Commission: Entrepreneur magazine needed a shot for an author/professor who wrote a book on statistics and probability: “Struck by lightening: The Curious World of Probabilities” for their Insights feature.
Location: For layout purposes it has to be shot against a white seamless backdrop
This was a very difficult assignment, firstly his office was at University of Toronto, right in the middle of downtown Toronto where parking is a real premium. My car almost got towed while we unloaded all the photography equipment. Once I had carried the equipment up to one of the top floors, I set up in the very tiny office, with very low ceilings to photograph a very tall man. Low ceilings are a photographer’s nightmare, (loose control of the light direction) even more so than setting up a seamless a very small crowded office.
As is often the case for busy professionals you don’t get a chance to meet and get to know your subject ahead of time. So it is a challenge to maintain a comfort level while photographing a complete stranger. I think standing in front of a camera is a very vulnerable position to be in and I find it helps to maintain a conversation with the subject while shooting. I was asking him about the subject of his book while photographing.
While I was wrapping up the shoot I asked if he had any props handy. He had a set of dice – as his book was about probabilities. I asked him to pose with the dice. As he was posing with the dice I couldn’t help but notice how the number 1 on the dice looked like eyeballs. It never ceases to amaze me what people will do for you when you stand behind a camera. I asked this statistics professor who I have known for approx. 10 minutes, to put each of the #1 dice up to his eyes. The image was alot of fun. To my surprise the magazine chose that image, but apparently “snake eyes” are not good luck so the image was photoshopped to have a 6 and 1 for better odds I guess.