I found a fascinating photograph Tim took of recognised rapper, singer and songwriter will.i.am – best known as founding and lead member of The Black Eyed Peas – and I just had to learn the story behind the photo. Tim starts off by saying that you need to know every technical aspect of photography up to the point that it becomes second nature, so that when you’re working under lots of pressure, you don’t think about photography, but on your subject. “will.i.am is pretty cool.”
They had a brief moment to chat before shooting and he confesses that it was difficult as Will ignored his direction and went with angles that he knew worked for him. After a while, he started poking fun at Will for being ‘difficult’. Eventually, Will cracked and Tim got a shot of him laughing candidly. (All of 4 minutes and 38 seconds after taking the first shot, the shoot was done.)
As for the technical aspects of will.i.am’s portrait… “We shot in a typical conference room with white walls and ceilings. Your typical boring corporate space which is a real challenge to light interestingly!” He used a very simple two-light setup with a beauty dish with a grid on the subject and light on the background. “I always use scrims and poly boards to control light. You have to think of the effect every surface near the subject has on the lighting.”
1) Everytime you land a big job, top up your kit with something new.
2) If you hire a piece of equipment more than five times a year, buy it.