Number 20 is behind now. It’s been done 20 times. On 20 occasions multiple photographers, models, makeup artists and hair stylists gathered under the same roof and shot through the day. The 20th Great Photoshoot, organized by Studio4fun, was good.
I stopped counting how many times I have been there as participant and volunteer. The important thing for me is that I still enjoy participating into these events. Although they are getting more intense on the labour side with more compressed assembly and disassemble schedules, I am always looking forward for the next Great Photoshoot. This time, we could really feel the clock ticking. We started setting up the place on Saturday where we only had 3 hours to put up all the backdrops, flashes, modifiers, electrical circuits, chairs, tables, and more. Not a small task. By 9pm we were not done. Benoit and I were meeting again on Sunday at 7:30 to finish up the light setups. There must have been a bit of experience kicking in because by 8:30, all lights were in place and calibrated for the participant to abuse them.
Over the past editions, I have made contacts, not only ephemeral but some very solid. This is the purpose of these events. As photographer, I believe impact is everything. Not only should you have impact on your photography but also on your encounter. What I mean by that is when you are working with someone, especially in an event where they will be working with many others; something should happen that will make them remember you. Anyone who read the other Great Photoshoot blog post I did must know that I typically avoid shooting within the same sets as the participants. As volunteers, our shooting should be discreet to inexistent. Since my 1st participation as volunteer, I tried to push people to think slightly outside the box, whether by shooting against windows, brick walls, chalkboards and such. It usually helps getting photographers and models that are standing by, waiting for a backdrop to free up, shooting together. People remember that; the thing that happen differently from the rest.
During this edition, I pulled the some models next to a vent which became a very graphical background, others next to the cinder block wall. I did a few shots using my old 540ez hot shoe flash which turns into a fully manual flash when stuck on the 5DmkII. After framing the image, I imported them over to the iPad and processed them on the spot by using a combination of Snapseed, Retouch, PhotoToaster, Pictureshow and Instagram. It took a while to process in between the short sessions but during this time, the process did attract a few people’s attention. The discussions turned beyond the usual “What do you shoot with” and led toward “What is your workflow?” which is a much more complete discussion in my opinion. These discussions were going both ways which was great. On occasions, others would join the discussion and this is where the real dialogs would initiate.
20 is done. I heard 21 coming. I am looking forward to that. People seem to still enjoy the event which demonstrates there is a need for such gatherings. It is in people instincts to gather around common affinities such as photography, modeling, and styling. Everyone wants to make an impact somehow and this is what this is all about.