What I find so true about photography but also in everyday life is that if you want certain doors to get open, communication is a key, as well as finding the right people to speak to.

This time I was planning to have a shoot in a gymnasium where normally German professional handball league has their practice. Because I liked the location so much I was aiming to make pictures there. The only problem was to find a time slot and a person responsible for schedule. As it has turned out, there were multiple people responsible for it. However, I wanted to find just one, who could connect me to the rest of their team.

Here comes the ability to stay a bit stubborn quite in handy. I think it is one of the reasons why this project has worked out. Pounding on doors and asking questions has helped me find that right person. As someone who is responsible for delivering creative content, I have to be sure that all questions are raised and answered upfront. I can not stress this enough, but I think it is the most important part in photography.

Sometimes I have a vision of how particular picture could look like. Communicating that vision through to decision makers helps to understand what I plan and how they can help me out in that process. Especially, when deciding on which location to use, there are certain rules, regulations, permits and policies. Knowing them can sometimes be a deciding factor in making a picture or moving on to a different location.

The same goes when dealing with the talent. We are all busy, but I always try to talk to the talent before we start making pictures. This gives me a feeling of how the subject will be in front of the camera and how I should direct him or her. Being able to listen is equally important, though. Making notes during any of these conversations is very helpful to not forget any nuances later.

About the shooting itself.

Previously, I had quite a lot of different ideas about it. However, I have decided to keep it simple. I planned two sets. The first one being in the playing area itself and the other one in the basement of the gymnasium where they teach yoga and other classes. Since the building I was photographing in has a glass roof, I ended up mixing ambient light with strobes.

The biggest challenge was to shoot before the sunrise. Since it was in the middle of January the best time was 9 AM. Therefore, I had to be quick. Otherwise, I would have missed the perfect light where too much of the ambient light was hitting the place, and the pictures would have lost this shadowy, mysterious effect.

The second location was quite fun too. I initially planned one set. But when you get your picture done you often look for a different creative approach. Maybe throwing a gel on the flash, trying a different camera angle, different outfit. I got this: I lit the scene with three lights. The placement of light modifiers is crucial, though. It can make your picture look flat or will add depth to it.

All in all, it was a hard but a great day.

Stay tuned

Alex