Firstly, hello World. It has been quite some time since I have had a chance to sit down and write a bit, but in a way, that is a good thing as I have a lot of new images to talk about in the near future. Today’s photoshoot is one that supersedes them all, as it is one that near and dear to my heart.
My Dad is my role model for many reasons. His humility, his work ethic, how he treats my Mom, how he has supported me in my pursuit of a career in photography, the list goes on and on. He is the person that I have essentially tried to emulate. No matter what photoshoot I am doing, he never asks for anything, from a photo to meeting a celebrity, he only asks how I am doing whenever we talk. It is for this reason that I feel there is no one that deserves a cool photoshoot more, so this is exactly what we did.
You see, there are few things that make my Dad as happy as his car. It, a 1965 Corvette, was his gift to himself when he retired, and the very same car that got him through the tough battle he had with cancer. He does not boast about it, but I know how important it is to him. For this reason, I have wanted for a long time to photograph it for him. However, with a busy schedule and the inability to sneak it to the studio with my camera gear in it, this has been a fleeting quest.
That is, until last month.
My Dad and my Mom went on a vacation. As is the usual, if I am in town I stop in and check on their house and pick up the mail. However, this time I noticed the key to the Corvette was on the counter and the wheels began turning (holy pun Batman!). While I knew that I could probably make this a big production, I thought that it would be even more personal to my Dad if I did the photoshoot with just my brother and my wife. That way the three of us could sign the prints for him and not just me.
So we picked a date and all headed out to the studio, my brother with my Dad’s car and my wife and I behind him with the camera gear and a fire extinguisher in case it caught fire en route (old Corvettes have a proclivity for this sort of thing). At the studio we met up with Floyd and my friend Paul, who helped with some of the heavy lifting. All of us got the car onto Go Jax to roll it into place and once we set it down, I started building the lighting around it.
Originally, I had planned out a crazy lighting scheme that had a ton of light banks to smooth out the shoulder line of the car and make the paint look flawless. However, the more I thought about it, I felt that this was not true to the photoshoot. My dad is a simple man and his car is not a garage queen; it is a car that he drives and accepts for the paint chips and imperfections it has. It is for this reason I decided on getting a spotlight feel that would highlight the Corvette, but also show off the lines of it and the dust alike.
Luckily for me, Floyd (the owner of Loft 19 studios) had the absolute perfect light for this. The light was an old Mole-Richardson Molelipso Ellipsoidal (say that five times fast), and was one of the actually lights used for the movie The Shining. It produced an incredibly hard cut light that was direct, yet flattering. With the car backed into the cove of the studio’s cyclorama, I used the bounce of the white to fill in the shadow that countered the light source. The result was exciting not only from what I saw on set, but from the idea of how much my Dad would enjoy it.
At the end of the day, we did our best to Ferris Bueller the car back home and park it exactly how it had been when my parents left. It had been a photoshoot that we will all remember and one that I will always think back to, as it was the day I could say thank you to the man that has supported me through everything.
I love you Dad.