Okay, so everyone has their secrets… you know, their trade secrets, their dirty secrets, their family secrets… So, while I will not be sharing any of my family secrets (although I’m sure you wouldn’t have to try very hard to get a few out of me, as I’m pretty much an open book), I will share one of my dirty secrets, and one of my trade secrets.
First! Dirty Secret: I am horrible with “artificial light.” Flash, strobes, lighting shit, blah blah blah. I either don’t have the mental capacity for it, or I don’t have the patience for it; I really don’t know what my deal is. It’s the truth and it’s my dirty little secret. It is the reason that I would probably not be considered a “well-rounded” photographer, but also the reason that I consider myself to be such a fantastic available light photographer. I don’t mind saying it, even if I’m alone in doing so… I don’t mind! I think I rock available light, and I’m excellent at finding & shaping light, and I’m proud of that. But! That’s not always a possibility, and this year one of personal goals was to become better at working with artificial light.
Then I discovered this thing… the ProMaster LED42.
Which would be my Trade Secret.
I worked a wedding last June where there were these videographers shining this obnoxious video light all over the place and I was all annoyed about it, until I got smart and decided to use the light to my advantage. I am an available light photographer… duh. Anyway, it was incredible, the receptions shots were like nothing I had gotten before, and I knew I had to get one of my own. I put it off for awhile, procrastinator that I am, until my friend Jon told me his trade secret for reception lighting (as he only shoots film, and most evening reception lighting + shooting film can be a little bit of a challenge): the LED 42! I love the concept of facing a challenge with an alternative solution, and I feel that video lighting—although I am behind thousands of photographers who have already discovered its benefits—is an excellent way to face the lighting challenge without getting all mixed up in my brain. Which is what flash lighting does to me. Sorry to admit… not well-rounded, as I said.
It’s easy! All you do is turn it on, hold it up, and voila! Your subject is lit! What! Easy lighting?! Why is this a secret?!!!
I’ve played with it at a few weddings… um, f’ing awesome at lighting the detail shots!!! And then I played with it with a few modeltype-friends, and my assistants, Sergio & Jeff. (i’m just kidding you guys… they are photographers that i bow to, but was just trying to find a way to call them my assistants!).
This last one is a new & unconventional technique that I would like to say that we started… so if it becomes a movement, you know where you heard it first… we call it cock-lighting. Seriously, I may lose a few fans & followers after this one, but I couldn’t think of a more PG way of describing it. And it gets the job done, obviously.