Anytime I get an email or phone call from Mr. Jamey Jasta Esq. I know its probably going to be some sort of adventure, generally way before I normally wake up.
HE hit me up to do photos for his upcoming solo record, which of course I was honored to do, being that I did the last two Kingdom of Sorrow records, the Ice Pick record, I have had a history of doing solid work with Jasta.
So if my memory serves me - I got hit up - "YO! Saffer! what are you doing tomorrow? can you do a shoot?"
"sure man! what time"
"can you get to NY at 9am?"
".....nope! haha, wanna come to my studio for 9?"
"sure, lets do 10pm at the studio!"
haha, well, im pumped I dont have to drive to NY at 6am, I woulda been sleeping during the shoot! And interestingly enough, Ive shot ALL of hatebreed at the studio at various times, aside from Jamey!
So I hit the studio around 930 to prep - Jasta hit me up and had some family stuff to do before coming up (aside from being an amazing vocalist, hes also an amazing father) - so we got started around 11.
We started in studio - I used a medium sized beauty dish on a profoto compact 300 at 50% power boomed it up as high as it would go - pointed straight down - to get a darker, strong directional lighting. I was shooing these at F13 at a 160th with the 70-200 IS lens on the 1ds M2. One thing to keep in mind when shooting with strong directional lighting is that the more you move your subject away from the light, the stronger and larger the area of shadow will be. So, when shooting with directional lighting from above I tend to always tell the subject to look straight at me or look up so they had good facial lighting with out casting too harsh of a shadow and look like the converge jane doe cover. anyway, here they are.
Next I wanted to shoot something a bit brighter with triangular lighting, something different from what you would normally see. No shadows, all mids and highlights. This lighting worked SO well with Jasta, it makes everything pop out, rather than look flat and boring as with the flat light metal bands are often shot in. These are probably my favorite shots of the set. Shot at F11 at a 160th.
Next up we went outside. Theres a few spots I tend to favor outdoors around my studio and its always a big area with not alot of noise, such as a metal garage door, a concrete wall anything that makes a good simple background - because i HATE seeing shots of a band where its half sky - a building to the right - and trees to the left - it just looks god awful - remember simplicity is sometimes key when shooting on location.
We started in front of a metal loading door, shooting with the 24-70 on the canon 1ds mark 2 - first at F4 then at F2.8 always doing an eye focus - I really like the natural vignette that wide lenses give when shooting natural light, it adds to the overall composition by bringing your eyes to the center of the image where the focus should be, and also gives your subject a "glow" around them if you can see what I mean from the images.
Next we shot against a concrete wall - first with natural light at F2.8 for the straight shots and at F5.6 for the side shots (as i was shooting into the sun) - one of these side shots is the one that was used heavily upon announcing his solo record. The shot of him leaning against the wall is similar to one of his older promos, so we were trying to recreate it a bit, and it seemed to be everyones favorite image.
Next up I put in the same lighting I used in studio - but this time a large beauty dish on a dynalite uni400 - at 50% pointed straight down. These are at F18 - the light wasnt up high enough and gave a really strong facial highlight which - in post - i brought down the highlights just a touch and took down the contrast across all the outdoor shots with lighting - to even it out a bit and give it more of a natural feel.
Lastly, it was a clear day so I figured I could get great shots of him against the sky, and the trick to shooting against the sky with upward directional lighting is to make sure your subject keeps their chin up so their face doesnt become a giant blob of shadow. Luckily Jasta is an absolute pro when it comes to shoots, he needs ZERO direction and almost telepathically moves his face, body, arms, etc. however I would have told him to, before I even say it. haha. SO! here are the last shots of the day - at F16 at a 200th
Its always awesome working with Jasta, because you never know what to expect. I think this whole photo shoot took about 45 minutes, at most. Very few bands, or even people in bands are as disciplined and professional as Jasta is in a photo shoot. Hes there to accomplish the same thing I am. To get the best shots possible. And as always, we did a pretty excellent job in doing so. I look forward to working with him again and again in the future.