Even during the nicest months the weather in Maryland is at best fickle. In March its downright unpredictable. This makes scheduling any outdoor location shoot a nightmare beyond the normal issues of permitting and scouting. We encountered this problem recently when approached to do a shoot for The Concert Truck. The Concert Truck is a traveling classical music venue of sorts. The host outdoor concerts around the country. Amazing concept! We were super excited to work together.
Sometimes clients have less than ideal deadlines for images that by the very nature of the thing must be outdoors. We were approached to capture images of the two founders Nick and Susan, on their truck somewhere on location in Baltimore. The catch was that they needed their images before the end of March. The images themselves had to be bright and relatively specific in appearance to the seasons they might be performing in. Basically, it cant look like the arctic! This presents a major problem in Baltimore as the weather can change drastically with in a few hours but its our job to deliver so we went about finding an ideal location and scheduled our shoot date.
We first scheduled our shoot for the second week of March. We had a few days of decent weather and thought we were good to go. We had found a gorgeous harbor side location, a private property which made public permitting a non-issue (thank god!) and had our team ready to go. Upon arrival the temps plummeted to the low 20’s! Girded up with hand and feet warmers, gloves and a desire to make awesome images we began to set up the truck and our lighting. By the time we had set up the truck in position and set up with piano and ready to play the wind had picked up to about 14 mph with gusts even stronger than that. My assistant Charly and I proceeded to attempt to set up our octabanks and strobes. It quickly became clear that it didn’t matter how many sandbags or hands we had there was no way those lights could safely or effectively be used.
In an effort to save the shoot and eleminate the need for the client to re-hire the team again we attempted to light with bare bulb strobe instead. Basically we just opted to not use the softboxes which were acting like giant sails. This proved a pretty terrible idea. Or at least, I should say that the lighting was no where near where I would be proud enough to present to a client. It adequately lit the image in that light does that but the nuance I prefer was all but lost. So with much disappointment we opted to cancel the shoot after nearly 3 hours of trying. Sometimes you are faced with a reality that can’t be overcome. We are determined to always make the best possible images for our clients even if that means we have to reschedule to do so.
A few weeks later we met again at the same location on a much better day. It was at least 25-30 degrees warmer with a mere slight breeze to contend with. This time the shoot went off without a hitch, mostly. We still needed Charly to hold down the lights and steady the octabank! In the end we satisfied the clients deadline and gave them some amazing imagery. And just in time. The next day we got a late snow storm! Sometimes it just works out. While we can’t share all of the images here are a few of the finals!