In the past couple years, I have built my specialty around wedding and family photography – but this focus is still pretty new, and I welcome the occasional departure from it. In the past I have photographed food, gala’s, sporting events, conferences, architecture, businesses, cars, corporate events, and concerts – so taking photographs of a local band, White Ghost, is all par for the course.
White Ghost also left the creative direction up to me, so I thought a lot about how I wanted to present the band. Images kept rolling in my head of photos I didn’t want to take. Since White Ghost's music is fun, upbeat, and energetic, I didn’t want dramatic images of the band members standing in an alley, staring back at the camera ominously, cigarette smoke drifting aimlessly from fingertips, nor did I want sunny photos in a park - which would feel to casual, too much like a snapshot. What I really wanted was a photo that made the viewer feel like he was having a conversation with the band, so I needed to create a situation where having a conversation with three strangers is a normal, comfortable, scenario. It struck me that this is the sort of thing that takes place in bars all the time, and by putting the viewer in the shoes of the bartender, I could get a great shot of the band members sitting side by side at the bar, while the viewer can get the feeling of interacting with all three of them.
We were able to use Pop Champagne and Dessert Bar in Pasadena, which features a red brick interior, a banquet room for a change of pace, and some pretty neat furniture. I made use of a C-Stand, some pocket wizards, and a lighting umbrella for many of the shots, but also used a piece of hardware I’ve had for sometime but don’t often get to use. My Roundflash is a collapsible circle flash that utilizes a strobe to create beautiful, diffused, circular lighting. It creates stunning catch light in the subjects eyes, and since the light falls off quickly on the sides, it focuses attention on the subject.