Perfect Chemistry

Countless hours had been devoted in preparation for this shoot.  Prop shopping, wardrobe and building a set that included  constructing a 20’ wall.

The Long Walk Down the Short Aisle…

Shoots can be a giant logistical proposition when you look at everything that goes into them from: pre-production meetings, prop acquisition, set building, wardrobe, make-up, and of course securing talent…the right talent.  Often, if time allows, we have the proverbial “cattle call”, other times it’s simply looking through countless model comps to select our talent.

For this particular shoot, it was important for us in choosing talent, not only with the desired look, but that could also deliver the right mood and expression our client was looking for.  It’s often a toss up whether the talent is going to need heavy direction or have the experience and personality to give us even more than we had anticipated.

Enter Ruth and Bill, our talent for this shoot.  The chemistry between the two was undeniable, quirky and at times unpredictable…in a good way!

Bill and Ruth

Bill and Ruth

The two of them were like a well-written comedy sitcom and because of this, a range of opportunities opened up for us.  The first thing that happened when they met, Bill nonchalantly makes a wise crack about Ruth’s age – she’s of course more than a few years his junior.   Ruth, quickly delivers a few zingers of her own which makes the two laugh and off they go. The chemistry between the two was incredible which only helped once they were on set.

Energy is so important to a project, especially once all the puzzle pieces are in place.  Creating the dynamics necessary for a successful shoot is always first and foremost at the start of any project for me.  Sometimes it’s easier than others and with talent like Bill and Ruth it was a dream.


The Long Walk Down the Short Aisle

Just before I captured this shot, Ruth leaned over to Bill and said “Don’t get too comfortable honey, I’m so divorcing you tomorrow”… Bill’s expression Priceless! 

 Sometimes just step back, stop directing and allow the magic to happen.   

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Photography Can Be a Beach!

A 5am call time for a sunrise beach shoot seemed much too early with little to no sleep from the late shoot the night before but nothing that a few cups of coffee couldn’t take care of.


Eric Eggly on Beach Photo Shoot

What do you mean, NO MORE COFFEE!

I met the client, makeup artist and talent at the hotel adjacent to the beach to finalize the style of wardrobe and makeup. I really like to use this time to build a rapport with the talent–it helps them to relax before stepping in front of my camera.   When time is precious and your shot requires a perfect sunrise as the backdrop, you are at the suns mercy whether you are ready or not.  Each second counts and having talent that is relaxed and ready on the first take is crucial.   It’s a win-win.

The sky was clear; the temperature was cool but not unbearable.  Strobes were set, tested and ready to go on the beach.  Absolutely a perfect day–that is until our talent was on set.  The strobe’s that worked earlier weren’t firing with the radio remotes, and it was too far to use a direct cord.  We changed out the remotes and tested them again and still nothing.    We changed power packs and heads—still Nothing.  Changed the batteries in the remotes but again NOTHING was working and to make matters worse, the sun was almost above the horizon!


A perfect sunrise with just enough  clouds for character.

A perfect sunrise with just enough clouds for character.



As my assistant held the remote up to his chest to check it, I was able to trigger the unit–voila it worked!  Perfect.  In order to get a consistent flash though, my assistant had to hold the remote trigger above his head for the entire shoot!  Assisting may not always be glamorous but it’s sure necessary☺ I only remember having problems with the remote trigger not firing the strobes once before while shooting in a factory, which had massive amounts of steel and radio interference.  Obviously, on the beach there was no radio interference but–the closer to the sand the remote was the more erratic the performance became.  I’m guessing that the metal content of the sand was obstructing the signal somehow.  Just happy we were able to find a solution even if it was by accident or some divine intervention☺


Our Model Lauren in a contemplative pose for the camera, great talent we had a hundred shots that would've worked with various expressions and poses.

Our Model Lauren in a contemplative pose for the camera, great talent we had a hundred shots that would’ve worked with various expressions and poses.


After that little nerve wrenching delay, we were able to get some really great images.  I had a fantastic team to work with which is always a huge bonus.  Afterwards, my client commented on how surprised he was that I didn’t blow a gasket with the amount of stress and pressure of the moment. All I can say is it helps to be prepared both with the right equipment (and backups) and with your technical knowledge in check.   Of course, a little luck doesn’t hurt either or a tall assistant☺


The entire crew and clients ready for some hot chocolate and a nap!

The entire crew and clients ready for some hot chocolate and a nap!



onOne Perfect Effects 3

Join me as I give a brief tutorial on the features of onOne Software’s Perfect Effects 3.0, which is part of their Photo Suite 6.1 series. I cover the use of preset effects along with how to create your own. Click the onOne Software link to your right to see their full line of products as well as their specials.

Please feel free to send me your questions or comments below.

Forbes Magazine Shoot–Manoj Bhargava, CEO of 5 Hour Energy

I’ve photographed many CEO’s and top exec’s over the years but found this one particularly intriguing.   I have come to know 5hr Energy on occasion especially on those 18hour days, so being asked to photograph the founder and CEO Manoj Bhargava by Forbes Magazine was awesome.


From the moment I met Mr. Bhargava, I was confident that the shoot was going to be successful and run smoothly–and it did.  My first impression was that it was actually hard to tell that he was the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company.   He was casually dressed as was his demeanor.  He had a good sense of humor, extremely complimentary and I found him to be a humble man. He preferred to be out of the spotlight.


I photographed Manoj Bhargava in front of one of his personal projects that he is very passionate about–a hydroponic unit that will surely open up new horizons in agriculture.  If you are interested to learn more about him, check out the February 27, 2012 issue now available.