Sometimes some of my really good friends end up in really good bands that I get to work with on a semi-consistent basis. This is pretty much the epitome of that situation, being that I've known most of the people in this band for 10+ years, or longer... makes me feel old.
Anyway, working with friends is sometimes difficult, because some bands dont take the shoot as seriously or as professional as they would with someone they dont know - however this is NOT the case with All That Remains, they are always 100% on point anytime we need to get a job done.
So I basically hit up the guys a week before to set it up - and we all worked it out around everyones schedule which was fairly open for the week, so its super simple.
We met up and started with some studio stuff
I went with triangular lighting to start with, because its something I havent really used that with all that remains before, so I figured somehting different would be cool. We shot on white with two rims at 25% power pointed about shoulder area of phil, and a 3x4 softbox boomed directly above him at 50% power. These were shot with the 70-200 at ISO100 at a 160th. We did some group shots and solos, some standard stuff the magazine likes.
After that set we did a second in studio set with just a boomed beauty dish - which is somewhat interesting to use when Oli is about 100 feet tall and Jeanne is about 2 inches tall. so the light hits them differently, and you have to set them at different distances from the dish in order to get somewhat even lighting on them. No two members of this band are the same shape, size, or height. I shot this at F16 - I brought jeanne up front a bit, and threw oli toward the back, the other dudes are much closer in size and stature, and bled much easier together, but you also dont want to make the image look like someones out of the pictures. Anyway, when I shoot with a beauty dish i want it so it bleeds onto the background and gives them some back lighting to seperate them from the paper, but also set them at least by the edge NOT the middle - of the beauty dish (at this angle) so no one gets megaharsh shadows on their face.
Oh LOOK! All That Remains fuels up for the rest of the shoot with some MONSTER!
After doing in studio stuff - we went a few blocks over to their practice space, and started by shooting against a very stormy looking sky. I shot this with a boomed beauty dish and two rims, which is the whole triangular lighting thing, which to me, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt, For me, this time, I wasnt into it, but it was way too windy and too time crunchy to use softboxes or umbrellas. I got some nasty lens flare, and the lighting wasnt exactly how I wanted it, but at this point I knew time was very short as Phil had to do some studio stuff for the new record, so, I got a few shots I liked then moved on. And when doing a photoshoot, your goal for each set is to get 1-2 SOLID photos per set. so... mission accomplished, but I like to try to get at least 10 solid photos per set. anyhoo, see below
We then went inside and did a few sets in the giant open area of the warehouse which only had two windows way in the back where light was pouring in at a strong 45 degree angle - kind of like a prison cell type of photo - i dug it.
For the first set i used a beauty dish main and hid two bare bulbs just to throw some more light in the area behind them I shot this at F 18 at ISO400 - as it was super dark in there with the storm coming in. I shot these at a half a second 1/2 to get as much bleed as possible but ended up with a bit of ghosting, nothing so strong that it ruins the image, but a bit with background light - shoulda used a tripod - but again - time-crunch.
Next set we did was closer to the back of the room where the light was - I shot these with two umrellas split and a beauty dish main so there would be no shadow. For these i was at ISO250 at F16 but shot at a SUPER open speed - 2-3 seconds to really bring in the lighting and I really got ALOT of ghosting in some photos - while other photos were more solid. I got about 12 usable images out of 16. so thats a solid percentage for that type of drag.
I finished up with some solos of phil which i used two rims to purposefully get ALOT of lens flare and beauty dish main, I wanted the flare to give a very solid body cut rather than a face-flare obviously - and to me it enhances the image - again at F16 ISO250 at a half a second.
We finished up, phil went on to do some vocals, and Mike Martin and I went back to the studio to do some shots for PRS guitars. I've done about 12 guitar shoots with all that remains, so this is like me ordering food at on the boarder - i know exactly what i want - i know exactly what they want - quick and painless. I did this with two 3x4 soft boxes for side lighting, and either a boomed beauty dish or 1x4 - i forget what i used for front lighting *shrug* - anyway these were with the 70-200 at F16 at ISO100
Shooting all that remains is kind of like, cool, i get to hang out with my friends, get a job done, get paid for it, and then get to eat terribly fat food later on. Its awesome.
When working with bands who have various heights, shapes and sizes, the most important thing is knowing where to place everyone in relation to the light that is hitting them, especially lighting placement, and direction. Photographing this band is no simple task when trying to light them evenly and make oli/jeanne look like they arent dr evil and mini me, aside from the fact they dont look alike, obviously. When you take calculated risks like dragging the shutter for a half a second, even 2 or 3 seconds, you really need to make sure you stay solid and the band stays solid. because an unusable blurry image isnt going to help anyone. Luckily ATR knows how to be 110% pro, they are the BEST band to work with (and to work for), and we always get multiple sets of solid images to use.