Me and the AARP

Recently we did a job for AARP's magazine about ex-presidents.  I have always enjoyed working with AARP, nice people and fun concepts.  Below is a peek into our day.  There is no client in any of the photos as they were in DC.  We talked with them often via phone and email, which is just one of those things in today's world.  When I started out I did a lot of work with Bon Appetit in Los Angeles, and that was all art directed via Fax!  Email is much, much better.

One of the "finished" shots before retouching and cropping

Prop stylist Stephanie Hanes had two 4x8 wall flats wallpapered and delivered to Good Light studio where we did this particular shoot. I wanted a place that had daylight so I could mix it with strobe to get the look I had in my head.  Here Stephanie is taping cut-outs of the frames so we could figure it all out before hanging the photos...genius!

Then on to the framing and hanging.  A good part of the day was spent on this phase of the shoot.

Back of the set
General overview of the working set.  I shoot with a Phase One back onto a speedy new iMac.

Here you can see my camera and iPad.  Capture One software has a handy app for triggering and looking at captures.  It always reminds me of the days when we used to shoot 8x10 Polaroids.  I am dating myself a bit there but I am not able to join AARP quite yet!

An interesting angle shot by one of my assistants, Morgan Ione, a really good photographer in her own right.
She took most of these with my new Canon 5D Mark III.
I posted this shot to the FaceBook page last week and everyone asked about my camera... It is a Fuji GX680III, pictured with a compendium shading a 100mm lens and a prism finder.  It has an adaptor plate and an analog to digital box made by the Kapture Group, it allows the digital back to work with this camera.  Phase and all the other digital back makers all have their own cameras now, but this discontinued Fuji camera is perfect for still life as it has bellows, tilts and shifts.
Stephanie and I look at a capture from the vertical version we did after the first shot. 
We took single shots of a lot of other photos in frames that did not make the main shot, they will be used throughout the article as "turn pictures".  It is worth noting that all of the pictures of the presidents were licensed from agencies and printed by yours truly.  We printed approximately five versions of each shot so we could have options for framing on set. 

I used a Profoto beauty dish which has a white interior and silk cover for the single shots.

My six year old laptop has now been relegated to Spotify player at shoots.

A view out of the window at Good Light Studio.

My two assistants, Laura June Kirsch & Morgan Ione Yeager.  They are both accomplished photographers, click on their names to check out their work.