As photographers starting out, we quickly learn that shoots do not always go as planned. This fact seems to remain the constant even as we proceed through our careers, but we know we have to make the most out of what we are given or we risk not getting the job done! One such example happened to veteran car photographer William Stern when he was hired to shoot a new Corvette, but his strobes were dead on arrival. Learn how he overcame the obstacles and created some pretty sexy car shots.
According to my buddy William Stern:
Here's a shoot that really didn't go as planned, but in the end it all worked out. The subject was the new C7 Corvette Z06 that drove in from out of town to install its new aftermarket wheels by ADV.1. The first part of the day after the wheel install was to shoot some of the behind the scenes of the film crew, Cinemotive Media, capturing the Z06 drive up and down the streets of Miami. My shoot was not planned till later that evening after the sun went down in front of a beautiful mansion. I went into this shoot with the plan to strobe the car, but that was not going to happen.
During setup and testing, my strobes just wouldn't fire. Till this day I'm still not sure why that was the case. I'm guessing some kind of interference, maybe? Anyway, now not being able to light the car as I intended to, I had to resort to light painting. Turning to the film crew, I remember saying, 'I'm going to need to borrow one of your LED panels.' As a photographer I've learned that not all things go as planned. Some times you've just got to work with what you've got and hope for the best. In the end it all worked out well, and I'm pleased with my final results.
Stern showcases a perfect example of keeping calm and adapting to the situation. By looking at the images, would you have guessed that he didn't have his main/preferred lighting gear working? It doesn't hurt that he is also really talented with his post-production work. Be sure to check out his site: iamwilliamstern.com
Did you have a shoot not go as planned, but that you overcame by adapting to the situation? Share your story in the comments below!