Shooting both photo and cinema requires me to always have quite a few pieces of gear on hand and the room to cram in more on the fly. In a matter of days I had a maternity shoot, a family shoot and a project for Rutgers Newark. The variety of gear that I need to carry with me needs to be in one place so I can set up quickly and have my inventory available to me at all times.
What I like about the bag is it fits everything I need for a shoot including two Canon 6Ds, all three of my lenses, two flashes, transceivers, memory cards, gaffer tape, BeFree tripod and extra batteries. The pack feels sturdy on my back and the straps distribute the weight evenly. No painful digging into my shoulders. I remember when I first started out and thought bags were nonsense. But a great bag is crucial to staying organized and saving your back from unwanted stress.
The Simko Family joined me at Duke Island Park (Hillsborough, New Jersey) for a family session focusing on their children. It was a very cold day, so it was crucial to work quickly and nail their personalities before the cold took its toll on cheeks and noses. I usually keep my setup light and easy to carry for outdoor sessions like this. One bag and a lightstand for a bit of off camera flash when needed.
Rima’s maternity shoot (Lawrenceville, New Jersey) was done in the comfort of her home. The living room had plenty of natural light, but I wanted to warm up the inside a bit, so I setup an umbrella and flash with a light orange gel. Just enough to kiss the room with a slight warmth. I don’t normally like blowing out backgrounds, but I liked having the room hug her in glowing light. This is a very happy time, but it’s also important to convey that feeling by making the person feel totally comfortable. I practice the advice I’ve learned when it comes to more intimate portrait settings. Talk to the person and make them feel like it’s no big deal to be in front of a camera. Everything kind of writes itself once you’ve established that.
Rutgers University has hired me recently to document events hosted at the school campuses. This particular event (Newark, New Jersey) dealt more with video and put my Tri Backpack to the test. There’s quite a bit more involved with video compared to photo. Lavalier microphone, external audio recorder, LED light, extra batteries, headphones, etc. All of these items are a standard and I’m ecstatic that I can fit this array of equipment into a single bag.
Of course when a friend is just minutes from boarding a bus (New York, New York) to the airport it’s a perfect time to do a headshot. Because I’m a swell guy! Sara teaches at the University of South Dakota and needed a new headshot for her school page. No problem, Sara, and safe travels.
Then I headed to Times Square for some long exposure shots of the tourists. I could have sat there all day watching people enjoying their time in New York City.
Hoboken train station is a great place to take maternity photos. It’s old and has a lot of character. The ferry slips have a gritty industrial flavor that worked beautifully with the bright green sari. Mindi and Sher deserved something super cool so we used that space to our advantage.
The adjacent park gives a wonderful panorama of the New York skyline as well as the Hoboken terminal. Mindi is due at any moment so I was careful not to have her trek all over the place without asking first. Personally I love having the couple share in the experience of the session. I’ve had great results with this approach.
Thanks to Mindi and Sher for being great subjects to photograph and going along for the creative ride.
Note to future clients: The train station is crawling with transit police demanding $500 permits to take photos. I found that out toward the end of the shoot. Hoboken you are being very greedy!
New Jersey offered us the tried and true overcast day. Sigh. How do you make that work? Keep things simple and think in black and white. Keely slipped and slid all over the muddy ground to get to a few of the spots. In sandals no less.
Toward the end of the session I gave Kevin my other camera and asked him to act like a creep standing behind a tree. Since we’re all friends with bizarre senses of humor, this really isn’t as weird as it sounds and it made us laugh. When ‘Lil Loria is born, the weather will be bright and cheery. This session will be a reminder in the future that even the grey days lead to a colorful one.