I Shot Mr. Post-It® Note For The London Sunday Times

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So I get a call from Andrew Mitchell, one of the photo editors at the London Sunday Times, and he needed me to hightail it to the Palace Hotel to shoot a feature on George Buckley, the Chairman & CEO of 3M. Now the Palace is a really nice hotel, but the idea of shooting a couple of portraits in his suite just kinda seemed flat, so after a bit of pleading with the hotel’s P/R people, they said if I was quick I could use the Gilt Bar as a studio. So Kaz and I packed up the van and made our way uptown, but not before making a stop at an Office Depot for some props. You see, 3M makes more than 55,000 products, including adhesives, abrasives, laminates, fire protection, dental products, electronic materials, medical products, polishes, waxes, car shampoo, car chassis rust protection, electronic circuits and optical films. But if you had to pick the one thing they make that everybody knows, it’s the Post-It® Note, and I bought almost every Post-It® Note on the shelf at that Office Depot! I had been to Gilt a few times and I had an idea to dress up the ultra-modern lounge area with a few (thousand) of the little paper stickies…

Kaz sits in for the first test…

…about half an hour later, after Post-It-ing the set…

…and the final image of George…

For a second photo, we turned 90 degrees to the left and set up a shot with George framed by a golden wall and warm lights…

The gold wall…

A nice start…

That was nice, George…but what do you say we try this…

Dont’cha just love it when the CEO of a HUGE multinational corporation has a sense of humor?!!

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14 thoughts on “I Shot Mr. Post-It® Note For The London Sunday Times

  1. Hello Damn Handsome!

    Love your shoot of the 3M Big Fellow with stickies all over him! Much more interesting when you get a peek at a CEO’s personality AND sense of humor… Much more interesting than simply being a SUIT at the lovely Palace Hotel. Which one did London Sunday Times choose?

  2. Love this thinking. Makes me always want to think creatively when I have to do portraits.

    Thanks! ~ Mark

  3. Looks great! I did a similar shot for San Antonio Magazine with an event planner. I like how you used different color post-it notes. I added all the type in post-production, it took forever!

  4. Hey there, i’m a long time listener, first time caller 😉

    loving the idea very much!

    Question:
    are the test shots of Kaz with the color check board mean that the colors in that shot are “true” or does it help you manip’ it the way you want?
    and 2ndly, if i can ask, i watch your blog for a long time, and i see that for every shot you take a shot with a color checker, but the final result is always wacky(?!).. so do you use the shot with the color checker for a certain “starting point” or is it in fact the “true” colors with added contrast and definition on top of it?

    thank you and Loving the work!

    Ofir Abe
    Israel

    Most of the time when you see Kaz holding a MacBeth card, it’s an early test and I haven’t gotten to the point where the final white balance is dialed in. I need the color card to give me a starting point, because as I’ve said a thousand times, while ‘normal’ color doesn’t really matter to me, I still have to know where normal is and then I can chose to move in another direction if it works for the final image. Both of the above shots are perfect examples of this. In the first shot (seated on the lounge), the test photos show more of what the real color of the lounge was, but the neutral grey fabric was kind of dead and didn’t really work for me so I added a layer in post and added more cyan to the grey, while keeping the bright colors of the Post-It notes and the warmth of his skin tone. In the photograph against the gold wall, the initial tests show more of the ‘true’ color of the wall, but I wanted it to be more gold-like and yellow, so once again, I added a layer that shifted the wall color, then erased the subject from that layer to show the true color below. Hope that helped. BT

  5. Hey there, i’m a long time listener, first time caller

    loving the idea very much!

    Question:
    are the test shots of Kaz with the color check board mean that the colors in that shot are “true” or does it help you manip’ it the way you want?
    and 2ndly, if i can ask, i watch your blog for a long time, and i see that for every shot you take a shot with a color checker, but the final result is always wacky(?!).. so do you use the shot with the color checker for a certain “starting point” or is it in fact the “true” colors with added contrast and definition on top of it?

    thank you and Loving the work!

    Ofir Abe
    Israel

    Most of the time when you see Kaz holding a MacBeth card, it’s an early test and I haven’t gotten to the point where the final white balance is dialed in. I need the color card to give me a starting point, because as I’ve said a thousand times, while ‘normal’ color doesn’t really matter to me, I still have to know where normal is and then I can chose to move in another direction if it works for the final image. Both of the above shots are perfect examples of this. In the first shot (seated on the lounge), the test photos show more of what the real color of the lounge was, but the neutral grey fabric was kind of dead and didn’t really work for me so I added a layer in post and added more cyan to the grey, while keeping the bright colors of the Post-It notes and the warmth of his skin tone. In the photograph against the gold wall, the initial tests show more of the ‘true’ color of the wall, but I wanted it to be more gold-like and yellow, so once again, I added a layer that shifted the wall color, then erased the subject from that layer to show the true color below. Hope that helped. BT

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————–

    That helped understanding that process Big Time! (notice the BT? :))
    in my work ’till now i gave minimum attention to true colors as i’m very comfortable with heavy duty post processing, but this post inspired me to go on and buy my self my own spider checker, so now i’m testing it to see how it’ll effect my work and perhaps, make my PP work easier.

    so thank you for your time to answer!

    Ofir Abe

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