Behind The Scenes At The Players Shoots

I remember always picking up Hartford Magazine, and one of the first things I would do was flip to the "Players" segment. Even though the format was simple, it always just seemed so interesting. Five, maybe six people standing on a white background posing and looking cool with little factoids about what made them unique.

That made things that much cooler when, nearly a decade later, I found myself as the one taking the photographs.

My first "Players" shoot for New Haven Living Magazine. Taken May 2013, for the July 2013 issue.

These photos would be for New Haven Living Magazine, sister publication to Hartford Magazine. While that younger version of me envisioned a group of people all together posing for a photo, the real setup is a bit different. The subjects are photographed one at a time, and combined through the magic of post-processing.

Shoots take place in the basement of the magazine's New Haven office. A massive bank vault is still down there, which makes for an interesting conversation starter! The day begins with moving a giant conference table, setting up background stands, and raising a 9 foot wide roll of white paper.

Note the pipe in the ceiling- that was in case bank employees were locked downstairs by robbers. A little creepy, but cool!

Lighting consists of one strobe with a large soft box, and another off to the side with a silver umbrella to provide a little rimming highlight to the subject.

The real cool part comes with the actual subjects. Most times these people are complete strangers to me. Some are old, some are young. Sometimes they're holding props, other times we get creative with posing. Sometimes we'll click right away, but occasionally things feel a little awkward.

But what I enjoy is trying to quickly find those tidbits- through conversation or jokes or just listening- that will make the person relax and really bring out who they are for a photo. Ultimately each one is completely normal in their own way, but to me they are still those interesting people in a magazine with their own perspectives that make them unique.