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Mark your calendars: “Preparing for a Commercial & Portrait Photo Shoot” with Jane Button & Sid Ceaser

NHIA Talk, Oct 3, 2017

Mark your calendars!

The lovely Jane Button Photography and I will be sitting down at the New Hampshire Institute of Art on the evening of October 3rd and discussing the ins-and-outs of planning and prepping and executing commercial portrait photography with students, alumni, members and anyone else that wants to attend and talk shop. Our hope is to give the students an idea of what to expect after graduating and heading out into the creative services field.

Free to attend.

When: Tuesday, October 3rd 2017
Time: starts at 5:30pm
Where: The Thom Adams Room, Fuller Hall, 156 Hanover Street, Manchester NH
Who: for NHIA students, alumni, members, anyone else that wants to listen to us gab.

Sh*t Got Real JC: Part 2

Wander • Shit Got Real JC

Last week a post about my ThreeA figure “Sh*t Got Real JC” was published.  He rules.  Over the weekend I brought him over to Clough State Park, which I have done with my other ThreeA figures in the past, and spent a lovely afternoon making images with him.

Intimidation • Shit Got Real JC

A word of advice to other ThreeA collectors out there that like to take photographs of their figures:  BE CAREFUL WITH THE WRIST PEGS!  While trying to remove that awesomesauce Mad Max jacket I have for him, I pulled on the sleeve too hard and his wrist peg snapped.  This is the second time I’ve had a wrist peg snap – the first time was back at the start of 2017 when changing hands for my Blind Cowboy and his peg snapped.  Replacements can be found on eBay, but they are stupid expensive.  So be extra careful when doing anything with the hands or wrists.  I’ve since cut that long leather sleeve off the jacket, so now it’s more of a badass leather vest.  Still looks excellent.

You can see a few more example images I made over on my Flickr page.

 

Sh*t Got Real JC • Three A Figures

Shit Got Real JC • ThreeA Figure

ThreeA figures continue to control my life.  Oh my god.

This is “Shit Got Real JC”.  He’s Jesus, only his arms are wrapped in bandages and he’s covered in tattoos and he is 100% badass.  He roams the landscape punching out zombies when he can.
When I started picking up ThreeA figures my list looked like this:

  • Blind Cowboy/Dead Equine (horse)
  • Tomorrow Kings: Cornelius
  • Fighting/Tracky JC

KDA, my first ThreeA figure, was purchased because at the time he was the lowest priced entry-level figure into the world of ThreeA figures.  He was the figure that told me “Yup, you are going to certainly want the other figures because they are incredible!” and I keep him around because he goes so well with Cornelius, which was my second figure.

There are earlier versions of JC that exist; the body of the figure is different and the head sculpt is vastly different compared to the updated Shit Got Real version.
Here are two sample images I found via Googling:

Even starting right at the top of his head, JC has had some adjustments made to him for the revised “Shit Got Real” version.  As you can see in the comparison images, the original JC has flatter hair and a smaller beard.  The revised JC completely makes a new head mold and turns his hair and beard up to 11; a large spikey portion of his hair juts out, his bangs are longer over his right eye, and his beard is much longer.  His “GODLIFE” tattoo is the same, but now there are more additional tattoo’s.  On the original JC, his hand bandages were part of his hand cast, but with the new JC, his arms and hands are wrapped up in actual bandages.

Overall it’s a fantastic upgrade.  The only “downsides” are that his costume is much more sparse on the revised figure; the original came with a track suit and a zombie head that fit into a satchel that hung around his waist.  The revised JC looks more militant; more badass and more roughed up. Which was something that I was excited about.  Even his feet changed dramatically; the original JC had sculpted shoes whereas the revised JC has faux-leather combat boots that his legs/feet slide into.  It’s really awesome.

I had been keeping an eye on JC through eBay, and when one came up at a good price, I jumped on it.  I had a few “custom” ideas that I wanted to add; a weathered leather jacket that I picked up off eBay from a Mad Max: Fury Road unlicensed 12″ figure, and a wood/metal sledgehammer that I also found via eBay.  I just thought that this JC would look badass standing there holding a sledgehammer.  Forget swords or guns – he needed something raw and blunt and heavy.  The sledgehammer I found worked perfect. The great thing about 12″ scale figures is all the amazing 1:6 scale accessories you can get for them.

Shit Got Real JC • ThreeA Figure
pictured: profile of JC with leather jacket and sledgehammer

I immediately make some portraits of him shortly after he and his accessories arrived, and it also gave me a chance to use this stuff called Atmosphere Aerosol.  I have been using fog machines for toy work for many years, but I’ve had terrible luck with fog machines; Dave let me borrow his fog machine, and after two uses it clogged up, despite me following directions on how to clean it.  Then, over the last few years, I’ve gone through two more fog machines – each time following exactly what the directions enclosed with the machine say on how to take care of them, and each time, after only 1 use, they both got clogged up.

So I did some googling and found Atmosphere Aerosol:


It’s small and compact, and I hadn’t read about any clogging issues with it, so I bought a can and gave it a test with JC:

Shit Got Real JC • ThreeA Figure

The stuff works like gangbusters! Since I’m only shooting small figures with it, a little can go a long, long way, which is awesome!

I also picked up a 1:6 scale Captain America shield for cheap jut for a little extra patriotism:

Shit Got Real JC • ThreeA Figure

I’m looking forward to taking JC out in the warmer months this summer to get some outdoor images with him.  Hopefully Sara and I will take another trip to Clough State Park, where I’ve taken images of my other ThreeA figures.

I love these figures – so expressive, so badass.  They are so damn fun to make photographs with.

 

 

Nenna.

Nenna

Occasionally I get gigs where I can’t show the work; private clients or commercial shoots where part of the contract is they have control over how the images are used.  While I don’t provide any less effort for the job, it stings a little when I can’t share anything from the production.  But that is how it goes sometimes, and I’m not complaining. The pay is good and I really love working for this particular client.

A few months ago I was hired by a company for a series of head shots on white.  Nenna, pictured above, was an assistant to the project manager on the gig and I’d pass her in the hallway or see her in the room we were setup in and she had such a striking face and her hair was gorgeous.  I kept hoping that I’d be able to photograph her at the end of production, and when I asked if i could grab a portrait of her, she happily said yes.

Nenna

I can share these two images of Nenna, because they were not part of the hired/contracted job, and because I photographed her after the completion of the hired work.  In this instance, I got full permission from the Project Manager when I asked if I could share these shots of Nenna.

She’s absolutely gorgeous.  Such beautiful features.

 

 

I LOVE VIRGINIA PRESCOTT

Virginia Prescott • NHPR

I love listening to New Hampshire Public Radio (I know, I know, I’m getting so old!), and there are a few shows that I really love listening to, and one of them is the show Word Of Mouth, hosted by Virginia Prescott.

I love her voice and how she interacts with her guests – she always sounds sunny and I love hearing her voice during the day.

As luck would have it, my wife Sara created and organized a Storytelling Festival at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in April of 2017, and she got Virginia to host the event.

I immediately knew I wanted to find a way to get a quick portrait of Virginia, so I asked Sara if she’d communicate with Virginia and ask if I could grab a few portraits of her after the event ended.

Absolutely.

I didn’t want to take up much of Virginia’s time, so I kept gear to a minimum; photographing her with my Fuji X100s and I slapped a speedlight in a Saberstrip.  Easy to carry and very minimal.


(my pal Marissa holds the Saberstrip up and over the subjects as they sit on the stairwell at NHIA.)

 

I setup quickly on the stairwell and did a quick pre-light with a stand-in and found my exposure.  I knew I wanted these shots to be in black & white.  Virginia came down and I got a few portraits of her alone, and then took a few shots of her with Sara and some other NHIA employees and students.

 

Virginia Prescott • NHPR

She was awesome and extremely charming.  I gotta admit that I’ve had a little crush on her for a while, and meeting her in person just made that crush even bigger.  She has a great personality and humor and she can instantly establish a rapport with anyone – it isn’t hard to see why so many people like her.

I would love to be able to photograph her again with more time allocated to it.  I’m hoping she’ll be up to it, and whenever she is ready, so am I.

Thanks, Virginia.  You kick ass.  Thanks for being awesome.