I was talking with James Kuegler, a friend of mine (who is becoming one of the top multi-sport athletes in New Zealand), and he was telling me about Five Fingers, a barefoot running shoe company that is sponsoring him. When he told me about how they are a new company just getting into the New Zealand market, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor with a new company and to build a lasting partnership. After all one of the hardest things in the photography industry is to get your foot in the door. So many companies/ad agencies already have their network of photographers who they like using. It is not that they are not looking for new photographers, it is just that when push comes to shove, they usually want to go with someone who they know can deliver the shots.
So I took the initiative and suggested to James that we go out and do a shoot sometime with him in his five fingers. We went down to the waterfront at sunset and did a few shots of him as seen below:
I was just using a strobe with an orbis ring flash and the Elinchrom skyport radio slaves to light him and balanced that with the setting sun and just let the ambient get darker and darker as the light disappeared and the moon came out.
James gave the guys from Five Fingers copies of the images we took during the shoot. They really liked the shots and asked if I could do the same kind of shoot with James in the woods also. They said that they did not actually have any good shots of a guy in the Bilka shoe (The model James is wearing in the shots) and wanted some new shots to advertise the model.
Since it was going to be on a trail and I was not sure how much light the trees would let in, I brought along my Elinchrome Quadra Ranger lights as well as my strobe. We started out on a corner of the trail and I set up one of the quadra lights just out of the frame and had James just run past me a couple of times in both directions.
Also to really capture the uniqueness of these shoes I then put a zoom lens on and focused in on his feet. This was by far the harder shot to get since I needed to capture his feet in just the right moment. But in the end I did get what I wanted.
After we got these shots I mentioned to James that it would be great to also try and get a few shots that made it look more rugged than the trail we were on and with a bit of searching we found a stream that fit the bill. What I did to light this was to put both my Quadra lights on stands to camera left and then I also have my strobe on a Gorilla pod to camera right just behind the tree in the shot to help light the background.
And again I did a close up shot of the shoes and instead of having James run away from me, I had him run towards me so that I could get the water splashing up over his feet.
And now I am currently discussing with the rep about shooting their whole campaign next year, all because I suggested a shoot to my friend…