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This is by far, one of my favorite personal images and I think there’s a pretty funny story behind the photo.
C’Ville Weekly hosts an annual photo contest with a different theme each year. This year, the theme was “local” and the judges asked that you submit a photo in a portrait orientation. After reading this I immediately knew that I wanted to take a photo of someone in front of Spudnuts, a landmark here in Charlottesville.
I scouted the location for two days at 5 a.m., watching the sun rise each time and waiting to observe how it would hit the building and see what colors it would present. This shot had to be achieved in the morning since they close around 2 p.m. everyday, and I also wanted to make sure that I could capture their truest cut of customers. The morning prior to the shoot I went in to pitch the idea to the owners, Mike and Lori, who immediately gave me their stamp of approval.
The day of the shoot, I went back to the spot I scouted in the parking lot and set up one Alien Bee 1600 with a 22″ beauty dish attached to it. Armed with a dozen donuts and the most inviting smile that I could come up with that early in the morning, I politely stopped customers and asked them if they wouldn’t mind posing for a quick photo in exchange for a free Spudnut (careful, they’re not doughnuts!).
After about 15 minutes this blue Geo Metro pulled up to the parking lot and out popped Gip. I walked over to him and briefly explained what I’m trying to do, and without hesitation he jumped in front of my camera. I handed him a Spudnut (jelly, I think?) and he said, “what do you want me to do?” to which I replied, “what would you normally do?” That’s when he took a huge bite and looked up at the strobe.
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