Last weekend Bob and I did our first outdoor engagement shoot in nice weather in what seems like FOREVER! I can’t even begin to explain how nice it was to be able to feel our fingers and toes while walking around outside, finding places to shoot, exploring the city and hanging out with Megan and Michael. They are a tremendous couple who put up with two guys who were honestly like a couple of children told to go outside and play. And that’s exactly what we did.
Bob and I decided over the winter that it might be a fun idea to make sure we are pushing each other to become better photographers.Yes, you can get into a rut, even in a job like photography. So we were looking for ways to make ourselves better, but it had to have a couple of key criteria. We needed to leave our comfort zone and we had to mimic the pressure of a wedding day where everything moves quickly and the time you have to shoot can be extrmely short.
Welcome to the Two Minute Challenge. You can expect to see this as a regular post. Here’s the concept. At any point during a shoot Bob or I can issue a challenge. As an example, if I were to challenge Bob he has 2 minutes to produce a solid portrait. Shouldn’t be a problem. Except, I get to choose the lens, if he needs to use external lighting and what needs to be incorporated. That’s it. You know there is no way we are going to make this easy on each other. We know each other’s weaknesses and we will do anything to expose them.
Bob’s challenge: Lens: 70-200mm, no external lighting and you must incorporate a dumpster.
The photos are below. I love what Bob did, although the look on his face when I said he needed to use a dumpster was friggin’ great. It’s like I kicked his dog. Go! Bob ran to the dumpster, looked around, told Megan and Michael to run to a nearby post, got them in position, gave them a little direction, ran to the other side of the dumpster, lied on the ground and started to shoot. He used the holes on the sides of the dumpster that accept the forks from the truck to lift the trash to frame Megan and Michael. Pretty good thinking and not a shot we would typically do.
Chad’s challenge: Lens: 16-35mm, with external lighting and you must incorporate the train loading area at Steamtown National Historic Site. Oh yeah, and it’s dark outside. Yep, Bob went right for my weakness – portraits with a wide angle lens. Thanks, pal. I place them in the center of the frame to let all the lines lead right to them. There was probably an easy way to do this shot by lighting Megan and Michael from the front. It would be a nice shot, but what the hell, this is a challenge! I decided to light them from behind to create a little bit of rim lighting and let some of the light fall onto the Steamtown sign above to give it a sense of place. Place the flash – time’s ticking – shoot. Not quite – move the flash – shoot – time’s up! Phew! Here are the shots.
We’ll do more from Megan and Michael’s shoot but we wanted to get the challenges out there to see what ya’ll think.