So this is it, my Number One Photo of 2012. Here’s the thing about this photo: when I decided on doing a “best of 2012” list, this photo immediately was at the top. There was never any question of it being Number One. It’s dynamic, it’s colorful, it grabs your attention…it’s just big.
My history with POGEY is pretty interesting. I told this story in an earlier blog post, but to refresh, I was shooting for fun at the Kansas City Irish Fest in 2008. I happened to know some people who were working the event, and they got me a backstage pass, so I shot the bands, and POGEY was one of them. They are a Celtic rock band from Nova Scotia and they tour North America regularly. They eventually saw them online, and Ray, their singer, emailed me and eventually purchased the pics and subsequently hired me for their appearances at the Irish Fest the following two years (and incidentally, the band that played after them, The Elders, as well as the organizers of the Irish Fest itself, also separately hired me to work for them). For their return appearance at the KCIF this year, he hired me again to shoot the publicity photos for a project they were putting together.
We talked on the phone a couple of times in the weeks leading up to the event to hash out ideas, plus the night before the shoot when they arrived in town. We walked around downtown KC scouting out locations; he had already identified this spot from an earlier shoot I did there in 2010 so we eventually settled on returning to it.
So this was the result. The interesting thing about the photo is that it looks like I superimposed them over another pic, but we were actually right there. I lit them with an Alien Bee 800 through a 60″ Softlighter, while my assistant Lindsey literally hunched on the ground in front of me with a reflector to bounce some fill light onto them. Reviewing the pic I decided that Johnny (far right) was too separate from the others, so I did some Photoshop to bring him in closer to the rest of the band. I also nudged the building in the top left a little bit closer to the movie theater marquee and added a fake neon glow to the other marquee in the background. Finally I added a flare as if it were bursting out of Ray’s hand for a final touch.