Posts Tagged ‘Beautiful Trigger’

Promo shoot: Beautiful Trigger

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Beautiful Trigger

Back in November, I did a live shoot with Minneapolis rockers Beautiful Trigger, the products of which are now prominently featured on their website. Yesterday, I spent another few hours with them doing some promo shots. We started off in a big empty lobby to do some classic brick-wall shots, although I did my best to make the brick wall look at least a tiny bit interesting. We then moved to nearby Club Jäger, who with basically no notice beforehand, graciously allowed us free reign of the entire bar for more than two hours. (Admittedly, given that it was mid-afternoon on Saturday, they had very little business other than the band, who kept the drinks and food flowing through most of the shoot.)

In the lobby, I attempted to give a tiny bit of visual interest to the brick wall by shooting a gelled Speedlight onto it through a stack of chairs. This give a hint of color and pattern to the wall and was a nice complement to a warm rimlight – another Speedlight set up with a 1/2 CTO gel on the opposite side of the band as the background light. The key light was my White Lightning X1600 with a 30-degree grid, up high and slightly camera left.

Beautiful Trigger

After these “boring” standard shots, our first shooting spot in Club Jäger was a simple booth, made a bit more interesting through the use of Carly’s prop, the dirty martini. (Which was actually just water with some olives in it, don’t tell anyone.) That’s the headline shot above. We then crammed into the tiny men’s bathroom, where I broke out the 14mm action and took some truly ridiculous shots. The idea was to get chaotic, with heads and limbs everywhere, and I think we succeeded. Lighting such a tiny space well was a real challenge. I ended up firing my SB-900 into a shoot-through umbrella pointed straight up at the ceiling, which was a nice reflective silver. I added an SB-600 clamped to the wall on the left, pointed down at the band, and put an SB-600 inside the stall on the right with a blue gel just to add a touch of color to the background. While I’m not convinced this was the best possible solution, for something I came up with in 5 minutes or so I think it ended up working pretty well.

Beautiful Trigger

The final set of shots was done at the bar; the bar staff unhesitatingly let me set up two Speedlights with big umbrellas behind the bar, which was very, very nice of them. For these I set up the umbrellas as bounce umbrellas instead of shoot-throughs, which I almost never think to do; but in this case, needing to light a fairly wide area, the choice was sound. Both Speedlights had full CTO gels on them in an attempt to turn the window light a bit blue. The band’s promo girls joined us for this shot:

Beautiful Trigger

A few more of these are over at Flickr.

Live shoot with Beautiful Trigger

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Beautiful Trigger

The great thing about shooting for bands as opposed to media outlets is that one gets relatively unfettered access. Hard-rock band Beautiful Trigger brought me out to one of their shows last Friday, and I was able to move around the stage at will for the entirety of their 50-minute set opening for the massively popular local 80s cover band Hairball. I think stage access is actually cooler in theory than in practice; after all, the band is facing the crowd, so shooting from the stage often just gets you photos of the musicians’ backs. Still, it can afford a few cool shots, something like this one:

Beautiful Trigger

The other fun thing about these sorts of hired shoots is that since the band knows you’re there and it’s in their best interest to get good photos, they often play to the camera.

Beautiful Trigger

Beautiful Trigger was a blast to shoot all around. One of their guitarists was basically a human pogo stick through the entire set, jumping around and constantly making priceless facial expressions. Carly, the frontwoman, was an impossibly energetic performer, engaging the crowd in a way that few opening bands are able to do. The lighting, unfortunately, was pretty tough; plenty bright in spots but very patchy, and with no light up front where Carly was most often playing to the crowd. I alternated between ISO 3200 and 6400 to get good enough shutter speeds to capture the fast action, and for a lot of shots had to bring the contrast way down (even resorting to pseudo-HDR techniques for a couple shots) to make them usable.

Here are a few more highlights from my photoset – the full set is here.

Beautiful Trigger

Beautiful Trigger

Beautiful Trigger

Beautiful Trigger