Shooting on Location

Shooting on location can take a bit of prep work to ensure you have a relatively stress free shoot. This shoot for GLASSbook Magazine was a good example of how important it is to be prepared when you do a location shoot.

I’m not sure how it came about in conversation, but Breed’s CEO, Scott Cabaniss told me about Bethseda Fountain in Central Park. I looked up images online and it looked pretty cool. I did a quick stop-by while I was on another shoot in the park earlier in the week, and I knew then that it would be perfect for this shoot I had in mind for GLASSbook. Since I was sure we wouldn’t have a lot of lighting gear, I didn’t worry about securing a location permit. Rule of thumb, at least in LA and NYC, is that if you don’t put a light stand on the ground, you don’t need a permit. Permits are easy enough to get but the paper work and fees can be troublesome, depending on what part of the city you want to shoot. But the key to making sure this shoot went smoothly I brought on a fair amount of assistants. We had the stylist, Karin Elgai, bring about 3 racks of clothes. I had one assistant, Brandon Lewis, pick her up in Brooklyn in a van and bring her to Central Park, parking as close to the 72nd street entrance as possible. I had another assistant stand watch for people walking in and out of the shot and to also keep an eye on the clothing while we were busy shooting. And then I had my first assistant, Luis Vidal, standing right next to me while I was shooting, helping me change lenses and CF cards. And our very own CEO, Scott, came along to see the process of how I shoot. And good thing he was there because half-way through the shoot, we had Scott run over to Broadway to buy another pair of shoes for one of the looks! So that’s FOUR assistants essentially helping out! I might add that Scott did a fabulous job finding the perfect pair of shoes in under 20 minutes! He should moonlight as a stylist! Or maybe he just is really good at picking out women’s shoes. Hmmmm….maybe that’s a question we’ll answer further down the line in another post. Just kidding.

In all honesty, it wasn’t a difficult shoot. I used available light, I mean, who wouldn’t….the natural light there was incredible. I had Luis Vidal hold a reflector for some of the shots but other than that, I just let my Nikon capture the beauty of Tatiana Krasikova from Fusion Model work her magic in the beautiful clothing styled by Karin Elgai.

My team hailed from my very own agency, abtp. With the exception of Anthony Payne who did hair. Mari Shten was the make up artist on this shoot. The whole team worked beautifully together. We were in and out of the location in under 3 hours. With 3 racks of clothing and 8 wardrobe changes, that’s pretty fast! But teamwork prevails and I couldn’t have done it without all the extra hands!

The tech specs on this shoot are simple: I shot the entire shoot on my Nikon D800. I shot at ISO 200. I used my 24mm and 85mm lenses. I shot wide open so I could lose the detail on the backgrounds on some shots. Some of the backgrounds were blurred further in post.

The moral of this little tale is this: if you don’t have a huge budget and you want to shoot in a fairly populated and public space, bring on extra assistants, friends, family members, whoever wants to be a part of the process and enlist their help! It’ll save you a big headache before, during and after your shoot. Cheers! xoxo

Melissa Rodwell