In advertising, there are always so many conversations about the project before anything is actually photographed. But many times, when the project is complete, we only show the images and do not tell the story behind the images. I thought it would be interesting to start a series of blog posts that do just that.
Thank you Chris Crisman for adding to our new collection. And, this time with a personal project!
What was vision for this shoot?
This image was actually a by-product of an editorial commission. I was approached in early 2015 by Philadelphia Magazine for their spring issue of Philadelphia Bride. The idea was to shoot one model in and on the grounds of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. For those who are not familiar, this is one of the most most undervalued spaces in our great country. The architectural presence is awe inspiring and the endless masterpieces are overwhelming.
This image certainly doesn’t look like a fashion or wedding editorial. How did you evolve the assignment into a personal project?
Many images that I create are inspired by a person, place, thing, idea, or a combination of all those things. In this case, we had the run of the house in the Museum. I felt inspiration at every turn. The space and the masterpieces that it houses create unending feelings of creativity, even for people who do not otherwise feel creative!
When working on any project, I focus on working within the scope and framework of the job at hand. With that in mind, I am always keeping my mind open to assets that might be valuable later down the road. When I walked into the room you see here, I knew it was something special. I planned on making the best image possible for our client, but also thought there might be a another story to be told at a later date.
Did your team have to do anything unique or different on this shoot that stands out to you as something that made this shoot extraordinary?
To those that don’t know me, the star of this image is my son, Calvin. He is a constant point of inspiration to for me. Know that if I am going to include him in one of my images, I feel an extra amount of pressure to make it special. He had just turned 3 when I shot this, so I had to figure out a language to convey what I was looking for from his performance. I found that the best way to motivate him was to have him mimic my expressions. In other words, I acted as his mirror for this photograph. This strategy seems to have worked out quite well.
What do you love about these images?
There is absolutely nothing that I don’t love here. Again, my son is the hero and that idea transcendent. It was an extra bonus that I was able to include the daughter of my favorite set designer (Matthew Engelbert’s daughter Olive.)
Any memorable moments on the shoot?
There is one little thing about the room were originally shot this in – We could only fire our strobes one time per minute! Shooting in a museum with priceless treasures is a wonderful once in a lifetime occasion, but you must do your homework in advance of the undertaking.
Thank you PXL House for the post production partnership and this great video.
To see more of Chris Crisman’s work, please link to his website.