Hey Everybody! First of all, Happy New Year to everyone out there! I know it’s been a while since my last post… sorry about that :), but it’s been a madly fantastic year full of work, projects, crazy adventures and meeting a lot of new people, for which I’m very thankful.
However, let’s get down to business. One of last year’s highlights was this assignment that I was hired to do with the studio that I work with here in Barça (Black & Rad Bcn productions, best guys in town). The photoshoot was for Mr. Neymar Jr. (world-renowned football player) and the goal was to produce an updated personal portfolio so that he could have fresh images to send to different magazines for interviews, specific images for his NGO, and also for his various social media channels, etc.
This shoot presented a couple of challenges:
– Different moods and ambience
– Different light schemes
– Different Outfits
– Limited time to shoot
– Things can always go wrong!
Now, let’s break down these things and tell you a little bit about how everything was solved.
At the beginning, I was supposed to have two hours for the shoot – during that time we would have to change between five different outfits, two different lighting setups and two different backgrounds which we would use for the various looks.
To start with, what I did was to do some tests the week before the shoot (since I had some time for that), where I tried the different light schemes that I wanted to use and figured out the best way to organise everything, so that I could have both sets ready and have everything sorted out about how to change faster between them. During the tests I set up everything myself but, on the day of the shoot, I had an assistant who helped me with that – this is something important to bear in mind when every minute counts; no, you can’t and no, you shouldn’t do everything yourself all the time!
I think that the most important part of this type of shoot is the pre-production process, since having everything prepared and ready to start working as soon as your ‘model’ arrives is key, you won’t have a lot of time to do your job, and there is no time to fail and to hesitate, so your ideas have to be clear and you have to be confident that you can pull it off – having everything prepared in time will help with that. Also, be organised, have your tools and lenses close-by, i.e. somewhere near you, but not where they can get in the way.
On the day of the shoot, we arrived around two-and-a-half hours before Mr. Neymar was supposed to be at the studio where we were doing the shoot (yeah, this was, of course, only going to be an approximate arrival time for him, these guys have crazy schedules). I would say that actually playing football actually only takes up like 20% of their time J. However, never mind, the thing is that he ended up arriving almost two hours late, not because he didn’t care about the shoot, but simply because he has a lot of different appointments and other things to do on the same day; this means that if he happens to spend more time on any one of them, he ends up being late for everything else.
His being late actually had a good and a bad side; the good side was that we had had enough time to check that everything was precisely set up, that everything was working properly, and we could even do some more tests. The bad side, which we already knew would and/or could happen, was that we ended up having less time to shoot with him, of the two hours, we had to try to have everything done in an hour-and-fifteen minutes or an hour-and-a-half tops.
Eventually, everything worked out perfectly, I have to say that, for the first five minutes, I was a little nervous because I had in my mind the big responsibility this was for me and because I really wanted to do a good job. However, after the first couple of shots, I was already focused and, when we started to see the results, everything went perfectly well. Neymar happens to be a very nice guy, he is always surrounded by his friends so that makes it easier in a way, as it helps to create a nice atmosphere on set and that is very important.
Another thing to keep in mind, when it comes to minimising the chances of any unexpected events, is that having the proper gear that you know won’t fail is also important, and this is where broncolor lights and modifiers play a crucial role. Built like a tank, the quality of the light is fantastic, they are always consistent, and having something less to worry about during a shoot, I suppose we are all going to agree, is always so much appreciated.
Then, during the shoot, when I needed to change between backgrounds (white and grey), using the WiFi app on the Siros made it super-quick and easy to just turn off my background lights and I was ready to shoot right away. As you may also know from my previous post, I love the Para system so, in this shoot, I used the Para 133 for many of the looks, as I knew it wouldn’t let me down. I use them at every available opportunity and again, they are a huge help when it comes to saving time, since you can modify your light very easily, just focusing and defocusing it depending on your needs.
I hope you guys find this information that I’m sharing with you helpful, and if I could just give you some advice? If you ever find yourself on a shoot that could present various challenges for you, first of all, don’t be scared, challenges are a good thing, they take you out of your comfort zone and that means that you will learn in the process and from the whole experience itself. So, be confident, and try to be as prepared as you can, as things can always go wrong – it’s important to try to minimise the chances of that happening.
For now, I can share this short behind-the-scenes clip and a couple of shots but, over time, I will be sharing more images on my personal channels and at @BlackAndRadBcn so keep an eye out for These!
5 broncolor Siros 800s (two as background lights when needed, two as rim lights, and one as a main light when using the beauty dish)
1 broncolor Scoro S pack with Pulso G lamp (this one was mounted on the Para 133 for creating light when needed)
2 Octabox 75
2 30 x 120 strips softboxes with grid
1 beauty dish with grid
1 Para 133
Photographer: Lucho Vidales
Art Director: Sebas Romero
Production: Javi Echeverría
Digital Assistant and behind the scenes clip: David Acedo
Make-up: Xavi Valverde
Assistant: Carlos Rodelas
Special thanks to broncolor and Txomin from tx-lab in Barcelona for helping us choose the right equipment for this shoot!