BOOK BUILDER // LIFESTYLE EDITION.
A few weeks ago I brought up the idea of shooting a couple of people with a nice car to my sister, and before I could even finish describing my shoot ideas to her she exclaims:
"I KNOW SOMEONE!! HER AND HER FIANCÉ ARE AMAZING LOOKING AND THEY HAVE A DOPE PORSCHE!"
Well clearly I didn't need to hear anymore before grabbing Ashley's contact info off of my sister and shooting her an e-mail explaining what it was that I wanted to do. I've been wanting to shoot a more luxury lifestyle set for awhile now, but finding all of the right pieces and making it work has been such a pain in the ass that I've given up probably 4-5 times on making it happen.
Once I got Ashley and Trevor on board I figured I'd do whatever I could to make this shoot as legit as possible, so the first thing I sought out to do was get a location permit which was something I've never done before. This would be the first of a couple of disasters that would normally have scared me away from something like this, BUT NOT THIS TIME SUCKA.
DISASTER 1 // OBTAINING A LOCATION PERMIT
I don't know how many of you have actually done this, and I'm sure it's really a lot easier than I'm about to make it seem, but dear God this was a pain in the ass.
STRIKE 1 // TOWN CENTER PLAZA // LEAWOOD KANSAS.
I went to the Town Center Plaza website and filled out all of the necessary paperwork to get in contact with someone about obtaining a permit, which seemed quite easy on the website. A few days went by and I never heard anything, then a few days became a week, 2 weeks, etc. I finally called repeatedly until I FINALLY got someone on the phone. I expressed what I want to do and tried to be as detailed as I could to avoid any kind of confusion. After about 5-6 minutes of explaining and talking the voice on the other end of the phone simply said "no" and that was that. I never got any kind of explanation as to why I was unable to shoot there, I just got a big fat "no."
STRIKE 2 // COUNTRY CLUB PLAZA // KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI.
Although this is where we ended up shooting, obtaining a permit through the plaza was one of the most confusing things I've ever done in my life. I dug through a series of clickthrough links to find several e-mails of people who I thought I should reach out to for this sort of thing, and blasted all of them at once with my long but detailed explanation of what I wanted. I think I sent something like 4-5 people e-mails and only 1 person replied...It was their vacation auto-response. Damn it.
At this point I just started calling people until someone answered. Once I got ahold of the head of grounds keeping, they told me I had to talk to the head of security. Once I contacted head of security they told me I had to talk to grounds keeping. WHAT?!
It was clear at this point that hardly anyone has any fucking idea whats going on over there, and it was also around this time I just said Fuck it.
DISASTER 2 // I DONT KNOW WHAT THE FUCK IM DOING.
We decided that we would just show up and do as much as we could until we got kicked out. I knew it was going to be a good shoot with the two people I had tagging along to help out. Travis Young- one of the dudes who got me into automotive photography in the first place, and one of my favorite shooters, and Tim Lair- an up and coming shooter who I wouldn't be surprised if I lose a few jobs to in the future.
I've never really had any helping hands on any shoots in the past and it made ALL the difference having people who are capable of understanding what I'm trying to accomplish and helping out every step of the way. Thanks fellas, you guys rock.
I'd be lying if I said I had an idea of what I wanted when we started shooting. I had several reference images in my head, and I knew I wanted to try and do some obscure style shots...but when it came to talent positioning and composition I had no idea what I wanted. We just started shooting and I barely gave Ashley and Trevor any direction...they just started interacting with each other and it ended up working pretty well. Of course it was REALLY nice having Travis and Tim there to ask for help when I got confused....which happened a lot.
OKAY ENOUGH DISASTERS. ON TO THE IMAGES!
OKAY! Once we got going it was pretty hard to stop. I've never done anything like this before, and we didn't have a whole lot of time. I didn't want to stop for anything if we didn't have to.
I knew I wanted to try and mess with some warm/cool opposing colors in these images. I had a professor talk about this type of style when I was in college and I've been wanting to try it out for awhile now. Shooting through glass with some sunlight made this pretty easy to do. We were also able to fake a little sun with some strobes-which worked out pretty well. Especially the part where Travis walked in the middle of the street carrying the light to create a hard shadow for one of the shots...that shit was awesome.
At this point everything was going pretty smooth, and we still hadn't caught any grief from public security. We kept shooting and trying a few different things until the sun went down, which was about the time we ditched the strobes and went to the ice light. We caught a couple of pretty decent shots in front of the new apple store, and were able to get a pretty decent look. By this point I was already so hyped on what we had gotten that as soon as Ashley said "That doesn't even look like Kansas City" I felt like a kid in a candy store-because for as long as I've been shooting seriously I've wanted to create images that had no definitive location.
Right as we were firing off our final shot (literally) it started to rain, and I couldn't even try to be mad about it. The timing was too perfect, and I was already hyped as fuck.
Travis also brought his camera along and shot some awesome BTS, this dude kills it.
As I was going through and processing these, I noticed that I really didn't shoot the car at all. Which I'm not upset about in the least bit. There was one composition where I was shooting the car as a profile, and when I opened the shutter a car drove through...but I really liked the image that came out of it, so I kept it! Of course we did get a couple of panning shots, but thats literally about it! With this set I'm really trying to break the void of my everyday shooting...which is almost exclusively automotive. Broadening my book will [I hope] make me a more competitive asset to the many other sides of the photography game....but this is only the beginning, and I have a shitload of work to do.
I really can't wait to look back at this set and say "What the fuck was I thinking?" and knowing that I will do that one day makes me SO fucking hyped to continue learning and growing. Having your favorite hobby as a job is one of the coolest fucking things ever. I'll never be able to stress that enough.
HUGE thanks to Ashley and Trevor for being so awesome and putting up with a whole lot of disorganization, and another HUUUGE thanks to Travis and Tim for being awesome dudes and making things go smooth.
CHEERZ TO ASHLEY, TREVOR, TIM, AND TRAVIS, NO PERMITS, SAYING FUCK IT, AND LEARNING.