Security Guard Shoot

Hey All!

Last night was finally the "Guard" Shoot. There were some great and some bad things about last night's shoot. It's true that you grow the most as a photographer on the shoots that don't go exactly as planned!

Here is one of the images..... details and more images inside...

Well, let me review the shoot, beginning with what happened the way I planned:

-My security guard was chosen specifically because I knew he could deliver the expressions I was wanting him to have. The shoot was intended to just be fun, and depict a security guard who is terrified and has absolutely no idea what to do when trouble actually comes. Ryan did a fantastic job playing the part!

-The location was perfect. I wanted a van beside an open warehouse door with a nearby corner the guard would be hiding behind. The location worked out exactly the way I envisioned it.

-Overall, there were a handful of shots that I AM happy with, even if it's not completely what I was aiming for. To be honest, it was mostly Ryan nailing the perfect expressions that saved the images.

NOW..... what DIDN'T go as I had intended:

-THE INTERIOR SHOTS! LOL. So, HALF the shoot was an interior shot. 90% of the details were inside of that shot. I had certificates, food, coffee mugs, magazines, ID card, etc. all to really sell that shot. It was the one I was most excited about. Problem: Lighting. All I brought for lighting were studio lights, and just ONE speedlight I meant for a small fill light that I could easily hide somwhere. What happened is this....

One of the important parts of the shoot was to show context of the location, and I really wanted to include the security camera monitor in the frame. It wasn't in a good location, but I was willing to make it work. In order to expose the screen properly, and still be at a usable shutter speed for my subjects to be in it, my ISO was cranked to 800, with my shutter speed at 1/40, and maybe f/6.3.

Those numbers would be ok, until you remember the studio lights! I couldn't reduce the power enough to use the lights inside at those exposure settings, just too much power. I think on one of the lights, we had 12 diffuser socks, YES - 12, AND a piece of computer paper blocking it..... also, I couldn't eliminate the shadows by placing the lights properly just because of their size and weight. I definitely screwed up by not working speedlights into the interior set in lieu of the studio lights. That was the major problem with the inside shots.

So, lighting was the biggest issue inside, but outside, it was lighting again. #Fail

The lighting outside was challenging because of the layout of the set. I couldn't get the lights placed precisely due to trees, cars, just everything. With more time, yeah, we could have made it work, but with 10pm already approaching, I had to make some lighting compromises, again #Fail

The lighting is mediocre at best, and just extremely flat. The hardness of the light is fine, I wanted it to look ambient, but I wasn't able to get any kickers on my guard at all.

There you have it. I really dropped the ball in lighting this shoot, but I'll also never forget the speedlights when I need very low power interior flash! Check out the images, admire Ryan's expressions, check out the details of the interior shot, and criticize my lighting (especially the inside lighting).

A few more things in the works, I'll have some updates soon! I hope you learned a lesson the easy way, and not the hard way like I did! Lol..


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