Behind the Lens: Shooting in Downtown LA

Behind the Lens: Shooting in Downtown LA

Getting The Shot

We all see the finished photo on a company’s website or social media, but how was that shot actually captured? Above we can see our Sr. Content Producer, me, laying on the dirty LA streets with complete disregard of how much antibacterial soap it will take to get myself all cleaned up. But on the right, we see what was captured in that moment. The thought behind this picture is simple even though it has a lot of elements coming into play. I love capturing angles. If there is anything you can take away from this, is don’t be afraid to look crazy when taking a photo. Some of the best photos have the craziest set ups. So, whatever it takes, just stay safe! Taking a picture at lower angle creates a feeling heroism in the subject, in this case Alex, which is something that Wolf & Shepherd believes in that every person is the hero of his or her own life. I wanted to capture movement, so having the tie flapping in the wind gives an even greater feeling of motion. For this particular shot Alex just ran at me, but something else to try is actually have the model throw their tie or whatever article of clothing you’re trying to capture motion of and then have them assume the position of the shot. It really adds dynamic drama to the shot. The other biggest thing that I noticed on this location is that all the colors are on BRAND. If you’ve ever worked for a brand or a company in the creative department you’ve probably been drilled with the question “Is it on brand?” All that means is, does it make sense for the company. For example, if you were shooting something for a Nike ad you probably wouldn’t take a picture of a cow sleeping because it’s not on brand. Same goes for colors. Our colors are in the realm of dark and light blues with the occasional skin tones and greys. These colors are very obvious in this photo from everything from the sky and suit to the buildings and sidewalk Alex is running on.

 

 

Getting The Shot

Every once in a while, we get so dialed in, we miss what actually should be the photo. I saw a ledge next to a sidewalk and I thought this would be a great spot to capture maybe some dangling feet shots, perhaps a couple of balancing shots and even one of Alex jumping to get that dramatic motion that I love. After I snapped few dozen... maybe a hundred... photos we started walking away from the location. Our Graphic Designer, who was doubling as my PA that day, showed me a couple of the BTS shots seen to the left. I immediately stopped and realized I missed the most important shot of the day! THE CLOUDS IN THE REFLECTION OF THE WINDOW! We booked it back to the ledge where I was able to grab my favorite shots from that shoot. If it wasn’t for a second pair of eyes, a short review, and the ability to react quickly we would have lost that moment forever. The lesson here is don’t get so sucked into staring through the lens and firing off the shutter. Take a second, look around, maybe even start far away from the subject with a wide-angle lens then start moving closer because if you look too close to the subject you might just miss what’s happening around you. There may be a life lesson in there too.

 

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