I’m teaching a photography class for beginners for Classes And Workshops at University of Washington Seattle! Professor Uncle Jesse… Has a nice ring to it.
Last month, I had the pleasure of shooting images for Nufabrx's upcoming advertising, web content, and social media campaigns. Nufabrx makes these dope pillowcases that are actually good for your skin, through science or some other kind of sorcery. I digress.
This was a really fun shoot because it forced a lot of improvisation and creative thinking, both in shooting and casting. Nufabrx, while wildly successful, is still a relatively new and small company, and they were definitely working with a budget for creative. Between hiring me, a great makeup artist, and the pricy set we rented, there wasn’t much room left to go to a modeling agency.
For an acne-fighting pillowcase, it makes sense that Nufabrx’s target demographic is teenagers and moms with teenagers. They wanted to cast a brother, sister, and mother who all looked reasonably related, without breaking the budget on agency models.
The marketing team from Nufabrx was able to cast Cindy Lemos as the mother, who was awesome. I had recently met one of the faces of American Eagle, Sarah Korin, and asked her if she was down to do the shoot, and she happily obliged. And of course, my Zoolanderish best friend Adam Haney was more than willing to take the role of the brother because (A) he totally fit into this commercial “family,” and (B) Nufabrx paid him a lot more than I could afford to pay him to help me out. Adam, being the trooper that he is, modeled and assisted simultaneously because he’s got that sweetness.
I used all sorts of light setups for this shoot, with anywhere from 1-5 strobes in a frame. Lighting these shots was tricky because due to the availability of the house rented for the set, I wasn’t able to prelight the day before. Not to mention, this is an actual house, not a built studio set, so there were definitely some cramped spaces, making it a challenge to set up without getting too much octabank in the frame. Luckily, Adam and I are pros at winging it.
If you follow my work, you know that I like to shoot with prime lenses, wide open, with strobes and neutral density filters. My lens of choice is usually my 85mm prime, which is way too tight to have worked on this set. I shot most everything with my 16-35mm f/2.8L, and a 50mm f/1.4. Weird, right?
We set up another strobe outside the window for the above shot, and also kneeling on wood floors hurts like hell after six hours.
My favorite shot of the day was a scene of Sarah getting ready in the morning. The marketing team had stressed that this was an important part of the shot list, so I really wanted to make it look good. Unfortunately, the bathroom we were shooting in was about the size of my closet.
I ended up more or less bouncing the light from the wall to the right, which cast a very soft light in Rembrandt style to Sarah’s face. The difficulty of the scenario and the fact that it turned out all right make me love the shot.
All in all, I’m very satisfied with how this shoot wrapped. Even though it was 90-something degrees on set with very limited room and forethought, the images turned out great, and we all had a lot of fun.
Thanks for reading.