Ballet Arizona - Arizona Executive Magazine Debut

In November I photographed the first shoot of the very first issue of a new magazine being launched by a Publisher I have worked with often for several years now. Arizona Executive Magazine officially premiered this month, and this was one of the more interesting shoots I've done for this publisher.

Ballet Arizona Board Chairman, Ken Van Winkle.

The shoot was arranged with a ton of help from the Ballet Arizona staff and dancers. The idea was to show Ken posing with some dancers for a spread shot, and needed to include a few individual shots of Ken as well.

The group shot was easy because the dancers were extremely professional and just made that set go very smoothly. I wanted Ken to be the clear focus, but I didn't just want the dancers to disappear into the background. I decided on having Ken stand about 8ft closer to the camera than the line of dancers, with the dancers in various ballet poses to keep the photo dynamic. I couldn't be happier with that opening frame.

After the group shot with the dancers I wanted to do a few things with Ken's individual shots. I wanted something with some 'show' or 'theatre' type of context, and I wanted something branded with the Ballet Arizona logo.

The above shot I set up for the 'theatre' look. I used three lights total, a large main light up high and over my right shoulder, a rim light to camera right with a full CTO gel on it, balancing the dark blue gel on the opposite rim light. I wanted just a slight flare to show the lights, so it wasn't a blue outline from nowhere, but not enough flare to distract from Ken.

Then, below, we moved outside to incorporate the building signs into some backgrounds, it's such a visually interesting building anyway, there was no way I could go wrong there. Unfortunately, given the size of the letters, I had to choose between "ballet" and "arizona" without being able to have both. I liked the context of "ballet" more, and I went with it. Since it's a north-facing building, this whole scene was beautifully shaded at 9am in November, so this set was all natural light.

I had fun being able to go outside the box a little for a corporate-type shoot, and I'm incredibly grateful to the dancers and staff of Ballet Arizona for their cooperation and their patience. Also to Ken, for taking the time out of his morning to pose for us.

I hope it's not my last time shooting at the Ballet Arizona building in Phoenix.


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