Where There's A Will, There's A Way - Photographers As Problem Solvers
While the photography in this Ben Von Wong is as awesome as always, I am sharing this today because I think it highlights a photographer's role which is sometimes overlooked. The photographer is not only the one who is pressing the shutter. The photographer is the "wolf" of the shoot.
There are three concepts on this shoot and in every single one of them Ben does some amazing problem solving.
I asked Ben to write a couple words about thinking on his feet and this is what he had to say:
"I think that thinking on your feet and working with the resources that you have available is something that you have to do at any level of photography - it doesn't matter whether you're on a large scale commercial gig or a small time personal project there will always be problems that are encountered and situations to get through. As a photographer, your job is to get out of there with "the shot" regardless if your gear is working properly, the weather is favourable or if the team you have with you is competent or incompetant.
It's easy to pull of the shot when everything is going according to plan, but it's how a crisis is handled that will differentiate a pro from a bro. To me, exercises like these ones of "just pulling things together" are critical so that when I'm booked for a contract I am certain to be able to deliver. Failure is an essential step to success, don't be scared of it. Embrace it, though preferably on personal projects!"
Here are some of the things I picked up, feel free to add any of your own.
0:25 - no location is set up. Ben uses the makeup and dressing prep time to scout - comes back with three locations.
0:41 - no one slipped (24 hours remember) - Ben brings coffee and sugar.
2:30 no snoot - An envelope rolled in a bad will do the trick. I guess white is not optimal for a snoot, but it beats having nothing.
3:30 - room has great skylight window but is not messy enough - remove carpet, add curtains, add everything you find in the room to the shot. Sure, nothing like cluttering a location if you are going to a weird non-contexed look.
4:41 - Wall is not interesting enough - Ben throws flower at the wall.
5:24 - Wit the sun being the main light source, wall is still two boring. - Use two people to flag the light and add a bit of texture to it.
7:31 - Photo too sharp - adding a bit of softness to the shot using a bit of cloth in front of the lens, kinda similar to the nylon bag trick.
Here are the two additional photos from that shoot:
Finally, if you have no idea what I was talking about wit the wolf in the beginning of the post, you way wanna watch this explicit language video from Pulp Fiction:
For the lighting diagrams, tips on rush-shoots and other interesting tidbits, head over to Ben's How to succeed a full scale fashion shoot with only 24 hours of prep