Tag Archives: behind the scenes

Behind the Scenes Video

A few weeks ago, my longtime Photo Assistant Alan Vance brought some video equipment along and filmed me during an interior design shoot with Bleu Leman Design (Diane Leifer). He cut together this video showing the messy, weird, painstaking path we tread on our way to a finished shot.

Enjoy! And thanks Diane Leifer for agreeing to appear in this — and to Alan Vance for shooting and editing!

Behind The Scenes


A few weeks ago, I posted the photo above with the caption “We’re going to move some furniture on this one…”

A lot of people wanted to see what we ended up with , so I’m posting it below. The great Arnold Newman said, “Photography is 1% talent, and 99% moving furniture,” and when it comes to architectural work, truer words have never been spoken! We move furniture on every shot we make. Sometimes it’s extreme, like above, sometimes it’s minor, but I’d be hard pressed to remember a shot where something didn’t get moved. Furniture arrangements that are symmetrical and common-sense in “real life” often look really weird from the camera’s two-dimensional perspective, so we move things into positions that make no sense at all to those of us with bifocal vision, but which make perfect sense to the camera. Often, we’re scouring the surroundings for props to fill in a room that’s not really looking quite right. Other times, it’s a matter of removing the majority of the crap that’s filtering out our beautiful photo

So, click the link to see the room as I arranged it. Which reminds me, I still have an outstanding $50 bet as to whether the management ultimately adopted my floor plan! Click for lots of photos…

Photo Assisting

Alan Vance lugs my camera Pelican (with maybe $15,000 of glass & cameras in it) up a ladder to the rooftop.

If you work with me on location, there’s pretty much a constant refrain of me shouting, “Alan!”

“Alan, can I get my 1.4x extender?”   “Alan, I need the power cable for the laptop.”   “Alan, can we get a head with an umbrella out that window, and then flag it so the reflection doesn’t show in the glass tile behind the stove?”

A good Photo Assistant (“PA”) can absolutely make or break a shoot, so today we’re going to hear from mine: Alan Vance. I get emails every week from people offering to assist me for free, but they don’t always realize just what a skilled position they’re asking for. Carrying gear around is only a tiny, tiny piece of the puzzle. A good PA can work very closely with the photographer, and handle complex technical tasks with a huge variety of equipment.

You wanna be a photo assistant? You’d better be intimately familiar with equipment from Broncolor, Elinchrom, ProPhoto, Dynalite, Arri, Lowell, Photek, Matthews, Manfrotto, Arca, Westcott, Canon, Nikon, Hasselblad, Phase One, Lee, and more. You’d better be able to troubleshoot Capture One, Lightroom, or Canon Digital  Photo Pro. You’d better be able to use a light meter – preferably your own. You’d better know how to assemble any model of softbox, and in a hurry. You’d better know what I mean when I say, “Get two Inkies with baby plates and light this to f/13, and gel them with a half cut of minus green. Then get a head with a shoot-through and put it down at the end of that hallway. Have some CTO ready for that one. Might have to flag it off the ceiling. And we’re going to put some SB-80s over the valence, there. See that little shadow? I want you to kill it.” And then make it all happen. Yeah, it’s a big job, and not just anyone can do it.

Read Alan’s article, and see tons of BTS photos, click here!

Behind The Scenes with Malia Campbell Photography

I’m heading into a brutal shoot sked this weekend which (hopefully) will mark the end of shooting on a long-term project. A couple of weeks ago my friend and colleague Quentin Bacon dropped by the set to shoot some BTS footage.

Before you ask:  I’m not sayin’……yet.

Maybe next week.

More Lifestyle/Interiors

You may have noticed
a steady increase in the appearance of living, breathing, humans in my photography over the past few months. While the bulk of my work is (and is likely to continue to be) straight-up interiors/architecture, I’m also having a good time experimenting with lifestyle photography. So, from time to time, I’m self-producing (read: self-financing) lifestyle shoots, as well.

Just as in the Cigar Factory Loft project, this was a property I was already familiar with, having shot it last year. When my client offered it to me to use for this project, I jumped at the chance, because I knew it had TONS of potential.

This time, there was also a video shoot happening at the same time. Malia Campbell was in town and wanted to shoot a mock “Client Testimonial” video that would appeal to her real estate client base, so we coordinated our goals and pooled resources to make the most out of the opportunity. We even shared a couple of the models!
…photos and video after the jump…