When I asked my friend Stephen HAAS from Team Indiana Elite for the name of runners on the East Coast he suggested I contact Ashley. Ashley runs professionally for Saucony and specializes in the steeplechase. Last season she finished 4th at the U.S Olympic trials in the 3000 Meter Steeplechase and then went on to run a 9:34 at a Diamond League meet in London (that’s the big league in the track world).
We had originally planned on doing the shoot at Brooklyn Bridge Park, but due to expensive permits ($500-$2000) we decided to head to McCarren Park in Williamsburg. Doing photoshoots in NYC is slightly more complicated than ones in Indiana. In NYC one does not simply show up and set up their lights. Instead permits are required for most shoots. On top of film permits from the city, one must also obtain a “park film permit”. However, there is a way to avoid the permit issue. If the cameras and lights are handled, and not on stands then seeking a permit and permission from the park is unnecessary. So with that in mind I bribed my roommates and turned them into voice activated light stands. They would stand and hold the lights as I instructed and then move every time we changed positions. This would be a chore on most days, but it became a big favor when it started raining.
Shooting in the rain is not a lot of fun. It presents a lot of challenges and puts the equipment at risk. Cameras, lenses, and lights don’t play well with moisture. Rain also has to be backlit or all the droplets will obscure your subjects. As tough as it was to shoot in the rain it was nothing compared to modeling in it.
You wouldn’t know it from the photos but in addition to raining it was also 36 degrees outside. Ashley had no qualms and never complained about the cold or rain. She explained that her race it is always wet. While true, all of us on the other side of the camera were impressed with her attitude and ability to smile despite the elements.
The shoot only lasted about 15 minutes but we were able to get through quite a few poses. The rain added a flare and drama that I have never tried. I‘m thrilled with the results and look forward to working with Ashley again, but probably in a warmer, drier environment.
• 2 or 3 lights.
• Einstein with beauty dish as front fill.
• Gridded Alienbee 800 on the side
• Occasionally a Canon 580 EXII as a second rim light.
• Shots were done around ISO 1000 at 1/125 and f/5