Ok, another post that’s taken me a while to get around to…four months or so, but who’s counting. ;) Had a great shoot in and around the High Line and the Meat Packing District. It’s one of the few areas in New York that still have the old cobblestone streets. Only a few years ago, meat packing was a rough place and stank to high hell with all of the meat packing plants there. Now, most of the plants are closed, and the district has become the next big shopping mecca, but it still has the look that I wanted…
So we started hair and makeup around 4pm at my studio…thinking we’d leave for the 1st look around 6:30pm. Well, I think we got in the location van about 7:30…a little behind as I wanted to get more of the twilight, but you roll with the changes. We got everyone in the location van and took off. We started off on the High Line, which was surprisingly fine with a crew of people setting up shop and shooting. I was concerned that the people working for the High Line would take issue with people shooting there. As I thought, however, it goes back to the principle of, “If you aren’t preventing people from moving through an area and your crew is fluid and can move where it needs to, you’re ok”. The rules of, can you shoot in New York with or without a permit, only really apply if you want to stop traffic or block a street from pedestrians from coming through your set. If you’re fluid, you’re generally good.
We shot this while we had a guard coming over to us and saying, nicely, “10 minutes to closing”…which was nice of them. They didn’t have any issue with us shooting there, they just wanted us out on time.
So we headed out on the street, I believe this is Gansevoort St…with the Gansevoort Hotel in the background. I’m a huge fan of mixing strobe and ambient light, be it outside in full daylight or, as in this shot, using the city lights at night as the ambient. Time exposure, around 1-2 seconds + Beauty dish strobe.
Here we are taking a break at our location van/changing station…
Onto the next shot…
This one was difficult. I was walking back with the model, still at about 1 sec exposure, and had my assistant James walking back as well with the strobe, trying to keep the distance the same so the exposure is good. We did this eight or nine times and I ended up liking two images. So this is two of the individual images put together in post. Other than that, there’s not much done to them. All of the blurring and colors were done in camera.
Loved the storefront from Christian Louboutin and the colors it gave off on the model.
I liked the way the red dress and stockings were set off from the blue/silver background. Also another image put together in post from two single vertical shots. This wasn’t an easy thing to do. La Boutique Creative Retouching did a great job making it look seamless.
Now onto our last and most traumatic look. It was 2am and we were all tired. Maria’s ponytail was so tight it was becoming painful. We were all happy that David and Moani had packed up the car and moved it down the street to the end of 27th and the west side highway. We were ready to go once the look was done. They then came to join us while we finished up the last look. The look itself was easy and done in 20 minutes.
We were maybe a 5 minute walk from the location van. We finished up and started walking back. We got back to where we had parked the location van….
and it was gone…
So there we were, staring at each other…mildly freaking out. We were only gone 15 minutes, which means someone was watching and waiting for us to leave. The only question is…stolen, or towed?? I looked at a sign on the wall and it looks like we were in a tow-zone at night. Moani, the clear headed thinker that she is, knew about the Tow Yard around 30th and the West Side Highway. We took off in a cab to the tow yard…
So while I’m in line checking to see if the tow yard had it, Moani took a little video to capture the moment…did they have it or was it stolen???
So, yes, they had it and it took another hour and a half, plus tickets and fees to get our lives back…clothes, camera equipment, etc…which was about 3:30am. It ended well, but not without a dramatic flair. :) Thanks again to my wonderful crew who put up with a late start and even LATER finish…
Photography by James Weber, www.jamesweberstudio.com
Styled by David Widjaja, www.introartists.com
Makeup by Moani Lee, www.moanilee.com
Hair by Nelson Vercher, www.utopianyc.com
Model: Maria Beljanina, www.majormodel.com
Photographic Assistance: James Sullivan, www.1prophoto.com
Retouching: La Boutique Creative Retouching, www.laboutiqueny.com