On Wednesday night I had a great shoot with the "Pussywillows", a group of lovely and talented ladies who host an open mic jam on Wednesday evening at Mikey's Juke Joint. It was one of the fastest on-site shoots I had ever done.
Here is how it went down.
The shoot had been scheduled about one week in advance, but I didn't know all the details until the afternoon before. I did have some vague details ahead of time and I used that limited information to plan my shoot. My biggest concern was only having one hour to get the shot. Usually, I plan two hours for most shoots as it affords time to play with a couple of options. One hour, in my books, is tight.
Having been to the location before, I had a good visual of exactly the shot I wanted and exactly where I would take it. Unfortunately for me, my memory is not quite as good as I thought. The location I had mapped out in my head did not quite match reality. Oops. Fortunately for me, I arrived half an hour before the shoot and I quickly found a suitable location in the bar. After kindly asking a few patrons to switch tables, a bit of table shuffling, and throwing up some lights I was ready for some test shots.
It was pretty simple lighting. One 580EX II in a softbox overhead, reflector underneath and a gridded flash, gelled blue to rake the wall behind the subjects. I'm not sure what it is about blue but it always give a shot that cool, nighttime, in-the-bar kind of look. Perfect for what I needed.
Most of the girls arrived on time but by the time everyone was present our shooting time was even shorter. It's always challenging to get multiple people doing the right thing and the right time but on this particular shoot with these particular ladies, the pieces fell in to place quickly. Within forty minutes, a few changes of camera and subject position, we had our shot. Awesome!
I credit the success of the evening with one thing - planning. Visualizing the shot in advance and knowing the lighting setup required to pull it off allowed me to concentrate on getting my subjects looking their best in our limited time.
Keep planning and keep shooting.