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Creating a Portfolio With “A Little Help From My Friends”

My good friend Eric Eggly came to town for a visit. He asked if I could help him with a new project for his portfolio. Of course I agreed. As we prepared for the shoot, I realized he wasn’t asking for my help as a photographer he was asking me to be one of the models! Normally I would find a way to get out of it; but Eric is one of the most creative photographers I know, so I agreed. I fell in love with the final images but, most importantly, I fell in love with how he created the shot. I asked Eric if he would share his creative thought process and he humbly agreed.

As Eric tells the story:

Creating and continually updating a portfolio can be time consuming and extremely costly as well. So in order to bring this particular series to life, I sought the help of a friend!

Being of Italian heritage and well aware of the stereotyping that often goes along with it, I decided to have a little fun with an idea. I conceived a concept playing off the very stereotypical image of a Mafia boss taking care of some very untidy business at the docks. I had planned every detail, even down to the cement buckets and chum. The talent was the last, yet most important, piece to really bring the concept to life. When choosing my talent, I pay close attention to specifically matching the talent with the mood, emotion, style and message that I am conveying.

Choosing the Talent

I scouted locations and, with everyone on board for the photo shoot, we were good to go. The location required an evening shot and what started out to be a great, sunny day quickly turned into a mess. We had rain, lightning and high winds to contend with, so it was time for Plan B. Actually Plan B was to figure out what Plan B would be. It was time to regroup and rethink how to proceed with the concept and still get the image. I had the perfect talent, but no location.

Picking a Shooting Location

I knew of a particular location near my studio that would work for the dock element. I had planned the lighting on my talent knowing that the docks would be located on the south side of Lake Erie with the sun coming from the west. A day and 200 miles later, I had the dock image and the sun did cooperate this time around.

Shooting Other Elements

The next element, the dockside stand, was built and shot in my studio along with the buckets and signage. The fish guts for the chum were shot separately. The background image of the body of water, obviously not Lake Erie, was taken while I was in the Caribbean.

All told, it took a little over 3 days of shooting, 2 days of prep, 60 hours of Photoshop and a whole lot of fun.

Meet the Photographer

*Feature image Eric Eggly

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