It is getting colder outside (although it was ridiculously warm yesterday). The peak of the Fall season is behind us. Most of the leaves are on the ground leaving behind brown and dead backgrounds. I am not much of a winter shooter, probably because of bad experience of packing snow in equipment and getting stuck with snow all the way up the waist in the middle of a field for 45 minutes with nothing to keep the head warm. Having all the skin from your ears flaking off your head is really painful. The changing season pulls my shooting drive down a bit. I am also changing seat in my daily work with a certain load of additional responsibilities that pulled my focus away from photography for now. I insist on the “for now” portion but at this moment, I clearly know shooting would have to take the back seat.
I was kind of running in circle lately. It had been a couple of weeks without shooting anyone. I instagramed away like an idiot anything passing behind my iPad but it clearly wasn’t enough. I was probably a few hours away from getting the deprivation shakes. Last week, Sarah Mitchell sent me an email, out of the blue, asking me if I fell like Joining Sylvain and Caroline for a shoot in Montreal on Sunday morning. I had been stressed out for 2 weeks, I had something on Saturday night, was tired like Santa must be on December 26th but looking at my calendar, it had to be now or never. I had nothing to plan, no one to book so you know what? I can sleep later.
I met Sarah in St-Jean-de-Matha last summer. She was modeling for Kevin Gauthier while I was working with Nancy. We had briefly exchanged a few words back then.
We worked for a few hours. Sylvain knew that great decayed building with different facades. We spent some time there, went through a couple of outfits and walked the streets whenever we were seeing something interesting further away. Sarah came prepared and managed to wear 4 different clothing styles which made the shoot really dynamic.
I stood on the thin grey line between lazy and smart that day. I normally shoot near my truck all the time because I carry everything in there. That day we were walking so I had to decide: light traveling or aching back. I opted for the 1st kit. Rather than bringing my Alien Bee and Vagabond, I went with hot shoe flashes and the Apollo. I packed only 1 light stand and 1 body. I also left home the lenses I was less inclined to shoot with. I ended up carrying all my electronics in my Sling bag and my stand and modifier in the other hand. That was the smart side of the line. I missed my 2nd body every time I had to switch lenses, my Alien Bee when trying to shoot straight in the sun to exploit the silky cloudy sky, and my Vagabond (for the weight) every time I would see the Apollo about to tip over with the wind. I managed to get 2 hot shoe flashes in the Apollo and made what I could with what was on hand.
There are big changes coming up for me and in order to avoid the shakes, I better get better head gears.
Credit Sylvain Lejeune