Over 20 on cast and crew. $100,000 worth of gear owned, rented, borrowed and stolen. All of this for a pre-wedding shoot. To be honest this was something I wanted to do. I was just fortunate that I found a couple that wanted to be involved in the vision.
The couple Jags and Kiran were shy, quiet and reserved. I know what you are thinking! “How does a shy couple end-up being featured in my largest shoot to date?” When the couple told me that they didn’t want to do a couple shoot that had them do the usual lovey, intimate shots where all the focus was on the two of them, I kinda understood where they were coming from. What they wanted was an experience. That’s why they chose me. Every client chooses a supplier for their various reasons. They include, but are not limited too, location, price, quality, consistency, creativity, personality, exclusivity etc etc etc. For them, it was creativity and a once in a lifetime experience.
I have been desperate to create a period drama photoshoot. My wife and I have always been fans of period dramas. I am a pillow hugger. So I set out to create something for me. Another aim of mine has been to shift part of my business to more commercial photography and video. The scale of what I wanted to produce would be a useful exercise as a producer. Essentially, this was the next step in scale and problem solving.
The concept wasn’t really anything to do with getting married. Time travel has been a subject that film directors always enjoy documenting, from “Back to the future” to “Doctor Who”. There is also a deeper concept that I won’t go into on this post.
I broke the idea to Jags and Kiran and they loved it. They liked the idea of just being two people in a larger group. Everyone would go through hair and makeup. Everyone would be directed. They would almost be lost in the crowd but have a once in a lifetime experience and a unique result.
I chose to work with my Medium format Phaseone IQ160. I wanted the options that the camera gives me, a high mega pixel count for very large prints, a medium format look, and high sync speeds. Then when the files were printed, they would look breathtaking. I love the medium format look. The second part of the shoot, I decided to use my 1DC for high frames per second in combination with the Profoto B4 pack. The speed of that thing makes me smile. Ultimately, the 1DC is currently my favourite camera as a user. Although naturally I love the output of the Phaseone images, the 1DC shoots photo and video like me. Essentially, we are talking about tools. You use different tools for different jobs.
Lighting was created with a mix of various Profoto packs and modifiers. We ran a petrol generator to power packs like the D4 and hair dryers lol. The B4 was also used for its power output and flexibility. Modifiers included the Profoto Magnum reflector, the Giant reflector a and the 3ft octabox. Also, the Avenger stands from Manfrotto came in very useful.
How did the experience feel? For me it’s about the couples experience but also mine. I am upfront with my couples. I shoot and create partly selfishly. I want to create something I feel is great for ME. A performer performs yes, because he enjoys pleasing the crowd, but ultimately because they love performing. Similarly, I shoot to earn a living, to keep my clients happy, to share with the wider creative community but ultimately I shoot for me. If I was only about pleasing clients, every shoot would be in my local park, because my clients were happy with that. I wasn’t. I need more from myself. This shoot felt great!