Last summer we did several shoots at Joey Restaurants in Ottawa and Toronto. In this Behind The Scenes video we discuss how to step things up and achieve cool artistic shots.
Deep in the heart of Texas exists an enchanted place called The Wizard Academy. Tucked away in the hills south of Austin, it is a place of transformation, renewal, and most importantly, where one can re-connect with their true essence.
I was invited to the Academy to attend a Photographers Round Table Discussion. Led by Roy H. Williams we discussed some very interesting concepts about what goes into creating memorable images, paintings, and music. Here are some images that demonstrate the concepts. The first one is ANGLE:
The 2nd is FOCUS. Drawing the eye to where you want the viewer to look:
Next Roy explained about Frameline Magnetism. The idea of leaving something out allowing the viewer will fill in the rest with their imagination:
Portals are openings to another world. A portal can be a window, a door, stairs going up or down. It makes the viewer wonder what is beyond. Here is an example of a PORTAL:
Color vs B&W. Color represents reality. B&W is symbolic.
3rd Gravitational Pull. This is when there is something in a picture that doesn't really belong but somehow still makes sense visually:
Subject matter is of course important. How to make the subject matter as dynamic as possible. In the shot below it feels like the statue is running:
Next we explored color as a statement. Of course colors "pop" best at the sunrise or sunset:
Lighting as a statement. In this shot I darkened the clouds to the left of the Wizard Academy logo and lightened up the sky in the right side. Since there are dark and light moments in my life I felt this was an interesting exploration of that concept and perhaps coming to the Academy brought some light into my world.
Shape as a statement. The idea here is that the eye will follow the line from the left of frame and continue down the path to an interesting but unknown place.
The last concept is Shadow as a Statement. Let me know what you think of this shot:
I hope you enjoyed this post. As you can see The Wizard Academy is a special place and I have a lot of other shots to share with you in future posts.
I received a call recently from Caroline Grimont at Excel Fund Management to take some headshots. She also wanted group shots for the cover of an industry magazine.
I went to their offices to do a scout and met with Excel CEO Bhim Asdhir. The minute I met him I could see that he was easy going and has a great sense of humour.
Bhim explained working at Excel isn’t like Bay St, where a boss thinks nothing of asking people to work over the weekend on some “urgent” report that doesn’t get read for two weeks. “I want people to look forward to coming to work here,” he said.
I took a look around a thought we could do some cool shots in their lobby.
Michael Tenaglia, an amazing photographer and friend, came out to help me. He suggested a Vanity Fair look. We set up a couch in front of the company logo.
We put up 2 umbrellas with Speedlites in front of the couch and one behind to the left for the hair light. Pretty simple. Then we positioned everyone and I asked Bhim to lie down in front. He was totally into it and it helped everyone loosen up as you can see here.
I shot the 1st one in portrait so it would work for the magazine cover. This next one is in landscape for their website. Bhim asked someone to tussle his hair and it got a good reaction. I think we captured some good energy.
In the lobby there is a glass partition with the map of the world on it. The round dots indicate emerging markets. I really liked the idea of shooting through the glass and also having some of the map in frame.
It was a delicate balance of getting the lighting right and positioning Bhim so we could see the company logo in the background.
Bhim liked the next one below. We used 2 umbrellas in the back, a small softbox mounted on a speedlite on a stand to Bhim’s left and then Michael bounced some light from the right with a reflector.
Since we had the green wall we used it as a background to shoot the individual head shots. Green is the company color and convenient if they want to change the background. Again 2 umbrellas and a hair light kept it simple and efficient.
Next we did some group shots. First the ladies. This time we used the 2 umbrellas in front, a light dome placed on the reception desk behind them, and a Speedlite just out of frame on the right because the hallway was too dark.
And then the men. Same lighting set up.
Then we did a more formal portrait of Bhim in his office. It overlooks the airport so we thought it would be good to see out the window instead of blowing them out. The trick of course is to expose for outside and then add enough juice from the strobes to get the right light on the subject.
Should have photoshopped in a plane landing… Just kidding 🙂
I hope you like this post We sure had fun with everyone at Excel!
Feel free to comment above or re-post!
Recently I did a cool shoot for Stanford Downey Architects at Hard Candy, Madonna’s fitness club. Something I liked right away was the Wall Yoga room. I met with Lori Kirwan who demonstrated how Wall Yoga is done. Here she is below, hanging from the Wall like a ship’s figurehead.
This next shot is the entrance into the Wall Yoga room. The mural was created for the club by artist Mr.Brainwash
Working out under the stern eyes of a Pop Goddess.
This group of shots give us the scope and size of the club.