Here it is, the future of military public relations and journalism!
Not feeling comfortable with where your tax dollars are going? Well you shouldn’t worry.
Despite our motley appearance, this has to be one of the sharpest groups I have ever been a part of. There is a wide gamut of experiences amongst us and everyone brings something to the table. The joint course includes all branches of the military, and as you can see there’s a good representation of Air Force, Army and civilians with a sprinkling of the Navy and Marine Corps. It’s interesting to see and hear how we all interact with one another, and much like the Bad News Bears, it somehow all comes together nicely.
I am having a lot of fun out here and learning a ton of information from the class syllabus and cadre ofphenomenalinstructors who sincerely care about the course material. We’re kept pretty busy and like many other formal military training schools, there is little chance of getting comfortable with the constant workload. This is a great opportunity for me to learn a new trade and more importantly…improve my writing skills!
I’m not getting much better huh? Well, there’s still over a month left!
And in case any of you were wondering, no I am not full-time with the military. I am on “orders” until March 5, which is when I will graduate from the DINFOS course andshortly thereafterreturn to my clients.
While I thoroughly enjoy shooting weddings, events, families, portraits and just about anything under the sun, my sole photographic passion is shooting anything related to the military.
As luck would have it, I linked up with Argus Vigilance after taking a few head shots of mutual friendGreg Barbaccia in July, who happens to be a managing partner of the small defense contracting firm.
ArgusVigilanceis mounting up a marketing campaign to advertise their latest service offering based on their NetworkExploitationSystem (NES). They needed me to roll in and create some dramatic imagery to go along with theirbrochuresand website. A great thing about working with Argus was the amount oflatitudethey gave me with this shoot. Greg informed me that he wanted the NES to appear as if it was in a deployed environment and to add a hint of mystery, and he let me roll with it after that.
After a few emails and phone conversations I had a better idea of what I was going to work with on-site. I knew that the beta NES was built from a Dell platform and would bebundledwith a black Pelican case, which gave me a good place to start building this image in my head.
Product photography is extremely deliberate, and this shoot was no exception. It ended up becoming a complex shoot consisting of 3 lights, 2 reflectors, and 1 diffusion panel and I think it is a good representation of how much I have grown over the past year. All of these shots have an AB1600 on a boom stand with an 11″ reflector resting high above the product and aimed directly down to simulate “interrogation lighting,” as I like to call it. The moody backdrop was accomplished with an AB1600 with a green theatrical gel and a 20 degree grid to create a green glow emanating from the background.
For the individual product shots, I used one small flash with a15″ Lastolite EZYBOX along with a 30″ LastoliteTriGrip reflector for added fill around the edges. I used my 30″ Lastolie TriGrip one-stop diffusion panel to balance out the highlights coming from the lamp posed high. The Alien Bees of course had a modeling lamp, which helped me tremendously to gauge where the light was going to fall. However, the smaller strobe ended up becoming a bit of a guessing game, but my light meter helpedalleviatea lot of the guess work.
This is one of my favorite shots. Initially I was very apprehensive about how the black on black would turn out, but with a little bit of tweaking the strobes broke out the individual contours of each product exceptionally well.
I’d like to thank Greg, Alex, and the rest of the Argus team for inviting me out that day, and I hope that this imagery is able to convey the great work that these guys do day in and day out for our deployed troops overseas.
Here are some of my favorites from our session with Max, Clarke, and Shaio from the Zerba family, and Gina, Aiden, and Dave from the Hammer family by the White House Holiday Tree.
Dave and I have been friends for just about 6 years now, and we met during my first tour in the Middle East where he was my Aircraft Commander. I learned a TON from Dave as a very green Second Lieutenant, and I’m glad that I could pay back some his patience and mentoring during this afternoon with his family and friends.
Little Clarke did great in front of the camera and settled in right away.
After walking around the tree, we took a quick Cheerios break and Clarke was in HYSTERICS feeding Shaio and Max.
Most of the afternoon was overcast, but the sun decided to pop out right at the end of the day.
Next up is Aiden, and boy was he tough to frame! Every time I thought he was just about to look my way he would grin for .0001 seconds and then turn and run in the opposite direction.
Eventually I got around his fleet feet and moved on to a telephoto lens.
Aiden got his hands on some wreath ornaments and decided to send some my way!
Thanks to the Zerba and Hammer families for inviting me out to a great afternoon in DC!