Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Shot of the Year

Each year I pick my favorite shot and this is that shot for 2016. It is a great location with a wonderful model but the situation also contributed to my selection of this shot as my favorite for the year. In the seminar I attended, hosted by a wonderful instructor, Jared Platt, four photographers were randomly selected (out of the ten or so in the class) to have a chance to shoot for the cover of the magazine. Each was assigned a model and a couple of "photographer assistants" from the other photographers in the class. I was picked (to my horror) for a chance to shoot for the cover but I had a great model and a great team working with me. We only had about 15 minutes to pull this shot off as the sun was setting, giving us this wonderful light. Each team was on top of this bluff and I chose a direction with the sun coming in from the camera right, as you can see here.

On the bluff besides our class, were a bunch of tourists enjoying the view and we were also working around this random American Indian playing his flute. I got a flash of inspiration and asked if he would join our photo shoot. The Indian, who's name was Kelvin Mockingbird, turned out to be a grammy nominated musician in the traditional American Indian music genera. One of my fellow photographers had an app that allowed us to get a model release for him and I started to set up the shot. While I am trying to get this shot, my fellow photographers are offering suggestions and working poses with the model and while we are working together, we are all also working against the clock with any of us getting the possibility to get a cover shot, which would be pretty cool. As lead, I did set this pose, got Kelvin situated, balanced the light (with lots of help from the team) and took the shot. The art director was standing right over my shoulder and said "That's the 2 page spread" which I thought was very cool. As Jared was working with the other groups, we pulled this off on our own. Anyway, turns out the magazine failed even before our shots could really be used and they used other shots of mine, not this one, but the experience made up for it and besides, magazines screw up photographer's work all the time. Why should it be different here? So, the combination of the pressure to get the shot, the setting, the wonderful light, the beautiful model and the assistance of Kelvin in my background, I think made this shot work.