The 5 Minute Photoshoot

In January I photographed the first cover of Arizona Executive Magazine. The issue's theme is the 2015 Superbowl coming to Phoenix, with the cover subjects being the Arizona Superbowl Committee, and well known local businessmen and women. I went into this shoot knowing we'd be on a tight schedule and that I wouldn't have any input on the location. I'd just have to make it all work.

The location of the photoshoot was chosen in advance by the magazine publisher, the top-floor balcony of the Esplanade, in Phoenix.

My subjects for this cover shoot cleared 15 minutes for the actual photography, so I needed a cover shot and headshots of each individual all within that 15 minutes. That's tight, but not that unusual for high-profile subjects.

The balcony was very tight, only one usable background, and I needed to shoot pretty wide due to the close proximity between the camera and subjects. Not ideal, but no huge obstacles to overcome.

I set up a single main light, tested and dialed in my settings, and I waited.

The problem wasn't having 15 minutes, I've worked with 15 minutes plenty of times, the issue was that I had a hard deadline of 2:45pm. Their meeting was supposed to end at 2:30pm, which meant I'd be lucky to get a full 15 minutes.

2:35pm - nothing.

2:40pm - nothing.

Finally, at 2:41pm exactly, with 4 minutes of their time available to me, my subjects emerged onto my balcony studio.

I shot off 10 quick frames of the cover shot, then spent about 3 minutes rotating my subjects through headshots. Only enough time for 2 frames each.

Less than 5 minutes after I began shooting, I was alone on the balcony to pack up my gear and head home.



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