“This is a photograph of Painter Michael Schaeffer. He an accomplished Painter/Professional Musician. He is not as well known as a musician and I asked him if I could take a portrait of him with his Accordion. He was very into the idea of a photograph of him outside of the medium of which he is known for so people can see that he is authentic to the marrow in his bones.
We set the date and time. This is when I started to brainstorm the locations. I Finally decided I wanted to shoot in his space. He agreed and sent me a couple photographs of his house from his phone and I instantly was drawn to his basement where he has his own bar with great wines and a poker table and vintage portraits of his family from the 1800′s. He dresses as if he was in a 1950′s french add twenty four seven. His bar totally fit our definition of what encompasses who he is. I ran into traffic on a day that had tight schedules for both of us and got there with about 15 Minutes.
I was setting up gear pulling my camera bag apart in the back seat bringing it to my passenger seat to assemble as much as I could prior to getting there to give me as much time as possible. I got there, made small talk while setting my lights in the spots I wanted them and metered his face and had about five minutes to shoot. This is what I got out of it.
This photograph is called Separation. We both decided on the title of this and separated him from the instrument he loves to play. He is always associated with his paintings. The people that know him know about his amazing musical talent. His drink is his way of dealing with the separation from his passion. (He is not an alcoholic, nor does he think that alcohol is a good solution for dealing with your problems we just felt it was something everyone could relate to.
I shot this with a Canon 5d Mark II two lights. One in the back on a 45 degree angle behind him to the right. One light infront of him bounced into an umbrella and then onto the wall then back to him to create a super soft light. ISO 800 F3.2 1/60th. The shutter was slow to insure that the Lights in front and behind would expose and create a harsher light on his face.”- Steven David Branon