Twice a year, the owners of Coalition Lifestyle ask me to shoot the lookbook for the latest release of their streetwear.
The last shoot was for their Winter '14 release; we shot outside in the snow with a woodsy backdrop to keep the aesthetic of the warm toques and hoodies. In order to change it up and bring a new dynamic feel with the images, we decided to do the shoot in Toronto and used different models.
Initially, Coalition Lifestyle scouted out a few areas to do the shoot. Around the Gardiner expressway we found an old lot with a pile of tractor tires. The backdrop gave us everything we needed: greenery, a Toronto-esque skyline with buildings (no CN Tower... because that's a bit much), and the tires to bring an industrial grungy feel to the shoot.
After a few shots with the dwindling sun & tire/city backdrop, we changed it up. Losing the sun meant we had a blue-ish tint to our backdrop, so I no longer needed the four speedlites with warming gels.
As you can see, we were all having a blast.
We started with a few other looks (four shirts, four hats, two models in total) while using the new backdrop: a bridge on the left, a boat on the right. I shot with a shallow enough DOF that it wouldn't be too distracting.
As the light was getting darker and darker, we had to improvise some new lighting methods. I went with a more low-key dramatic style for the camo bucket hat. Our model, Sean, had an incredible look for the particular shot we were going for.
For one of our last looks, I changed up the lighting to accommodate a more dramatic portrait. I wanted to include the "Coalition" on the tank as well as have the eyes back in the shot. In order to do that, I left the soft-box as-is and got someone on set to hold up a speedlite on low power directly behind me. The catch light in the eyes and the pose come together very nicely.
One of our final images on the shoot is always the "teaser" shot. When you have lots of key lighting, it's tough to come up with a silhouette. Waiting until sunset was our only choice. The shot we chose incorporated a sunset, skyline, and a silhouette of a bucket hat + model. It worked out quite nicely.
Shortly thereafter, we were kicked out of the location. A local who more or less ran the lot (and probably owned the boats) gave us three "time to wrap up" moments. Ignoring the first two, we felt like his courtesy was running out. Time to go.
All in all, the shoot went fairly well, and I'm looking forward to seeing the final selection of shots in the lookbook.