Chicken Salad out of Chicken shit

Sometimes when you walk into a shoot everything is just in place and perfect.  You have a great background, great light, super models, and so on.  The picture almost happens by itself.  And then there are the other 99.9 percent of the times when the photographer has to make chicken salad out of chicken shit!

This recent shoot was a perfect example of the other 99.9 percent.  Joshua Prezant Photography was hired to take a portrait of two gifted professors at the University of Miami’s Engineering School who developed a cloud computing setup for the school’s students to use.  I was tasked with making a striking photo of a relatively visually boring subject matter.  The problems at hand were: 1. We were working in a very little space (being that only one computer rack in this big server room was the one that was for the cloud computing). 2. It was important for the client to show the actual components being used and to not show any other compnents not part of this cload computing. 3. The actual computer system was not completely setup ( which actually ended up working for me for the shot I had in mind).  The professors were just starting to put all the components together. 4. The subjects had  never been photographed before by a professional and were a very nervous.

My assistant and I arrived about an hour before the shoot to get in place and begin the process of making something out of nothing.  And every care had to be made to be very careful.  We were working in a computer server room housing millions and millions of dollars worth of sensitive computer equipment (not your $1,600 Imac).  This would not have been the time to blow a circuit or a fuse on the outlet.  Having done our research about the type of environment we were working in and having photographed many time before in this type of environment we knew that it was important to bring the site manager on board to help locate safe outlets and triple check that non of our gear would interfere with anything.  Once we were all cleared to setup and test the creative part kicked in.  Using a mix of gels,  grids and a long exposer I wanted to add some color to a very monocromatic scene.  After a few jokes and being able to show the subjects what the picture would look like…they were more then happy to squeez into the computer rack and get VERY close together.  Even though everything was not all set and wonderful before we arrived I was able to able to produce a image that the client was thrilled with and the subject were super psyched about!

The small rack on the end ( next to one of the subjects) was the space we had to work with. This is a shot taken a day before by the subjects to show me the space.

lighting-diagram-computer shot

A lot of people asked about my lighting setup. So here is it.

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