Why do I make things so hard on myself?

Why, when thinking up a lighting scheme, do I insist on things like, “The flash will fire at the camera but instead hit a mirror which will light the subject’s face, and oh, by the way, the camera will be clamped to a car while it’s driving down an alley and let’s make sure there’s no lens flare and we have to get all this just perfect before sunset because there’s another shot to do with another tweaky and annoying lighting setup.” (?!)

And so, I found myself adjusting a lens hood made out of gaffer’s tape as I ran next to Glen’s vintage car down an alley, gently supporting a camera on a magic arm clamped to the door, firing off a single frame as we got up to speed, urging Glen not to move his head too much or the circle of light created by the finely-adjusted side view mirror won’t fall on the right spot.

It worked, as you can see from the photo above. But it certainly helped that I had help.

It helped that the subject was Salinas portrait and pin-up photographer Glen McDowell, who frequently has me work with him at weddings. It helped that Glen’s assistant Annette was there, and it helped that my pal Travis Geske came along. Both helped with key suggestions on lighting and by moving gear.

Here are some photos from the shoot made by Travis:

This shoot was a self-assigned project — I wanted to do a portrait like this, Glen wanted some new portraits for his new website (and honestly, I owed Glen some favors). There are more such self-assigned portrait projects in the works.

  1. Great shots! Love the creativity with the flash…Might have been hard but so worth it!

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