A Photo Shoot Start to Finish

Hi-tech Photo Shoot by David McCammon Photography

A Photo Shoot Start to Finish.

A little fog, a very cool piece of technology and a client with something in mind.

Between the art director and myself we came up with some dynamic images. That’s what it’s all about in my mind. Ideas bounced back and forth before during and after the actual photography session. Begging the question; when does a session begin and finish?

The parameters were as follows. This was for a mailer to announce the evolution of a product. They wanted an element of mystery where the product would be recognizable to those who had used a previous version without revealing all the details. The blue laser is the latest and greatest and had to show up. You can see the session began even before they called me.

I hadn’t worked with a ‘smoke machine’ in several years. After researching what was available today, I got approval to purchase one. I had done an elementary test with the smoke machine and only discovered how it could project a cool coloured light towards the smoke when we started taking a few test shots on set.

The session took place at their facility as their unit would take too long to set up in my studio not to mention their tech guy was testing and tweaking it in preparation for production. He very graciously let us carefully work with this $40,000 unit for a couple of hours! We quickly reined in the lighting bringing it down to one light. At one point we eliminated the single back light completely (middle shot).

I began my professional photography career in analogue days. Most sessions were typically carefully orchestrated and limited to 1 or 2 rolls of 120 film giving us 10 to 20 exposures. I love digital, but I’m of the mind we tend to overshoot today versus working more carefully toward a desired outcome. This was a session where controlling the fog was unpredictable requiring a fair bit of experimentation. We took a lot of photos.

My AD friend was outstanding. He manned the fog machine. From our different perspectives, one of us would observe something a little different with the slightest shift in how the fog was broadcast around the set. We would then do a few shots trying to perfect what we had just observed.

Call it “painting with fog”!

I shoot directly to my laptop when I can. This created opportunities for us to experiment and adjust and made it simple for him to choose the images he wanted to work with before breaking the set down. In other words, we knew we had what we needed!

The next morning, while working on the images I made a few minor adjustments, played with the saturation of a couple of isolated colours all of which I felt brought the images to life. I emailed a couple of jpg samples to make certain what I felt made for a stronger image jived with his vision of the mailer he was creating. When I heard back he was jazzed about the new look I processed them all to match and loaded them to the cloud for him to access.

What a blast we had creating some very cool, quite mysterious images!

My personal fav? The one on the far right.