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Joanne – Taking it slow

Joanne - Taking it slow

My good friend and fellow photographer Younes Bounhar recently acquired some new toys gear and we both had a free evening to put it to the test.


Except when I finally took out my camera from my tightly and carefully packed bag, I realized the only battery I was going to bring, was still in the charger at home prepping for a commercial portrait shoot this week. Oops.

Throwing me for a bit of a loop, I didn’t really know what to do anymore. Younes continued to work with our lovely model Joanne, and I continued to hold onto his huge parabolic umbrella as it got caught in pre-rainstorm wind. He tried different angles, added more lights, gel’d them and got some really cool technicolor images.

As it started to rain I figured I should at least borrow his Nikon D700 to take a few shots for myself, I wasn’t going to freeze my butt off for nothing right?

I was already out of my comfort zone with a camera that has button in all the wrong places and turns left when you want it to go right, so I scrapped any hope of using his lights and went with my very familiar Elinchrom Quadra pack (yes, I packed a light and it’s battery) with the Deep-Throat Octa.

I had been to our location before, and have used it in a number of shoots. Often I used the architecture of the building to frame my images, but I didn’t want to do that again. The advantage I had by helping Younes out for the length of the shoot was I was able to think. Think about what I did and didn’t want to accomplish. Think about what I had seen. Think about what HE was doing and if I wanted to steal borrow any of his ideas.
We’re often told we need to slow down, plan things out, take in the scene and just as often, I ignore this. I get asked “how many shots do we get?” which makes me think I need to produce more. I have to fight that urge, to overproduce images… making more does not mean taking better images. The same goes for weddings. 3,000 images, 500 images, 100 spectacular shots? I’d prefer the later as both the photographer and the client – to get a great (but smaller) body of work, than be deluged with crap. So really, on a small personal shoot, I’m happy with one great image.

I had been here at sunset before, the light was creating these great lines through the stairs and I thought it would be cool to replicate that, in a way. Use the stairs as a light-modifier. I took the inner diffusers out of the Octa to create a larger light source, asked Younes to hold the light up high and angled down. I asked Joanne to stand and look at the light, she intuitively stood in the perfect spot.

8 shots. The rain picked up, and we were done. Still, 8 seems to have been all I needed, the photo above was the last one. You can see it larger on Flickr.

One thought on “Joanne – Taking it slow

  1. You nailed it brother.