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.
The time frame was tight since the shoot was late afternoon and the sun just happened to want to go down early. Make-up artist Debra Weite and model Tiffany Ann were on hand to work with us that day. Big thanks to Tiffany Ann for really capturing the look and emotion I was looking for in these shots.
Here’s a few of my faves…
Behind the scenes lowdown…
I used an FJ Westcott 32” shoot through umbrella with a Profoto Acute B and behind the model I used a Profoto Acute B with a 7” wide-angle reflector for a backlight. The strobes were balanced with the ambient light in the valley. It’s really important to have a good assistant on hand with a shoot like this to intermittently run a light meter on the ambient light while you shoot. The light changes so quickly that to constantly be checking your LCD would really throw off the flow of the shoot.
Director/Screen Writer Gorman Bechard approached me about being in his latest film Broken Side of Time. Of course, I assumed he was asking me to shoot images for marketing purposes, but found he was actually looking to film a photo shoot with his lead actress and me. My first thought…interesting…sure, why not!
He described the basic storyline of a young internet model and her self discovery and journey through a world that was slowly destroying her. I was given free reign. I literally ran with the movie’s premise which inspired the images you see here. A model who has become ‘ordinary’, no more glamour, no more high profile–just normal. Returning to a world that she had long since left, yet refusing to see and accept the reality of her new life. Denying to see and to be seen.
For my technical friends, here’s the lowdown on the lighting and such. I used four Profoto Compact 1200 strobes as well as one Profoto 2400 Acute Strobe pack. All units triggered by PocketWizards. Camera, Hasselblad H2 CFH39 Digital with 50-110 zoom lens.
Special thanks to everyone who had a hand in this production. Monroe Street Diner owner Gayle and her employees Danni and John, our extras Jim, Phyllis and Dave, of course Gorman Bechard (Director), Lynn Mancinelli (Dolce) and Jon (Sound), Rhonda Danielle (Make-up) Matt Bowley (Asst) and last but never least my wife Sandy Santini (Wardrobe/Marketing).
I recently had the opportunity to work on a new self-promo which is part of a larger series. The dynamic talent I photographed for this particular shot is Edwin “Skip” Bunton, personal trainer and owner of Body Specs gym in Ann Arbor, MI. It’s really great when you find talent like Skip that is so willing to give everything in order to capture that perfect shot.
The concept actually evolved from Skip’s “Train Different” branding strategy. I feel the shot captures the essence in a dramatically powerful and illustrative way. Working on a concept that has multiple images requires particular attention to make sure the lighting is harmonious and congruent for the final image to be successful.
The first step for this image was scouting the cityscape background. We found a perfect location in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan with tall buildings and enough available lighting for a 3:30am shoot; a perfect time when the streets are empty. The plan was to use a HDR technique so I shot 7 exposures on each perspective.
The next step was to photograph Skip in his gym. I had planned on two hours which was just enough time. I matched perspective (height of camera/lens) to the cityscape and determined the correct lighting to achieve the effect I was after. I used the FJ Westcott 7’ Octobank as a front fill along with the ProFoto Acute Ringlite as my main light source. I also used 2 large Westcott strip lights with front panel only and the internal diffusion removed for a more direct highlight on either side of Skip. Two lights were used on the back wall to light the chains. I really have to commend Skip for all his hard work in pulling the chains, they were heavy and I had him pulling countless times.
Shooting the vehicles was a little harder than I originally thought or had planned on since most scrapyards start stripping cars as soon as they are on-site. I don’t give up easily and luck was on my side when I spotted two vehicles that worked perfectly other than requiring them to be tilted slightly. I had to photograph the tires separately. The vehicles were shot with two Nikon Speedlights on either side of the vehicles to add a little street light feel and the fill was diffused daylight.
The image of Skip and the vehicles were partially outlined with PS CS5 and the rest with OnOne MaskPro 4.1 to separate out the backgrounds. Several FX were added to the various layers, some of which I’ll be discussing in more detail in PS Pointers.
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