One can’t shoot advertising and corporate photography for forty-nine years and not have amassed several funny stories during this time. Some included the client, some the designer or art director, and some when I was sent on my own to shoot whatever I wanted. This was the case when a graphic designer and his client (a paper company based in Houston) hired me to work on a brochure that was featuring a new line of paper. It was to be called “Kromekoat”.
The idea was to shoot things that were chrome, and it needed to somehow say Texas. Those were the only stipulations, and besides those two, I could shoot anything I wanted. I had read that the Texas State Fair was coming up in a few days and one of the main attractions was the giant Ferris Wheel that has the word Texas in large letters on one side. Now all I needed was something chrome to take with me.
I found what I was looking for when I walked into a CVS Pharmacy near my studio. I was walking by a rack of sunglasses and spotted a plastic pair that looked just like chrome. As I tell my online students with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet, follow my Did It Do It list for good composition. One of the points I mention is to Pre-Visualize.
I quickly imagined the finished photo in my mind and the next morning my assistant and I took off for Dallas and the Texas State Fair.
My idea was to find one of the Carny men that worked the games in the carnival section of the fair, and have him put on the chrome sunglasses so I could take a portrait of him in front of the Ferris Wheel. As the sun was starting to set, I still hadn’t found just the right man to pose for me. When I had less than twenty minutes of late afternoon light still available I started to get nervous. I had one afternoon to get the shot and it looked like I was going to miss it.
The sun was getting low enough that there was only a few places left that had sunlight. I was about to throw in the towel and call it a bust, when I took a quick look at my assistant and there was this epiphany that hit me over the head like a big pizza pie…”You’re perfect”, I said. “Quick JD, put these glasses on and look towards the sun.” He did and I got the shot.
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and be sure to check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Next February in conjunction with Epic Photo Tours, I’ll be leading a group to Myanmar. My next Springtime Workshop will be next May in Portugal. Come shoot with me sometime.
Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com.