I got an interesting email today from (Dave Urban) the co-owner of a company called “Green Man T-Shirts” here in San Diego. He’s renting a local studio and he wants me to photograph a bunch of models wearing their organic t-shirts. Pretty cool! Except for the fact that studios, artificial lights, and posed portraits are all forms of Kryptonite to me.

As much as I would love to do it myself, I simply can’t. But I figure that some of you might want to take the lead instead! I’ll still attend and take a few shots (and maybe learn something about studio equipment), but I can’t be the one running the session and providing the primary images. So here are the basics — if you’re interested, contact me and tell me a little bit about your studio experience.

  • WHEN: March, 2010 [updated... had put 2009 here before]. Date TBD, but it will be a Saturday from 9am to 5pm.
  • WHERE: dk3 Studios in Mira Mesa.
  • BUDGET: Pizza, beer, and loud music. This is not a paid shoot, and the models are also local volunteers.

And here’s more of the details for the shoot.

  • The studio is 1128 square feet and comes equipped with a bunch of monolights, modifiers, backdrops, a 16×16 cyc wall, and a changing room for the models. We’ll have it for 8 hours.
  • 8 models will arrive at 11am and local media (newspaper, TV, etc) will be invited to attend the event between 12pm and 2pm. By 3:30pm, we’ll be wrapping things up and get out of there by 5pm.
  • Photographer will retain copyright of all images taken, and the usage license for Green Man T-Shirts will dictate that credit must be given to the photographer.
  • Dave will also be putting together a video of the event, but I don’t know who will be shooting it. So if there are any cinematographers out there, drop me a line.

Since this is not a paid shoot, I don’t think Dave is expecting a Chase-Jarvis-type to show up and work his magic. But I do think the photographer in charge needs to have a good handle on studio lighting and working with models — you’ll have a bunch of people there relying on you to make it happen.

With the number of models and the size of the studio, I think 2 additional photographers would be a good number. Like I said, I’ll be there to take a few shots, help out with the setups, and grab some “behind the scenes” photos with my trusty rangefinder. So if you think you fit the job and you’re in the general San Diego area (LA folks are welcome too if you want to drive down) contact me and tell me a little bit about your experience.

And here’s how Dave ended his email to me: “I want the shoot to be fun, relaxed, and have a party type atmosphere to it. If things go well, and I see no reason why they shouldn’t, this will be an annual event. Each year I anticipate it would grow, and it could turn into a regular, paying gig for you. But this first year, with so many variables involved and never having done this myself, I’m keeping it on a smaller scale with volunteers and lots of enthusiasm.

Sounds like a good time and a great opportunity to gain a little more experience in the studio. So who’s up for it?

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For a non-paid shoot you’re better off taking as many photographers as want to come, and then sifting through their work at the end of the day. Perhaps it’s not as well-known as it should be, but the only difference between pro and amateur is the “winner percentage” – pros work to make every shot a winner, whereas an amateur usually needs to get lucky. But if the number of shots is high, the number of winners will also be high. Get 5 guys in there with telephoto lenses, taking turns posing the models, and take lots of shots! Oh, and you should also ask for some post-processing help as well: e.g. a photoshop jockey or 2. And they can be far, far away.

Another reason for more photographers is that flakiness is bound to be an issue for an unpaid thing like this. For example, I’d be happy to help, on general principle, but I have no idea if I’ll be available in March.

Good luck to your friend and hope this helps.

January 6, 2010 10:15 am


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