up for it”! Finally the shoot was on!
The day of the shoot was a rainy Friday and our talent was taking public transit to the studio. We were getting a bit nervous as the time approached 9:30… he was supposed to arrive at 9:00! Well right around 9:30 he showed up .. mortified, as he had NEVER been late for a job in his life. But a tree had fallen across the route of his metro train and he had to be bussed around the blocked section.
We all took a sigh of relief and got him into Makeup and Wardrobe. When he came out and got in front of the lens, it was perfect! He brought all of his energies and talents to the shot and we got a great range of shots from him. It is proven time and time again, that getting the right talent can make the difference between “getting the shot” and “getting a great shot”!
So as always… Credit where credit is due…
Talent: Neal Jano – Mademoiselle Talent Agency
Props & Sets: Oliver Martin
Wardrobe: Stacy Quackenbush – Ennis
Hair & Makeup: Stephanie Daniel
Digital Tech: Dylan Borgman / Pixel Guru
1st Assistant: Jacob Rushing
Digital Imaging / Retouching: Lisa Carney