Testing, testing, 1,2,3… Are we on the air???
Detroit is a huge media city. Our on air personalities are sometimes as well known as the sports and media stars they report about. And The Motor City has always been big on talk radio.
I have been photographing TV, radio, and print “stars” for many years – going back to the 80s. It can be challenging, but is always a lot of fun! These guys are on the air they are because they are interesting, inquisitive, and charming. They also know what they want – and don’t want! They are in the public eye and have seen themselves in good and bad light. They aren’t bashful to tell you what their “good side” is.
Here is a pic from a recent shoot of the very popular Mojo in the Morning show on 95.5 FM in Detroit. These guys were a blast to work with. There was a lot of joking around on the set, but is the photog’s job to always be ready. There is no room for error! They have been up since 4 a.m. and they want to get in and get out. They usually won’t rush you like some national celebrity might, so I let them set the pace. I love to joke around too, but I do it with my eye to the camera and my finger on the trigger. Some of the best shots are often when they are clowning around, but you have to convey, there can only be one director – hopefully me : ) Of course there are always marketing and promotions people at the shoot and often the station manager… in other words, the guys footing the bill, so I always wear both my creative and businessman hats. The key to success is pre-planning and good communication with everyone involved.
I usually start with the individual shots first so the makeup artist can can “do” them one at a time and send them to the set when finished. When the last talent is satisfied, I do the group shots then it’s hasta la vista baby! I always show each person their shots, let them pick their faves, and take notes on what to retouch and what not to.
I don’t use umbrellas much, but that was my modifier of the day for this shoot. There is a time for art. This isn’t it. No fan is ever going to call them and complain their promo shots don’t have a 2 to 1 lighting ratio! The publicity shots are to present them in a friendly approachable light that makes you want to tune in. The staff and management was very happy – so, so am I : ) Tune these guys in on 95.5!!