Yesterday, while on a fairly straightforward assignment for a corporate client covering their day's conference, the day was scheduled to include a brief meet-and-greet with the legend Cal Ripkin. I'd originally intended to do this with on-camera strobe, but the client wanted me to bring a background. So, I selected my favorite - Thunder Grey. It wasn't until we were pulling the seamless from the car, that I got a thought:
"I am about to photograph a legendary baseball player infront of a seamless. What can I do to make this better?
So I pulled out my Chimera 57 and set it up as a 7' softbox. We had it in the car from the day before, doing a magazine cover shoot, and hadn't offloaded the equipment because of the late wrap-time the night before, and a 6am call time for this shoot.
We moved through the group photos fairly quickly (at left is an example), and working with Cal was an illustration of the height of professionalism. I'd worked with him several times before, doing official portraits (lights and all) for other endeavors he's involved in, but never with a seamless, which I'd wanted to do for some time. People were immediately put at ease by him, and even though people knew they were coming to have their image made with him, and he knew he was there for that reason (before giving a presentation) he still asked each of them "would you take a picture with me?" which put each of those being photographed with him at ease, and facilitated the process in a very efficient manner. Further, I had just the light I wanted to have Cal in for him against the seamless.
In the end, I had an expedited shoot thanks to Cal's making it smooth as people entered and exited the portrait area, a very happy client, and, for me, a portrait that I'd wanted to make for some time.
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