Assignment - Infant Hyperthermia

I got an email from one of my frequent editorial clients, JEMS magazine. If you follow my blog, you'll remember them from my assignment with Pima County Sheriff deputies (found HERE). They initially wrote me the Wednesday night before Memorial Day, saying they had a photo need for an upcoming issue. The article would be about infant hyperthermia, photos for the opening spread and article insets...

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I responded to the email right about the time that their editorial offices would be closing, so I knew I'd hear back from them the following day, on Thursday. In my reply I asked about some photo specifics, about deadline, the usual things. Around mid-day on Thursday I hear from the assistant editor... the artwork deadline for that issue was TODAY, so they'll be needing these images pretty soon. I asked how much time they could give me, and since it was a holiday weekend, they said I could have until Tuesday to submit the final images. GO! (starting pistol sounds in the background)
Because one of my specialties within commercial / editorial photography is public safety and emergency response photography, I have a great relationship with many local, state, and private fire, police, and EMS agencies. I needed to work and plan quickly, so I emailed my friend at Rural-Metro Fire Department, the Central AZ Public Information Officer, Colin Williams. I told Colin what was going on, I was on a short deadline, I needed to put together a shoot about infant hyperthermia, and specifically, parent's leaving their children alone in a hot car. I'd need to shoot in a parking lot with a desert background, to give context to the heat, I needed a fire crew to treat my patient, and I needed everything pretty quickly. No big deal, right?
Colin made a call to a crew on duty in Fountain Hills, AZ. Fountain Hills would give the perfect backdrop for the story, and the crew would be on duty again Saturday morning. We were set. Now... I needed an infant to be locked in a car and treated by firefighters. It was now Thursday night, I had one day to secure a vehicle and a baby. You can always count on family. My sister has two young sons, the youngest being about 22 months, and absolutely fearless. Perfect for being surrounded by a group of strangers and having ice packs, stethoscopes, IV tubes, blood-pressure cuffs, and more attached to him. That was it, a full editorial shoot was now mostly arranged, and all within a few hours.
Friday, I needed to decide upon an exact location. It needed to be a parking lot, I needed to see desert in the background, and it needed to be pretty close to Fountain Hills Fire Station 822 in order to ask the crew to meet me there. I turned to my trusty location scouting software, AKA Google Earth, and within about an hour I settled upon the perfect spot. I was ready to go.
It's Saturday morning, time to shoot. I called Station 822 and spoke with Captain Deasy at about 8am, asking if they would meet me at the east side of the selected parking lot at 9am, and now everything was good to go. I arrived early to get lights set up and tested. Once Engine 822 arrived I did a quick summary of the shooting sequence with the crew, placed my nephew in the car seat, and began the shoot.
Everything came together perfectly, my nephew went along with everything like it was a normal day, the Rural Metro crew was perfect, and we nailed the shots I needed for JEMS. I honestly could not have pulled this one off at all, much less so smoothly, without the help of my friends and my family. Thank you Colin, and thank you Rural-Metro Fire for everything.

Here are the final layouts for the July issue of JEMS, I hope you enjoy the final shots:

July 2013 cover of JEMS magazine
The spread and article insets are a little pixilated, they are just low-res files

If you're interested in the technical side of the shoot, I placed a Yongnuo YN560II inside the SUV to handle the very dark tinting on the windows, and a Norman 400b outside the SUV for fill. The treatment area was lit with two Norman 400b's, and everything was triggered by Pocketwizard Plus X's.


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