Get Out… Scout… & Stack the Cards in Your Favor

Drivel on the benefits of scouting is nothing new… and we’ve heard it all before. I still find, however, that scouting tends to be an overlooked item line in budgets. The obvious benefits of visiting a location a day or two prior to shooting can be huge. Not only does it afford the photographer an opportunity to plan and pre-visualize the manner in which the space can be used, explored, and lit… but it also allows him/her the opportunity to map out the path of the sun, the wind patterns, and the weather.

Assuming that the weather allows for shooting… the sun and wind can often be the most critical and overlooked aspects in planning. The use of the location and the placement of talent tends to not only be determined by content… but also by the opportunities and the limitations that the location offers. If time is tight… you will want to know where the sun will be once your set up is complete and the shoot begins. As the sun moves… so will your use of space and the placement of talent. Sun and wind can also play a key role in informing your strobe/modifier pairings. If the sun is blaring… a high-powered strobe and efficient modifier combo can be critical. If the wind is howling… best have a c-stand, sand bags, or multiple assistants. Weather seems to be a more obvious concern. It’s certainly best to have a temperature controlled vehicle or building close at hand… as well as… watchful hair and makeup artists. No budget for hair and makeup? A light hair spray and blotting tissue can go a long way. Get some and keep them in your bag at all times.

If the budget allows… scout a day or two prior. If not… arrive early and plan ahead. A strong plan can make it or break it in crunch time. Even with a good plan… you will always be improvising and dancing with the changes… so it’s best to have the cards stacked in your favor.

Red Rock Wilderness Observation Park | Jonathan Timmes Photography

Red Rock Wilderness Observation Park | Jonathan Timmes Photography

Red Rock Wilderness Observation Park | Jonathan Timmes Photography

Red Rock Wilderness Observation Park | Jonathan Timmes Photography

Lastly… Don’t overlook or rule out the benefits of planning non-project-specific scouting trips to discover new locations. Over time you will build yourself a library of sites that can potentially be paired with future projects. The images above were shot this past weekend while scouting on a hiking trip with my wife and daughter. Nothing more than an iphone and pen/paper were needed. It took a whole 5 mins to explore these buildings… take these pics… and jot down some notes. The final images that you deliver to your clients are your responsibility. You best own-up because no one wants to hear any excuses. My advice… just get out and SCOUT! It’s up to you to make it happen.

Sports Illustrated: Bradley Beal

Tear sheet of our recent shoot with Washington Wizard guard, Bradley Beal, for Sports Illustrated. Slated for the January 20th 2014 issue. Thanks to producer Anastasia Pleasant, make up artist Victoria Stiles, & my crew Jimell Greene & Kris Connor.  You guys were great!

Bradley Beal | Sports Illustrated | Jonathan Timmes Photography

ASMP: 8×10 Event

Last night’s ASMP event was a great success. The house was packed and the presenters all did a wonderful job. There was an all-star cast of DC’s finest shooters in attendance… so it was quite an honor to be amongst those presenting.

Many thanks to ASMP for the invitation to contribute, and a special thanks to all those who came out in spite of the dismal weather to show support. All of the post-show compliments were greatly appreciated and really made the night special for me. THANK YOU!

Monarch Magazine: Attorney Scott A. Bolden

Having shot various features from fashion spreads to business profiles, I have been working as a regular contributor to Monarch Magazine since late 2010.  Most recently, we had the opportunity to photograph Attorney Scott A. Bolden, Managing Partner of Reed Smith‘s DC office.

Monarch TV joined us to capture it all & learn more about the attorney.  You can watch this clip… amongst others @  www.monarchmagazine.com

Behind the Scenes: The Five One

Creating images with The Five One was a definite highlight in 2011. Not only was this project a blast… but we pulled it off at one of my favorite spots in the DMV area… Union 206 Studio. The Five One’s musical influences range from legendary rock artists to the most iconic figures in hip-hop culture. Although their sound is refreshing, the most meaningful aspect behind the quartet is their concept… REVALULION [rev-uh-loo-lee-n]

Revalulion, a philosophical term coined by the band, is the action of personifying oneself as a color. Defined only by the color in their closets, The Five One (Red, Blue, Green, and Gold) search for freedom from the complexities of social identity. You can learn more about The Five One @ http://www.myspace.com/thefiveone

Behind the Scenes: Inner Ear Studio

I recently had the opportunity to work with record producer & musician, Don Zientara. Don is founder & owner of Arlington based recording studio, Inner Ear. The studio is deeply embedded in the DC music scene & has been in operation for over 25 years. Over time, Don has recorded virtually all of DC’s most widely recognized and acclaimed bands including: Minor Threat, Rites Of Spring, Fugazi, The Dismemberment Plan, Q & Not U, and Black Eyes.

Inner Ear Studio | Jonathan Timmes Photography

My crew & I enjoyed our time at Inner Ear. The studio is blanketed in eye candy including… album covers, eclectic art, & old photographs. The history is plentiful & Don was full of smiles as he shared it with us.