A earlier this year I got a call from a client with a creative idea for a photograph they wanted to make. Michael and Will, the vibrant co-owners of Canopy, had a vision for a creative kind of staff portrait to show off the fun spirit of the staff at their salon in Moscow, Idaho. They had done their research on photographers in the region and found me as the only realistic option to bring their vision to life due to the type of image they wanted and the level of production required to bring the image to life.
From a verbal description of what they wanted I made a rough sketch of the concept. Michael wanted a photo of each employee in a line demonstrating the various services offered at the salon on the next person in the line — sort of a chain of grooming. With the five-member crew, the long horizontal image would need to be photographed in separate chunks and composited into a single image. Simply due to the size of the group spanning a width greater than a typical 8' roll of seamless and the lack of access to a large studio with a cyc wall we couldn't practically fit everyone into the same shot, in addition to the fact that shooting it in pieces made it easier to focus on capturing the perfect posing and expression for each person in the shot. While Michael and Will wanted a simple and elegant grey background for the final image, the bright blue seamless that you see in some of the behind-the-scenes photos made extraction much easier in post, similar to a green screen.
The shoot itself was a blast. The team there at Canopy is a fun and lively team and everyone was a joy to photography. They were all willing to experiment and put themselves out of their comfort zones in order to nail the perfect shot. While it was busy set, I think everyone had a fun time. But the work didn't end after the wrap. Post processing for this image was quite an undertaking. I do all of my own retouching (at least for now) and it was up to me to find a way to piece together all of the best parts of about a dozen different images to create a seamless final composition. Needless to say, post production is a time consuming process.
All said and done, I'm really happy with the way this shot came out, and I enjoyed the creative process of getting to work with a client that was passionate about the shoot and creatively invested in the project. With a simple idea and some trust from my client I was able to spin my own creative interpretation into a unique and eye-catching portrait that will hopefully elevate their brand while portraying them as the fun, energetic, and vibrant group that they are.