Pepsi has been on a roll with their advertising lately, and again I’m excited to be a part of their latest project with NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne… and whew, what an action-packed day!! My main job was to grab on-location studio shots of Jeff and Kasey, but I would also be running and gunning around the GoPro Motorplex afterwards for action shots. So, I had to quickly switch my brain from studio, to journalism.
Being quick was the name of the game for this shoot since this project was a surprise for local go-karters Evan York and Steve Szabo. My assistants (Linhbergh, Sarah, and Will Keown) and I arrived when the sun was rising to setup the on-location studio to make sure everything was working perfectly… because, once Jeff and Kasey arrive, WE better be ready. No excuses. After literally 10 minutes with Jeff, and only 5 minutes with Kacey in the portable seamless studio, we focused our cameras to B-roll for the rest of the action-packed day for surprises and racing.
Doing the job for the paramount studio shots was the massive Phase One IQ260 with Profoto lighting (Check out my previous job with a Phase one to see how ridiculously brilliant this $40,000 system is). For the quick & dirty journalism-type photos my assistants and I used more compact cameras like the Canon 5DMKIII and Linhbergh’s Sony A7 sync’d to lightweight portable AlienBee monolights.
All-in-all, it was a jam-packed day where my shutter finger didn’t get much rest. As with any advertising shoot, there is no such thing as being over-prepared, especially when the window of opportunity for shooting the talent is the size of 5-10 minutes. My video-inclined buddy Will Keown followed the shoot from start to finish and put together this great short BTS video! I hope you enjoy… and remember the #1 priority is ALWAYS to get the image, and bringing lots of backup gear reduces the chance of a disaster happening. Once the gear is covered, it’s all up to the squishy thing between your ears.