Posts by: Heidi Volpe

The Daily Edit – Friday
11.18.11

- - The Daily Edit


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Wired

Creative Director: Brandon Kavulla
Design Director: Leo Jung
Director of Photography: Zana Woods
Deputy Photo Editor: Anna Goldwater Alexander
Photographer: Art Streiber

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.

Heidi: How do you direct a Muppet?
Art: The Muppets come with “Handlers” who set the Muppets to our specifications. The Wired Creative Director, Brandon Kavulla and Photography Editor, Anna Alexander, and I, asked for a specific pose and one of the three handlers would set the Muppet…but only after some debate as to whether or not what we were asking was appropriate for the Muppet to do.

Did you approach this just like a portrait or more like a still life, or both?
These were portraits and still lifes. It’s amazing how the feeling of the Muppet changes as you move its eye line slightly and how they come to life once that eyeline is where you want it. I found myself thinking about, lighting and talking to the Muppets as if they were alive but was problem solving each shot as a still life.

Why do you think they selected you for this project?
Last year I did a group shot of 22 Muppets, so I’ve had some Muppet experience. And the shoot involved Jason Segal, who wrote and starred in the movie, and I’ve photographed Jason before, so I think the magazine figured that those combined experiences made me the right guy.

What was the most interesting aspect about this shoot for you? Did you discover anything new?
My crew and I had a blast! Other crews from other stages at the studio were coming into our stage to see the Muppets. They’re iconic and are rarely seen in public. As far as discovering something new…yes, we did. The portrait of Fozzie in the space helmet is a combination of strobe, the flashlight on a blackberry and a reflection of a picture of the earth from an iPad…all captured IN CAMERA in one frame. THAT was impressive. I also learned that photographing Muppets in silhouette makes them even move iconic!

The Daily Edit – Thursday
11.17.11

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Real Simple Family

 

Creative Director: Janet Froelich
Design Director: Cybele Grandjean
Art Director: Abby Kuster-Prokell
Photo Director: Casey Tierney
Photo Editor: Kate Osba
Photographer: Melaine Acevedo


Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.

The Daily Edit – Friday
11.11.11

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Vanity Fair

 

Design Director: David Harris
Art Director: Julie Weiss
Photography Director: Susan White
Senior Photography Producer: Kathryn MacLeod
Senior Associate Photo Editors: Sasha Erwitt, Susan Phear
Photographer: Jason Bell

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.

 

Heidi: How many days did this take to shoot?
Jason: Just one – we met at 11am and finished about 10pm which included hair make up and doing the stills and film. I prefer to work first to stop the subject getting bored and tired.

Was Courtney involved in the creative process?
No. She was involved in styling choices but in terms of concept etc. she totally left it to me. She just said “I’m putting myself in your hands.” I was very pleased that she liked the results. She called me up afterwards to say how much she liked it all.

The video lighting is different than in the printed version, were they done simultaneously?
Yes they were done pretty simultaneously, we constantly switched from one to the other which makes things move faster.

During filming what is your role? I saw there was a cinematographer, how is that role shared?
I am the director so I say what I want and how I see it and then taking suggestions from all of the crew. I came up with the story beforehand and then discussed with the cinematographer the best way to achieve it. He operates the camera and then I view playback and change things. And I direct the subject always. It’s less confusing for them if it’s just me all day shooting the stills and blocking their moves etc.

Do you think you were selected because of your motion experience?
On this job yes, I work for Vanity Fair a lot anyway, but I heard that they really wanted a film for this one and had liked my previous films for them so were keen for me to do it.

Was that opening/closing shot difficult?
My poor cinematographer (who is great) was very game and got in the water in just his boxer shorts to get that shot. It was not a hot day…. when I discussed the concept of the shoot with him beforehand he had suggested an underwater shot so he only had himself to blame, but he did a great job. I was very keen from the start that it opened and closed the film to give a sense of entering this other world.

What advantage to you feel you have by being the only artist an agent represents (Robbie Feldman)?
It feels like more of a collaboration. We are obviously a bit more involved with each other than if I had an agent representing 10 others. So, we can work more closely together and discuss all aspects of the process. And there’s a shorthand because he always knows very precisely what is going on. I have to stay busy, but that works because I like to be busy.

O.T.M.F.C.

- - Assistants, Working

Photo by Travis Shinn

OTMFC is a collective of great photographers and assistants that come to your job with a truck load of experience and equipment to get it done right. I caught up with David Hudgins, one of the founders, to see what this is all about.

Heidi: Have to ask, how did you come up with the logo?
David:  The logo was drawn up on a bar napkin.

When you don’t want to drop the f bomb, what’s the replacement?
Over The Moon For Christ is one of our favorites, but we always prefer to drop the F Bomb!

How did this business idea come about?
We got tired of showing up to a shoot and realizing that we forgot to order that one little piece of equipment that we could not do without. We decided to build a truck and have it come standard with all of those little pieces. All you had to do was book the truck and you would have everything you needed to do a photo shoot. It made our life and everyone else’s life easier. When you focus on creating a product that works great for your client, the successful business follows.

You have 3 kitted out trucks right now, do you have plans to expand your fleet?
We are always looking at ways to improve what we are doing. When we decide to take action will depend on the needs of our clients.

How did you decide what each of the 3 trucks would be kitted with?
Through years of experience working on set and placing orders, we knew what equipment we would need for different size shoots and budgets. We tailored equipment packages around these parameters.

Can you do a la carte and or is it a flat fee?
We provide both! We have trucks that come as a package at a set price. We also have trucks and cargo vans that are a la carte and can be built out to accommodate any size shoot. You can also have equipment delivered and picked up from your set.

Have you ever been on a job where the photographer has SO MUCH to choose from they go into option paralysis or they keep changing their set up?
Once we had a whole truck load of equipment, 50,000 watts of light, motion picture lights, etc. The assistants spent hours lighting the set to perfection then the photographer turned in the opposite direction and shot talent with an on camera flash. They never even used the set! That has happened to us so many times we have lost count.

One of the biggest problems photographers seem to have is editing. Whether it is narrowing down the images from your shoot, deciding what couture gown talent will wear, or deciding which lighting setup you will use, a photographer always likes to have options so they can pick the best solution.

Does it ever happen where someone orders the biggest set up you have and then shoots available light? Would you call that your dream client?
Again, that happens all the time. We had a shoot last week where we hauled the contents of a whole truck, including generators onto the roof of a building. The assistants setup all of the lights, and the photographer used a flex fill for the first 2 shots and a flashlight for the last 2. They are not necessarily dream clients, because you still have to setup and breakdown the equipment. The dream client would be the one that gets a truck of gear then tells you to leave it all IN THE TRUCK and then lights available light.

We have a joke about “available light,” because when a photographer says they are going to shoot available light, you think it will be an easy day…then they end up setting up every light you have available and it becomes a long brutal day.

What’s the advantage of hiring you over let’s say renting individual items, cost I assume and variety? Why else?
Passion and experience.

How much new equipment do you invest in on a yearly basis?
This depends on what equipment comes out. Some years have more new toys that others.

How do handle the lighting demands of a still and video shoot on a job where they require both and need to be shot at the same time? Are you noticing a trend towards continuous lighting?
There is a lot of convergence between continuous and strobe lighting. The challenge is finding, understanding, and providing the tools to give the photographer their look with both options.

Your site has an extensive roster of available crew, how do you get on the list? Who vets them?
The people that are on our list, are people we have known and worked with. There are a lot of great assistants in LA that we have not had the pleasure of working with. We try to add people after they have worked with several other assistants on our list and have been recommended by them and our clients.

Are any of your guys aspiring photographers or are you all committed to running this business?
There are a handful of us that are dedicated to running the company. The rest are great assistants and great photographers.

The Daily Edit – Friday
11.4.11

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Harper’s Bazaar

Creative Director: Stephen Gan

Design Director: Elizabeth Hummer

Photography and Bookings Director: Zoe Bruns

Senior Photo and Bookings Editor: Barbara Tomassi

Photographer: Bruce Gilden

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.

 

The Daily Edit – Thursday
11.3.11

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Interview

Creative Director: Karl Templer

Art Director: Karl Lindman

Photography Director: Andrew Gold

Photography Editor: Danielle Franca Swift

Photographer: Gregory Harris

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.

 

The Daily Edit – Tuesday
11.1.11

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Marie Claire

Creative Director: Suzanne Skyes

Design Director: Kristin Fitzpatrick

Photo Director: Caroline Smith

Photo Editor: Lucy Fox

Photographer: Richard Pierce

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.

The Daily Edit – Wednesday 10.26.11

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ESPN

Creative Director, Print and Digital Media: John Korpics

Senior Director, Design: Jason Lancaster

Art Directors: Mike Leister, Marne Mayer, John Yun

Senior Deputy Photo Editor: Nancy Weisman

Deputy Photo Editor: Jim Surber

(1-3) Photographer: Francesco Carrozzini

(3 spread) Photographer: Jeff Reidel


Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.