I recently completed an assignment for an advertising agency here in Phoenix. The Lavidge agency has been around quite a while and it was a lot of fun to shoot this industrial gig with them. The client was United Rentals – a major player in the tool rental niche. These guys have everything from wrenches to cranes.
Tim (the toolman) Taylor would have been in heaven here… heh heh heh.
Whenever I am on assignment, I try to get personal work done as well as completing the assignment to the satisfaction of the client (and myself). If we had a bit of down time or were getting another shot set up, I took advantage of that opportunity to make some shots of these guys… an elite group of guys who know the ends and outs of all kinds of equipment.
While there we shot lots of large tools and heavy equipment for the client. I got some portraits mixed in with the tools, and that’s what made it even more fun.
20-35 Canon L
24 – 105 Canon L
50 Canon f1.4
100 Canon Macro f2.8
135 Canon L f2.0
6 Profoto Compacts
Large Softlighter Umbrellas
54″ Octabox with Grid
And – Charles… thanks buddy.
Below are some of the portraits I shot while working on this gig.
This was the first assignment completed by the Project 52 PRO’s. Photographing strangers can be a very delicate and scary idea for a lot of people. The fear of rejection or having the subject be angry stops most from ever attempting photographing people they do not know.
I wanted to get a very uncomfortable assignment right up front. Let’s get over some fears and find our work in the best circumstances.
Knowing how difficult this assignment would be made it perfect for working through the tough issues to follow. To their credit, all the pros made it through the assignment just fine. No broken bones, no irate subjects and very few flying bullets.
All in all it was quite a success.
This is a random sampling of some of the best from the assignment:
I met Jan about five years ago when he flew to Phoenix to take one of my one day workshops. We met again in Seattle when I was doing the workshops nationally. I knew he had a strong work ethic, and a powerful desire to be a photographer, and encouraged him to make it happen on whatever level made sense to him.
Jan left his job in Seattle and became a full time photographer two and a half years ago. After working the Seattle market and finding some success there, he decided to make the biggest move he could… New York City.
Jan in Northern Arizona, just south of Springerville.
Klier wants to be a full time fashion photographer, and he is doing the work. Relocating his family to a little town north of the city, Jan has begun building his business. He is working closely with ASMP there as well as a fashion trade association. These groups give him contacts and a great inside view of how the business of fashion photography works.
Still in the beginning stages of his career, he is learning everything he can and has a lot to say about the business of photography and breaking in to a profession that is highly coveted. I think it is important to hear from the startups, the movers and entrepreneurs who see the challenges and find ways around them. This interview will give you quite a perspective on making the jump into professional photography, at least from one shooter who is actually DOING it… right now.
This past week Jan and I spent two days looking at his current work, past work and the shoots he has planned for the upcoming weeks and months. Building a strategy is more than simply making photographs, it is making the right kind of photographs for the market you are trying to reach.
To understand that, one has to work with a bit of magic as well as detailed strategy and occasional logistical nightmares. It also helps to have a mentor, or someone you trust to help you navigate the way, even though you may believe you have found it on your own. Outside perspective is so important.