I got a tweet from the art director of Fire Chief Magazine last Friday, asking about my availability to shoot a last second cover. I said I could shoot it over the weekend, and that I just would needed the concept and I was gonna take care of it.
So I got a sample cover emailed to me, with just the concept of a firefighter in turnouts pulling his coat open to reveal a superhero logo. I caught the vision immediately, and I set up the shoot with Phoenix Fire for Sunday morning, keeping in mind editing time to meet the Monday morning deadline.
I had a blast shooting the concept, and knew exactly the look I wanted. I used a hard main light high above my head with two rim lights hitting the subject from about 45 degrees. In post, I bumped up contrast and clarity to about 100% and reduced saturation just a few notches. It was also important to me to use a sweaty, tired firefighter with a scruffy look to bring the whole image to a realistic and gritty feel.
Here is one of the outtakes from the shoot before getting cropped in for the cover: