Back To Prison Again… (She is young and she is fit, she is forever changing hair color and style)

Bree Arkham

Bree Arkham

I’m really looking forward to the second shoot of 2015 at the old decrepit Eastern States Penitentiary. As I have posted in the past, but I’ll say it again for those who may have just started following this blog. I like shooting at ESP because it is a challenge. There are many other photographers and videographers all in there at the same time and all looking for their favorite location to shoot.

Let’s look at a breakdown of the challenges I will face on Tuesday evening.

  • Heat & humidity.
  • Creepy guy syndrome (guy with camera).
  • Finding a great spot to shoot.
  • New model.
  • Lighting or lack off.

So this is not all of the challenges, but I think you get the idea. Looking at the list four of the five have nothing to do with camera settings of gear. Lighting is the only camera related issue.

  1. Heat & humidity will play a key factor in the quality of the images and the duration of the shoot. If the model falls apart too quickly the shoot will suffer greatly. Here in the Philadelphia area we are in the height of the summer season and heat & humidity are  a part of everyday life. We will be indoors mostly however there is no air conditioning in the old shell of a prison. Key thing here is having a model who is in good physical condition, seriously the better condition the model is in the better the chance she holds up in the heat, both mentally & physically. I know I’ll sweat but who cares… not me. lol
  2. Creepy guy syndrome plagued last month’s shoot. We had a guy trying to capture shots of Nicole right in front of me. Kudos to Nicole’s escort/friend for just standing right in front of the a-hole’s camera and stopping him dead in his tracks. Sorry dick, it’s my model I have paid to have her here and you’re not allowed to shoot any part of her. Besides she is shooting with me, she has signed a release and she knows full well how good her edit swill be and she knows nothing of what you intend to do with the images. So yeah… “Guy with camera” (not a photographer) will be out in full force for sure, looking to snag whatever photos he can. He’ll mostly go for the cheap thrill of trying to capture images of nude models, but he’ll take whatever he can get.
  3. Finding a good location within the prison walls can be daunting to say the least. Sometimes you have to wait for a location to become available. Most teams/groups are courteous to each other and will not stay too long in one spot. With that said there are photographers who work slow because they may be new to there light set up and others who just… work slow. Myself I’m looking for a spot to shoot, I’ll work the spot for 5 minutes and move on.
  4. New model, I have never met  Miss Bree Arkham in person. We found each other through social media and I gave her an invite. I guess she could wear the label alternative, but I like to say she is interesting and I mean that in a dam good way. She is young and she is fit, she is forever changing hair color and style and she appears to love life and live life, she is a “go getter”. Since I first asked her she has changed her hair color and sent me a selfie as an update. I’m going with instinct on this shoot and leaving hair, makeup and wardrobe up to her (how dangerous is that?). Hey sometimes the best ideas come from a model or even from someone else on the set/shoot. I’m always happy to listen to what ideas people have. I may listen and I may say “no” but most important I do listen. So let’s see what Miss Arkham throws at us on Tuesday evening.
  5. Lighting is always a big challenge at ESP. It will be late day and it may be overcast… great for even light, but also means pumping up the ISO and that means cropping must be done as part of the composition in camera and not in post at all. This is where full crop sensor is a must. My preference is to shoot “available light” but that could mean going into the range of ISO 2500 or even 4000. I will however have a Rapid Box beauty dish on a stick with radio flash and I may bring a light stand with a Westcott Orb. I try to travel as lite as possible and it is a fine line to figure out what you need and don’t need.

My goal in almost any project shoot I do is to come away with great images and it doesn’t have to be a lot. If I capture 3 to 5 good images and one great image I’m happy.

So off to ESP…

Thanks for reading.

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