Lights, Camera, Action…Oliver the Photographer

On Sunday, my photography journey takes to Los Angeles for a photography workshop.  For this workshop, I got up at 5am to get ready.  I was getting picked up by Dave and Andy at 6:30am.  Luckily the night before I packed up everything.  And surprisingly I didn’t write a packing list this time which until recently I wrote out a packing list for everything.  Looking back on it, I was a bit frazzled just trying to make sure I got everything pack but as always I packed more than I needed.  Go figure.  So I was ready and waiting at 6:15am.  I decided to wait outside of my house so that I would just be there and ready to leave when Dave and Andy arrived.

At about 6:40am Dave and Andy arrived and we headed off to LA for the shoot.  Driving up we had a varied conversation about photography, freeways, and why certain things are the way they are for example how America isn’t as free as some people would like to think.  It was a good conversation.

After driving for about 2 hours, we finally made it with incident to our shooting location. Today’s shoot was put on by The Socal Photography Group and McCaddenSpace Studio was hosting us.  McCaddenSpace studio is a 3,500 square feet working studio that we had the run of the place.  The studio had many awesome vignettes, one of my favorites was the Kitchen setup.  I dug the kitchen because it was a simple 1960s style kitchen that reminded me of the simpler times again.   And it was one of the locations that I planned out to shoot in for the day.  The studio had other areas such as a awesome bar setup, a record lounge area, and some of the best retro furniture.

One of the first things that we did when we arrived was to grab some food.  Dave was looking for some breakfast food so we headed up to a place called the Hollywood Corner to grab some food.   After waiting for about 15 minutes for the food we both headed back to the studio to some relaxing and planning for the day.

However did we know that there was a little problem brewing.  The issue that started to brew was that people were all running behind.  While some of use showed up early and on time, others we really behind, and one of the most important components of the shoot that was behind was the hair department.  So it was then that we started to look through our phones, facebook, and other means to search for a last minute hair person.  I guess I didn’t understand the gravity of the problem but it was fun to try to figure out we can do the hair ourselves.  All I knew was that I wasn’t going to photoshop any hair.  That for me was a definite no.  I couldn’t comprehend doing that.  But our anxiety was soon over when our hair department arrived.  And the ease and fun returned.  However because they were late we all started later than we would have liked.

Before any shooting started we all did our introduction and house rules.  When I did my little speech, I just tried to make as simple as it is possible.  And I didn’t mention that I won the last competition.  🙂

When the hair department arrived I waited for about 15 minutes for them to prep and than I decided to setup my lighting for the photograph that I had in mind for the shoot.  It took me about 15 minutes to setup the light and scene for my photograph.  However it took another 30-45 minutes or so to shoot because my friend Betty was quickly asked if she could be photographed.  So I waited until she was free.  After waiting I finally got the opportunity to work with Betty once again.

Betty is one of the models that I met at a previous shoot, that I became good friends with.  She is just awesome.  I really do enjoy working with her.  The both of us just work very well with each other and we collaborate very well.  This would be the third time that I worked with her on a shoot.

So after waiting, I finally had the opportunity to work with Betty.  So with the lights all set up.  I prepared her for the story that we were going to create.  One reason that I love working with Betty is because she takes a story that I create for her to act out and take it and makes it work even better.  The story for today’s kitchen shoot was the “murderous wife.”  As always when I get ready to photograph, I act out the scene with my model.  I give them the motivation and a reason for the photo.  I find by doing this it helps both the model and myself.  And it also allows for collaboration to take place.  After spending about 15 minutes of shooting together we finished out portion of the shoot.  At the time it was basically the only thing that I wanted to shoot well mainly because I planned and envisioned the shot that I wanted.

It’s nice to look back and see where I have been.  So far the journey has taken on a journey where I didn’t see myself going.  Over the years I have gone from a trigger happy photographer to a thoughtful photographer.  I still have a lot of things to learn but I know that so far my journey has been good.

I’ll have to save the rest of the day of shooting for another post.  Because frankly I’m a bit tired.  I actually did play some catch on my blogging because Saturday I forgot to post my Saturday post, and then yesterday arrived home late to post my post.   And shortly I will work on today’s post.


Leave a Reply