This has to be one of my favorite Girls Life editorials so far! We had awesome models, the best team and great food! It was full of challenges and really allowed me to do what I like to do best, create atmosphere, play with light, and transform a location. For shoots like these, before talent is brought in, the most important thing to secure is the location. With out the best location, you really can’t pull off a shoot. We didn’t want the typical modern diner, we wanted something old, red and chrome. Our first choice was the Hollywood Diner, which was a set for the movie Diner. But as it turned out it wasn’t available and we then began a few week long search for the perfect place. We faced disappointment after disappointment. It seemed that every time we found our “perfect” diner, it was either closed or the owner wasn’t willing to let us use it. So we eventually resigned ourselves to a less than ideal diner. I was bummed about this because we would have had to change the art direction. I wanted bright, warm, afternoon light, streaming into a chrome diner. This diner was made of wood, and dark, totally changing the mood of the shoot. So, we collectively sulked. At the last minute, literally the week of the shoot, we got a call from a friend, our first choice, THE perfect diner, was available! Thank GOD! We were then able to get back on track with our initial plan.
The second challenge in any shoot like this is lighting. I was glad to have the opportunity to make it seem like afternoon all day long. This involved using gels and lights outside the building to create that look. The trick is (and my personal philosophy about lighting) making it look natural. We didn’t want someone to look at the photos and say “wow, great use of strobes!”, rather the lighting should be one of many elements that just makes someone say “wow, what a gorgeous afternoon at that diner!”, something that really sets the mood and ambiance of the image. I really think we achieved that goal. There were a few technical problems, lights not firing correctly, being able to communicated with the assistants outside, and most annoying, the wind. But these were easily worked through.
I also wanted to share of few shots that are variations of the final images and a video of the shoot! So please enjoy!