Working together

I have long advocated for collaboration between creatives. Because I'm a photographer I have always enjoyed working with other photographers. One of my top services as a photography business is actually NOT working behind the camera. It's helping other photographers with lighting and grip, and consulting or helping plan a shoot or production. You may not have the lights or other equipment to bid on or attempt a job. You may need a location, or you may just need some coaching; some brainstorming on how to tackle a shoot you haven't tried before. 

A few months ago, good friend and photographer Jola Wulf inquired about me helping her with a fairly large shoot. She had been contacted about shooting the stills for a dance studio, Dance Dynamics, in St. Charles. Jola is well versed in her style of portraiture and weddings, but she had never shot motion, dance in particular, and she didn't have any of the lighting she needed for this sort of indoor, in-the-dance-studio location shoot. We have worked together a few times before, she knows I have the equipment and knows I have the knowledge to lend a hand. She knows I like to collaborate too and love a challenge. Lighting dancers from around 7 yrs old through their teens (some 34 of them I think?) in a dance studio lined with mirrors on the wall having to freeze motion in air is definitely a challenge. There were action group poses and static group poses required and it all needed to be on a white background. 

Jola did all the camera work, and I handled the lighting and grip and helped out with a few pointers for her position during the image captures and lens selections. I think she did pretty darned good!

No question the lighting was a bit tricky, but many times it is. There are a lot of takes to get one "correct" image too so you shoot in a low continuous mode with your camera and you have to make sure your wireless trigger can send the signals fast enough to your lights which you hope can keep up with the 5-8 frames per second you need to capture the shot. Given the difference in height of the students, and some are floor poses instead of standing poses, the lights need to be moved to provide coverage. Lots of moving parts too with that many dancers covering 30+ "looks". 

I have the lights, and I know how to set them up which left Jola to concentrate on the shot. I covered the lighting, the positioning of them, the changes needed and coached her on where to be to get the best results. She did the rest. This is the way it should work folks. You can achieve so much working together. 

If you are a photographer and you are offered the possibility of a job, and its something that you would want to do but just have no experience, think about using my services (or someone else's) to help you out. Could be an opportunity to shoot dancers, or a very large wedding with huge formal imaging requirements, a large corporate group shot or any complicated shot telling a story. Think about getting help before saying no.

I'm not talking about "second shooter" duties, thats not something I do nor am I talking about renting you a light or two and sending you on your merry way. I don't rent equipment piecemeal. I will consider "partnering" and working as a photographer team but normal rates apply. If you are looking at your own concept shoot, or a real work proposal comes your way and you need someone to help produce the effort, then give me a call. Using me to help learn how to light coupled with my reasonable fees is a lot less cost then buying it all and hiring a consultant! Lets work together.