You Can Shoot Here, Or You Can Shoot There…

Click on any image for full-size

I know how much some of you like seeing the behind-the-scenes stuff on my shoots, so as my tour of the Nation’s boardrooms and office spaces progresses, I offer to you my recent session with Gordon Fowler, the President and Chief Investment Officer of Glenmede. What follows is part lighting tutorial, part manipulating reality, but mostly it shows what can be done when you only have ten minutes to photograph a high profile subject and still come away with unexpected, arresting images.

On the location scout I did a couple of days before the shoot I was presented with two things. First, Gordon was extremely busy and wasn’t going to be able to devote a lot of time to a photo session, and second, there were really only two areas that would work as possible locations…

The ‘Art Wall’…

…and the ‘Wood Wall’…

The two spots were literally side-by-side, so by setting up both shots beforehand it would make it easier on Gordon’s time limitations…

We began with the portrait in front of the ‘Art Wall’…

It’s pretty obvious that I changed the overall look and feel by adding some moody blue drama to the scene, but the shot was actually pretty easy to light. Gordon was lit by a fresnel spot (with a full CTO gel) that was almost directly overhead and a second light with a 7″-40 degree grid skimming the wall behind him. The final light was a ringlight (with a full CTB gel) filling in the overall scene. After five minutes of Gordon in the chair, we went around the corner to the wood-paneled wall…

For this shot I wanted to keep things simple and just focus on his expressions, so I kept the lighting pretty open with a gridded beauty dish up high above his face, a couple of skim lights on either side of him and another ringlight adding not only fill, but a nice reflection highlight on the wood that separated him from the background. But the real beauty of the shot was the unexpected caught moment of him just enjoying his coffee and having a laugh before we actually got under way. I finished things off with that tight portrait at the top of the page, but the magazine went straight to Gordon and his coffee cup…

Two setups…ten minutes total shoot time…done!

Song of the Day (Two Times)

Nothin’ But A Driver

DOWNLOAD: Nothin’ But A Driver

Hard Times

DOWNLOAD: Hard Times

The Bottle Rockets proudly call themselves ‘The Best Band On The Planet!’…..OK…obvious hyperbole…but I was in the mood for a bit of rockabilly grunginess and it just so happened that Bloodshot Records is giving away ‘Nothin’ But A Driver’ on one of their famous sampler albums on Amazon and y’all know I’m willing to listen to anything for free! The Bottle Rockets have been kickin’ it since 1992 and were one of the reasons the term ‘alt-country’ got a Wiki page! They even had a major label deal with Atlantic Records until the whole record business went into the shitter…since then they’ve been doin’ what all indie bands do…touring and releasing great music that few people ever get to hear! Along the way they put out ten albums…the most recent being Lean Forward, where ‘Nothin’ But A Driver’ originally appeared. And since I haven’t exactly been spittin’ out the tunes on a regular basis, I’ve included a second track, ‘Hard Times’, that I found on the Bloodshot website.

You should head on over to Amazon and download the entire Bloodshot Sampler, then check out the boys at their website

I Got ‘Behanced’…

Last week I found about a new “…platform for creative professionals that covers all industries…” called the Behance Network and I figured I would take it for a spin. In the time it takes to brew a cup of coffee, I signed up for a portfolio, uploaded a selection of my work and sat back to see what might happen. Well…this morning I wake up to a boatload of emails from all over the World from people who had suddenly viewed my behance page…because the editors at behance had chosen to feature my work on the homepage of ‘Featured Projects’…! Now this has me thinking that just maybe I should have spent more than five minutes tossing those images up there!

You can sign up for your own Behance account at

Song of the Day

Love Is A Breakable Thing

DOWNLOAD: Love Is A Breakable Thing

It’s Tuesday and in the music biz that means it’s New Release Day and Johanna & the Dusty Floor are dropping a little five-song jewel with The Forest EP, her latest collection of heartfelt, beautifully crafted stories set to the sparest piano, shuffling percussion and subtle electronic beats. Backed by the beautiful harmonies of Dani Elliott and Anthea White, Johanna’s dark vocal on ‘Love Is A Breakable Thing’ creates a foreboding mood that sent a chill up my spine the first time I heard it and haunts me still. And tonight Johanna and the band are having an EP release party at Rockwood Music Hall, one of the best places to see and hear live music in the city. The show is at 7:00PM and I strongly urge any true Friends of The List to get your asses downtown for a bit of live music! If you can’t make it, let’s show some love and head on over to iTunes and pick up the EP…it’s only five bucks! You can follow Johanna and the Dusty Floor on their MySpace and Facebook pages.

Am I Becoming A Rude Twitterhead?!!

After being called out at dinner last night for being too wired into my ‘Social Network’ via iPhone and not paying enough attention to my actual friends around the table, this just seems like a perfect way to say I’m sorry and I’ll try not to let it happen again…

Song of the Day

Under the Gun

DOWNLOAD: Under the Gun

It has been pointed out to me that recently there has been a lot less testosterone on The List than in the past. That’s probably due to the fact that in my real life off The List I’ve been hanging out with a lotta female singer/songwriters like Nadia Ackerman and Kate Tucker and Johanna Cranitch and Chiara Angelicola and Dani Elliott and Anthea White….it’s a Hell of a problem to have, but I’m trying to make the best of it. So to keep you guys happy, I’m gonna make a concerted effort to push out a few more guy-driven tunes over the next few weeks. And just like that, a new leak from Ross Flournoy’s new band Apex Manor fell outta the sky! Ross was the driving force behind The Broken West, the L.A.-based power pop outfit that broke up late last year. Joining him are former Broken West bass player Brian Whelan along with Adam Vine and Andy Creighton. “Under the Gun” is one of the more than 25 songs Flournoy cranked out after getting over a bad a case of writer’s block and will be on their debut album, The Year of Magical Drinking, due out in January, and if the rest of the songs have such great lines as “…I apologize, my life’s become an island, and now I’m feeling under the gun…” I predict this one will be on my must-buy list next year! You can check out more of Apex Manor on their brand new MySpace page or over on their website.