Shooting for the November Men’s
Issue of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia
It’s such an incredible feeling when you really click with an art director or a fashion editor. It’s a rush, in fact. And that’s the way it feels when I work for Sally from
There was a decent amount of prep work that went into this shoot and I’ll explain this to you now. While we were scouring LA for the perfect model, I set out to search the perfect location for the shoot. Sally wanted something very “LA”, you know, sunny, and glossy and hip! But Harper’s was also doing this story to coincide with the
So we had the location set and we had the model. The last thing we needed were some props to fill out the story. Because Sally picked up the samples in Paris from Louis Vuitton, we could have the model actually get in the pool with the clothing and get them wet. Originally I put together a shot list to include a lot of shots in the pool or just outside of it. But we needed something extra to read “Nautical!” While Sally was actually flying from Dubai to Paris to pick up the clothing from Vuitton, I was at
When Sally arrived in LA, I met her at her hotel to take a look at the clothing and show her the pictures from Omega. She approved the ones she wanted and the shoot was set! This was 2 days before the shoot!
Our call time was 12 Noon because I didn’t want to start shooting in the middle of the day when the sun was directly overhead. Why? Because the light isn’t very attractive at that time of day. The morning of the shoot day, Tyler and I headed to Omega to pick up the props that I had put on hold. We then headed over to the house to get our equipment unloaded and set up before the rest of the crew arrived. David picked up Sally from her hotel so she didn’t have to take a cab all the way from Santa Monica, which if you know LA, Santa Monica feels like it’s in a different time zone when you’re up in the Hollywood Hills! By the time they arrived, the lighting was set up and Dylan, our model, was in make up. Sally used a guest room at the house to lay out the clothing and we had Dylan try on the clothing to see what worked best on him. Meanwhile, I was busy with Tyler working out the order of the shots and how the sun was going to move over the pool area we were shooting in. Because of the brightness of that summer sun in LA, I decided to use a neutral density filter. The main purpose of a ND filter is to cut down the amount of light that passes through the lens. So, in other words, I didn’t have to shoot at F16 to get my exposure. I own a ND 2 which has a filter factor of 2 stops. That means I have to open up 2 stops when I put that filter on. So I could shoot with a better aperture AND the ND filter also darkens the sky and helps keep colors saturated. So I knew the blue sky and pool water would really pop with an ND filter as well as being able to control my aperture.
The day went really smoothly with zero drama. I want to reach out here and give a warm and sincere big thank you to Adam Press for letting us take over and invade his incredible home in the Hollywood Hills. We had our computers set up in the dining area, his living room became our grip room with all our gear laid out on the floor so we could run and grab an extra C-stand or whatever we needed. His guest bedroom, as mentioned, became the wardrobe room and the kitchen area was Meghan’s grooming domain. And then of course we shot the entire story in and around the pool. We we did indeed take over his house, if only for a few hours, but still. He was very gracious in letting us shoot there and I’m very grateful that he did because the shots turned out so lush and rich! And indeed the location had a lot to do with that.
Also a special thanks to Daniel Castro and his friend for the extra hand in assisting that day. Like I always say, it take a village to produce these shoots. There’s lighting issues to take into consideration and we have to trouble shoot constantly. One thing we decided to do on this particular shoot was to use our strobes as the sun and over power the sun. We were able to do this by positioning the lights at the angle the sun was coming in and then using a strong enough power of watts, we were able to trick the camera and sort of “over-ride” the sun. Slapping on the ND filter gave it some depth and saturation and there it is: our finished product!
And to add one more amazing aspect to an already great day, Matthew Wardenaar and Evan Matthews from