Arizona Coyotes President, Anthony LeBlanc
I know I often say that there are shoots you spend months preparing, researching, and scouting locations for, and then there are shoots that you have no notice at all and have to just 'wing'. Well, This one was most definitely the latter.
I got an email at about 5pm on a Wednesday evening that I was to photograph the co-owner and president of the Arizona Coyotes hockey team the following morning at 10am, with a 9am setup. I don't care who you are, that's short-notice, even still it would have been plenty of time to do some research and prep gear. Problem was, I was on a shoot at the time and I didn't actually read that email until almost 11pm. I answered as soon as I read it that I could do the shoot, but wasn't sure if had been confirmed since I didn't respond earlier and I didn't get a reply right away.
The following morning, at 7:30am, I get a phone call letting me know that the shoot is confirmed, and I was to arrive at the Coyotes arena at 9am to get started. It was going to take me 30 minutes to prep and load the equipment into my car and about an hour to get there, given the time of day, so I visualized an imaginary starting pistol firing and was off. I had never met Anthony, didn't know his personality, and had never been to Gila River Arena either, so making a shot list in my head while sitting in traffic was very vague.
I navigated the Super Bowl XLXI preparation traffic, as my shoot location was right beside the Super Bowl venue, only days away at the time, and met with the Arizona Coyote's VP of Communications right at 9am. I saw a beautiful outside spot on my way inside that I made a note of, hoping there'd be time to shoot there before we wrapped, and we then made our way down to the ice. The magazine told me I'd have 30 minutes, but I found out 30 minutes of shooting would actually be a stretch, it needed to be quicker than that....
I decided on three different looks, two on the ice, which I'd have prepped and ready when the clock started, then after 10 minutes make the move to the outside location I saw on my way in. If I left everything set up on the ice and shot with just natural light outside, I could have the shoot wrapped in less than 20 minutes.
Anthony arrived a couple of minutes before 10am and, after brief introductions, we dove right in. The first set was Anthony in front of a goal, I had two lights set for this, with my exposures set for the ambient light to catch much of the stadium background. I fired off about 15 quick frames and had him turn around, with the whole arena as the background I fired off another 20 or 25 frames and when I felt happy with a few of the looks I made the decision to move outside.
Once we got outside my original idea went out the window due to the light having changed too much since I had arrived, but I ended up finding this little corner that was even better. I loved the reflections and color variations, I thought it would be a great contrast to the types of shots we did on the ice.
When I took the last frame it was exactly 10:15am, and that was it. I had spent about 18 minutes with Anthony LeBlanc, and he was a great guy and great portrait subject.