A couple of months ago, I was contacted by accordionist Paul Chamberlain regarding doing a promo shoot for a new duo he formed with saxophonist/violinist Michael Haywood.
To my delight, they chose the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh as the location for the shoot. It is a wonderful place to take photographs. In fact, my first model shoot, about four years ago took place there.
The main reason I like to work with musicians is that they are generally looking for creative pictures and are willing to experiment. The photograph below was the last set up of the shoot and is my favourite from the day.
The wonderful thing about lighting is that it allows the photographer to completely control the light and come up with images that would be very difficult if not impossible to create using only natural light.
The reason the experimental set up was the last one is that I always want to make sure I have some pictures the client can use. I also need to warm up at the beginning of the shoot, so I always start with tried and tested set ups and get some nice pictures in the bag. Once I know the assignment is completed, I can feel free to experiment if there is some time left and the client is up for it.
When I saw the black, shiny table, I knew there was a picture there, because I could get some nice reflections. They always add a wonderful element of interest to your images. The colour scheme also worked very nicely. Mostly black, with a touch of colour from the violin, the musicians’ faces, the other instruments and the background. Surprisingly, perhaps, even though the photograph is mostly monochrome, it works much better in colour than in black and white.
I knew the reflections I would get from the shiny black table would add a key element to the environmental portrait of the two musicians.
For the first set up, I took individual portraits of Paul and Michael. With artists, these portrait sessions can go in unexpected and wonderful ways. This time was no exception and I really like this picture of Michael Haywood.
Michael Haywood is a dreamer.