Last month I was approached by Kyle Dettmen, video director at Reach Records, to help him with a small video project and to photograph rap artist KB. The goal of this shoot was to create some images for promotional use and hopefully an album cover. The shoot went flawlessly and I couldn't be happier with the images. It was awesome to work with KB. He was very patient and had some great ideas to add to the shoot. The first half of the shoot was at RITE studio in Atlanta, and we shot on their CYC wall.
I used a Canon 5D Mark III and a Fuji X100S, Westcott Apollo Orb, Yongnu YN560-II speed light, and some constant lights that were first used for the video shoot. For me this shoot was the final nail in the Canon coffin. Ever since I bought my X100S I have been reaching for it over my 5D3 whenever possible. I'm now seriously considering ditching my Canon gear for an all Fuji system especially after the reveal of the X-T1 and the amazing lenses they are producing. The image quality, especially the colors and sharpness, never cease to amaze me. This was my first chance to test it out in a studio environment, and I wasn't sure just how well the X100S would be able to keep up with the 5D3. But it did, in a big way. Just like when shooting the X100S with flash in daylight, the most noticeable feature is the high flash sync speed which really added another dimension to the images and allowed me to shoot in a more "natural light" frame of mind. I triggered the flash with a pair of PocketWizard Plus III, and I haven't had any trouble with the units keeping up with the X100S. The drama that you can create with one small flash and 1/1000 at 2.8 is stunning.
The final half of the shoot was at an abandoned prison which had to be one of the most haunting places I've ever been. I went there armed only with the X100S.
Finally I processed the images in Lightroom 5 using VSCO film packs. These presets that VSCO has created have become a stable to my editing workflow. Their ability to infuse depth to shadows and tweak color bring out character in images unlike anything I've seen. They're also an awesome company that supports the creative community with artist spotlights and other great products like VSCOcam.
Here's the cover for KB's newest EP 100 which can be found on iTunes here. It's definitely worth checking out. I can't stop listening to it and it's backed by a great message. Some of KB's best work. Props to Clark Orr for the cover design.
Huge thanks to Kyle for thinking of me for this shoot and for assisting me with lights and ideas. He's been a great friend for many years. Also thanks to KB for putting up with me and being so willing to do whatever I asked of him. I'm thrilled and humbled to report that he loved the photos. And for everyone at Reach Records, they're a great team and anyone would be lucky to work with them. Hope we can collaborate on another project soon.