Normally one item will set me off in a direction and this image is no different. Pete had the white t-shirt and hat, it reminded me of an Italian fisherman, not sure why? I went around the studio and found the leather fishing net and the pole. I bought the net at Big Lots (for shooting bathing suit shots) and the fishing pole came from a garage sale, cheap.
The background is blue seamless paper that I spray painted white on the bottom. It can be a bit tricky to shoot this because of the angle. If you don’t position the model just right their shadow is on the paper, or you don’t have enough paper, so you need a bit of depth. The hardest part was getting the paper behind him in the right place. I wanted it to look like he was casting from a small boat.
Elinchrom 1200 ws light, full power to achieve f-11 or higher, bare bulb up high (to make the hat shadow) about 12′ from the model. The hard light makes it appear like harsh mid-day lighting.
Pete wasn’t fond of this shot and always made fun of it because he wasn’t a commercial model, said it was silly. He was always a professional about it and made it work. He modeled in New York and Europe and said he never once smiled in a shot, and here I was asking him to smile all day. He has great teeth so I was surprised he didn’t do both; editorial and commercial. I’ve seen him recall his sexy self once in awhile around town for a few jobs.
Detroit is a very commercial market so he now appreciates and understands the value of these images. It was a struggle to get him to smile and I found myself having to reassure him all day; the bookers will love it, the bookers will love it, the bookers will love it.
Models don’t normally show up with accessories like fishing nets and poles. As a photographer working on a modeling/commercial book it’s the small additional items that can make the image portfolio quality. I find it’s good to have a backup plan if the weather is bad outside also.
I was asked by a booker at the agency if I would extend a gratis shoot to Pete because he had lost his book (tragically in a fire) moving back to Michigan. Male models are extremely hard to come by in Detroit and especially experienced male models (between the ages of 28 and 38 are the hardest to find). Bookers rarely ask this and they chose wisely, so I knew there was a good reason. My book sorely lacks in male models and I see Pete working all the time so it was a win win. For a modeling/commercial book don’t forget the male models. Even more important these days is shooting all generations and ethnicities, not just cute girls!
Commercial images are often not just shots of the model, but of models doing something, being active and inter-active…just sayin1 comment