I was recently approached by Mountainside Fitness to shoot their new campaign. There demand was 26 looks, 150 images and a 7 day turnaround. They wanted the subjects to feel very relatable, so we used everyday people and Mountainside trainers. We chose not to go the typical overly lit gym style of photos. The feel of the shoot was to be very natural and what you would expect to see walking into any Mountainside location.
The shoot was to take course over 2 days. This was necessary due to the high demand of content that we needed to produce. Having a strict itinerary was crucial to the success of a shoot like this. Day one was about the trainers, while day 2 was about the services. We had to capture about 75 images per day, and about 13 different looks. The gym was open to members so we had to take up as little of space as possible, this also meant timing the shots so we didn't have distractions in the background.
A lot of preplanning went into this shoot. I needed to make sure my team, gear, and direction was clear so we could all operate efficiently. My team was briefed of the shot list and itinerary so they knew what to expect. I also introduced myself and briefed each subject that stepped in front of my camera to ensure we were all on the same page. On average we only had about 30 minutes to set up lighting, get the shots we needed, and tear down to move onto the next look. I needed equipment that was portable and very quick to set up and move around. I couldn't run extension cords across the whole gym trying to find outlets or run the risk of members tripping on cords. For lighting I trusted the Profoto B1X's. Between the HSS, 9 stops of power, and them being cordless, they were the perfect light for the job. I used 2 lights for every shot, 1 key and 1 fill. I opted not to have a third light for a rim for any of the shots to avoid the typical gym look, although in hindsight I wish I had a third light to bounce off the ceiling to create more ambient light. I kept my tethering station small due to the space limitations. I tethered to my 15" Macbook which my digital tech ran. The Creative Director and my digital tech would view the images from the monitor while I viewed the images from my Ipad. This allowed us all to view the images at once and evaluate what changes needed to be made.
Lighting - Profoto
Tethering - Tether tools
Digital tech - Matt
Having a digital tech is crucial for commercial shoots. I rely on him to check focus, highlights and relay info to me and the art director.
1st Assistant- Travis
I rely on my 1st assistant to set up lights and be my go to person.
2nd Assistant- Khoa
Having a 2nd assistant can be a huge benefit for larger shoots to help everyone else with their jobs.
Each scene is paired with a BTS
CTO gels -
I wish I would have used CTO gels to better balance the strobes with the available light. I also could have then made the background a cooler temperature instead of having to do that in post.
A 3rd light -
I should have brought a 3rd B1X to bounce off the ceiling to create a little more fill light for the scene.
Silver umbrella -
For the outside shots of the owner Tom I wish I brought a silver umbrella. Shooting outside in Arizona means battling a very powerful sun. The white umbrella was not as bright as I needed it to be.I had my B1X at full power and it was about 1 stop under what I needed it to be, a silver umbrella would have solved this.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have.