behind the scenes, bts, commercial portrait, denis duquette, friends of the moncton hospital, hawk communications, lighting techniques, location photography, make-up artist, photography, photography blog, portrait photography, portraits
These images are from a shoot back in September for The Friends of the Moncton Hospital Foundation. The foundation’s missions is to raise funds to help the Moncton Hospital deliver excellent healthcare and promote wellness to meet the needs of the community. They use these images as ads for their current campaign in which they have set a fundraising goal of $850,000. For this shoot I worked with the wonderful people at Hawk (Gil Jackson – Art Director, Jenna Murray – Account Executive, Jennah Burton – account coordinator) & makeup artist: Sarah-Jane Bastarache. For this post I wanted to go a little deeper into the shoot and talk about how each image was shot and also how the composite was achieved for the end result. Read on for plenty of behind the scenes images, more campaign images and a couple small videos.
Before the shoot ever happened I met with Jenna & Gil at Hawk to discuss the concept and go over all the details I would need to create images that would work with their vision. They wanted to create a split screen type image, showing exactly what the Friends Foundation’s mission is. We also used actual patients that the foundation has helped for the campaign. It was important for me, at this stage, to be sure to ask any and all questions pertaining to the shoot. You always want to make sure you’re on the same page as the team you’re working with.
3 of the images were shot in the hospital which allowed us to get a bulk of the shooting all done in the same day. For this setup I wanted to be sure the focus and attention is on the girl and that you aren’t distracted by background elements, however I still wanted to show those elements enough to give an idea of location. She is lit with a single 4ft octa to her right and a shallow depth of field is used to throw the background mildly out of focus. From there I lit the background elements, to a lesser degree than her, to create the look and feel I was looking for.
Because of the initial meeting, I knew that this image would be used on the left of the final composite. With that in mind I had to be sure both my framing and crop left the appropriate amount of space. I also had to be sure the elements on the left side of the image added to it and didn’t take away or distract. Knowing that a logo and some text would be added, I wanted to be sure to leave as much clean space as I could to the left of the image.
The second image was the only one that we didn’t shoot in the hospital. We were unsure of what the weather was going to be and not wanting to wait too long to get the second shot in, we decided to shot at an indoor soccer field. All the same things apply to this image except reversed, with the right side of this image being used.
All the images are lit in the same way to have consistency throughout the campaign. For the soccer images I had to light the background of the image so that she wasn’t just standing in darkness. In the above image you can lights firing in the background behind the main light on the left. Those are two SB-900 speed lights pointed at about a 45 degree angle to the ground to give illumination on the turf and overall. I still wanted it to seem like she was outside for this image so the soccer side of the final composite has a bit of a warmer colour to it. We ended the shoot on the soccer field with me playing a quick 1 on 1 game of soccer with the subject… I lost… but we had such a great time during the shoot!
Above is the final image as seen on the cover photo The Friends’ Facebook page. I shot a good selection of images as I knew the final composite would need a combination of different looks. Hawk added in some teammates in the background for her as well. You’ll also notice the left side of the final image has a bit of a cooler tone to it and the right a bit warmer.
For the second composite all the images were shot in the Moncton Hospital. The first set was shot in a room that we had access to for the better part of the day. The first image, with the young girl, is actually shot in the hall where you see me standing (bottom right image). We all met in the morning and Sarah-Jane started on makeup while my assistant Moe and I started setting up the lighting.
For this shot we also had to be conscious of the medical equipment that we were using in the shot. We tried a combination of a few different things to be sure we had options for the final image. We also shot a mix of images with both his glasses on and off. One thing I wish I hadn’t done was have him cross his hands. Having two separate images line up properly with the hands crossed is incredibly difficult. In hindsight I should have had him separate his hands, I’ll definitely remember that for next time. You’ll actually notice in the main image (the first one on this blog) that the bottom image of the man has been flipped so that the hands would line up better.
The second image was shot in the Ronald MacDonald Family Room in the hospital. This is a room open to all families who have children receiving pediatric or neo-natal care in the hospital, whether they are visiting day patients or those with children admitted to the hospital. We were lucky as there were no bookings at that time so we were able to shoot in there for a little while.
We had a lot of fun during this part of the shoot as we shot the man with his wife, their 2 daughters and grandson. They all had their makeup done for the shoot, except the grandson, and we all laughed a lot and really enjoyed ourselves. Again we shot a combination of different types of images and combinations of people to give maximum options for the final image(s).
All the graphic, text and composite work was done by the wonderful people at Hawk, who were an absolute pleasure to work with. A big thanks to Sarah-Jane and Moe on this shoot. Working with a great team on shoots like this is invaluable. While skill is extremely important don’t base your decision on who you work with solely on that. 3 of these shoots were done in the same day, spanning roughly 8hrs (including prep, setup, makeup and lunch). You want to work with good, friendly and personable people. It will make all the difference to your clients and your client’s client.
Check out the videos below to see a couple of different ways how the images were used, including being wrapped on the main elevators at the hospital.
A BIG thank you to Maurice Venoit for all the BTS images!
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