Sam Simmons for Fest0
neil posted in Travel on August 25th, 2010
“He uses props.. he has a lot of televisions” was my brief from my editor at Fest magazine. Sam Simmons made time for a Fest magazine shoot in Teviot (Gilded Balloon). Sam was easy to work with and did’nt baulk at the zany. No suprise when you see his act.
I had James Robertson assisting me on this shoot, which proved invaluable. One pocketwizard died, a cable failed and the optical trigger for another slave would’nt work when held in the hotshoe. This combination flummoxed me temporarily. It was a few minutes before my three strobes were all behaving.
I made the above shot and thought “right.. got SOMETHING in the bag”, my expectations of the shoot drastically lowered by the malfunctioning equipment. However Sam mentioned “I’m good to play” and there was no real time pressure. When a subject says this, its time to step up!
So we got a little crazy, moved around and in the end we came back to that original setup, but changed the light. Sam stuck his hand out towards the camera on a reflex while I got James to splash the left side light on the wall. It worked, the pose wasn’t quite right first time, neither was the framing, but we were ON! The flashes were running low power so we quickly banged out 26 exposures with different poses, expressions. We had it. I walked away from the shoot happy, not kicking myself and pushing out a mediocre image. Other people have put this better, but my take is this: Don’t walk away ’til you are done, looking “professional” by being quick is worth nothing if your shot is only mediocre. Keep working the scene!
I need to laminate my own advice and use it to cover my screen.