Spokane Shock Dance Team calendar Shoot!

Ahh, life.  That crazy series of unpredictability that greets us each morning as we roll out of bed, the Murphyness of ‘the alarm didn’t go off, the kid is sick, out of coffee, car won’t start, (insert malady here)’ that keeps us scrambling to simply get by and do the things we NEED to do while doing its level best to make sure we never get around to those things we WANT to do, like create a new blog post.

But I digress…

02132015-PMP-shock dance-PAPE-15

One of the sets for our shoot!

I have been covering Spokane Shock arena football games for a few years now, as well as a few special assignments for the team.  For the last two years, I have done player photos for the program and jumbotron intros.  I used a simple 3 light set up and white seamless for background, like this:

Spokane Shock headshot sample

Spokane Shock headshot sample

When the marketing folks for the team came up with an idea to create a poster/calendar for a major sponsor, they needed location photos of the dance team at a tractor dealership.  They reached out to me and I was happy to help!

Since it was still early February, the weather was going to be the deciding factor for determining if we shot indoors or outdoors.  The sponsor wanted outdoors, so we all had out fingers crossed!  I stopped by the location to check out backgrounds, lighting, etc a few days before the shoot, and the weather forecast was as good as could be hoped for.  We agreed on two ‘stages’ and committed to the outdoor shoot while continuing to cross everything that could be crossed in hopes of good weather.

When the shoot day arrived, it ended up being one of the warmest days of the year so far (I know, its only February!), sunny with temps in the low 50s and almost no wind.  Still a bit cool for girls in dance outfits, but certainly as good as could be expected!

Of course bright mid-day sun is not the most flattering for photography, creating harsh shadows that are not becoming for 17 young ladies posing on and around farm machinery.  SO I used a studio strobe and battery pack (no cords and easy mobility; remember, two stages!) to provide on axis fill light to reduce the harshness of the shadows.  I use and ultra-wide lens to make sure all the ladies were in the shot, and radio triggers to fire my strobe.  In all it was a fairly simple set up that worked very well.

02132015-PMP-shock dance-PAPE-5

One of the final shots (look at those tires!) 🙂

Are there things I wish I had done differently?  Yes.  My fill was not a well controlled as I would have liked.  I will plan to have an assistant next time to keep the fill as close to on axis as possible for EVERY shot.  But overall, I think the shoot went great and I delivered some wonderful team photos to the marketing crew.  I can’t wait to see the final poster!

EDIT: Final poster:

Pape Dance Team Poster Cal 18x24 FINAL 1920x1440

The final poster design!

I did take the time to shoots some behind-the-scenes video and time lapse:

Thanks for stopping by!


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