Some of you might remember how I came to be in possession of my ExplorerXT gear-- Just rewind your brains a bit to a few months ago.
Back in late January or early February, I posted an update where I talked about shooting a band who had just signed a contract with a label and -- to make a long, already-told, story short -- I ended up with some really cool gear. In a way, the band is indirectly responsible for me receiving this gear. Thanks guys! And thanks again Glen! (Innovatronix marketing guy and a person who is more than indirectly responsible for me getting my grubby hands on an ExplorerXT and some other great gear.)
Anyway, the band I wrote about back then is called Paradise and, today, we spent an hour or two near my home making some photos.
I was already acquainted with Chris, Paradise's drummer. (He's the blond dude on the far right in the picture above.) It was my first time meeting the rest of the lads: Nick, Jordan, and, uhh.. Jordan.
Paradise didn't want me to shoot them in a style that evoked the typical, rock & roll, "Yeah, we bad!" look that's so common with many music industry marketing photos these days. They wanted something more fun, slightly cheesy, perhaps even a bit dumb and silly. No problem, guys! I can do cheesy. And dumb and silly? Well...
In spite of the lightheartedness the lads wanted in their pics, a name like Paradise (and all it conjures) still needs something more, you know, like maybe touch of visual symbolism for a few of the photos. So, that was the plan: Fun, cheesy, dumb and silly, with a lighthearted touch of something semi-symbolic. Nothing deep, dramatic, meaningful, or too artsy or mysterious.
BTW, the guys could only make it around mid-day, obviously not the preferred time to shoot, but with a little help from my strobes and the portable power gear, I made do with the overhead sun.
Because of my available time this past week, or lack of it, and since our little shoot was scheduled kind of last-minute-ish, I was able to do absolutely zero in terms of planning this shoot. (Other than the where and when it would take place.)
So there we were, me and lads, on a bright, sunny, day, with me finding myself in need of something, anything, to provide a touch of, uhh... something or anything to help photograph these band guys.
And then I found it! (Not by design, but by accident!)
Lying on the ground, right under my nose and just waiting for me to discover its existence, was an orphaned street sign. How that sign came to be lying on the ground right where we were going to shoot is a mystery but I'm glad it was there. Serendipity rocks! (Nothing like a good prop to help out subjects who aren't comfortable, or have little or no experience, get into the groove in front of a camera.
"Dude! Check that out!" I said as I pointed to the sign which was turned, graphics-side down, in some high grass.
We picked it up, turned it over, and there it was: A double-sign traffic pole that was perfect for what we wanted to do. Plus, it has a touch of symbolism when put together with 4 guys who call themselves "Paradise." (You all get the symbolism, right? I don't have to 'splain this stuff do I? And no, it ain't an Iwo Jima thing... altho the posing for the shot at the top certainly is Joe Rosenthal inspired.)
It was great fun spending a couple of hours with these young, talented musicians. Plus, what if these kids hit it big? I'll be the first guy to have shot them. Cool, no?
Just like my last time using it, the ExplorerXT (and it's Aux Battery pack) performed like a champ! I know I'm sounding like I'm pimping this gear a bit much -- and I swear I'm not getting commissions for any sales that might result -- I'm just very impressed with Innovatronix's portable power products. Not only does the ExplorerXT make life so much easier when shooting at locations where A/C is unavailable (especially when I need to use strobes that provide more Ooomph! than speedlites can deliver) it hooks me up with fast recycle times and, like the Energizer Bunny, keeps on going and going and going.
I still haven't put the Air Blower they provided me through its paces -- I plan to do so very soon -- plus Glen, Innovatronix's marketing guy, just advised me a few days ago they're sending me their Vulcan smoke machine in the next few days. Who knows? It might already be on the way! Apparently, the engineers completed whatever mods they were making and the unit is now good to go. (Hopefully, I'll have the smoke machine by next week. I have some plans for that bad boy!)
My apologies for the lack of updates. I've been working on a 6-day production shoot the past three days. Each day has been between 14 and 16 hours long! I'm freakin' exhausted. Tomorrow, I'm back on set for another three days. Hopefully, they won't be as long as the last three. I'll provide some pretty girl pics from the shoot as soon as I can. One of the babes I've already shot this past week is December, 2008, Penthouse Pet, Tori Black. Damn! She's pretty! In fact, the words, "smokin' hot" come immediately to mind.