Local Hip Hop duo "KingsCollege" asked me to shoot some promo photos for their upcoming shows here in Ottawa.

The main rapper, GSaint, had a special request for a stylized portrait with a metaphorical twist: he wanted to have photos of him burning a hat, keeping warm by the hat, and interacting with the fiery beast he had just created.

We trekked out to the centre of a football field (you know, for safety) and doused the hat in lighter fluid.

I set up a single Canon 600EXt in a recessed apollo softbox with a half CTO filter in order to blend as much with the "ambient light" of the warm incandescents from the rec centre behind the frame.

It was insanely cold (about -42C with the windchill) so actually igniting the hat was a half-box-of-matches situation.

So after the flame finally engulfed the entirety of the hat, GSaint kneeled down before the hat and embraced the warmth of that fiery devil. What has he created.....

I decided against using the speed light for these shots. I tried to use the ambient from the flame to create a bit more of an actual firelight look.

It wasn't long before the flames destroyed the hat and started carving a hole in the 2ft of icy dry snow. It was time to leave and get warm.

For some final portraits back by the wall of the rec centre, I used the same speed light setup with the softbox pointed perpendicular to the brick. After some heavy processing to create the gritty look, the final portrait was complete.

GSaint & Mac of "KingsCollege"