Covershoot: Doug Fulton - Fulton Homes

Back in July I had the pleasure of photographing Doug Fulton, owner of one of the oldest and largest home builders in Arizona, Fulton Homes.

The shoot was for the cover and feature of C-Level Magazine, photographed on location in a new Fulton Homes development currently under construction, 'The Reserve'. I arrived a little early to scout out some of the model homes with Fulton Homes PR director, Glenn. Glenn and I walked through a few different models, coming up with a shot list and schedule for wardrobe changes. On this particular shoot, there was no representative from the magazine available to be on-set, so the overall creative direction was left to me and my whims.

We began in the study of one of the new models once Doug arrived. Doug's father, Ira, the founder of Fulton Homes back in 1975, might or might not be part of a set with Doug, so I saved the spots most conducive for two subjects for the end, to see if Ira would make the shoot.

After I felt like I had dialed in my lighting and exhausted every angle of the study we moved to an enormous kitchen. While I set up for the kitchen set, Glenn and Doug discussed some business and some recent vacations. Their interaction was so familiar and comfortable that once I was ready to shoot, I just began clicking frames of them talking, candid shots of your subjects are often great for profile type pieces because it opens a little window into their real personality. I shot off-the-cuff like that for maybe 15 minutes to get some great laughter and personality shots and we moved into some regular portraits.

Just as I was ready to wrap the kitchen scene, Doug's father Ira came in. An incredibly pleasant man, it was a joy to meet him and photograph the pair together.

We moved to the living room and with just some simple portraits of father & son on the couch I let them know I had what I needed from that set. Allowing them to relax and talk while I broke down my lights also allowed me to sneak some more candid frames of them hanging out together as I packed everything up. A little tip, a relaxed and comfortable subject can make up for other shortfalls in a shoot, whether it's location issues or technical problems, building a rapport with your subject and having fun on set will take anybody's photos to the next level.

Ira said goodbye and headed home, Doug changed from his suit to a casual look, and we headed out into the neighborhood to shoot with some homes under construction.

After settling on a street that had homes in all different phases of construction, we did some hero shots with the homes in the background. Long lens, low angle type of shots will always make your subject appear powerful and heroic. I asked if somebody could get us a construction helmet to help the context, and those last few frames were easily my favorite. One of those was also chosen as the cover:

It was about 115 that afternoon, so needless to say we cranked out the images quickly and wrapped that last set as fast as we could. I had a lot of fun working with Doug and Ira Fulton, and Glenn as well. Everybody made the most out of a hot day without any complaints, and it was a great shoot.


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