With the restrictions of Covid starting to ease up there is a lot of chatter about live shows returning to the Vancouver area. With that I started to get bookings by bands to update their promo shots. My clients from Dark Originn have a new album coming out so we got together for a shoot. The band was looking for an apocalyptic, lockdown sort of feel. We found some interesting places near their rehearsal studio and spent the day shooting. The band loved the shots enough to use them for the album art work along with a previous photo of the front man for the cover. If you get a chance check them out!
Well where has the time gone? To say the least it’s been a strange year this past one. I shot Brad Paisley on March 7th, which turned out to be my last show I would get to shoot of 2020.
I had just started the year with Digital Beat Magazine, and was looking forward to ramping up my shooting of shows for the year. I had Alice Cooper and ZZ Top lined up, which I was really looking forward to, but alas the pandemic put a big pause on the concert tours among other things. I have been fortunate enough to have kept working through this madness with a day gig in Telecommunications. Deemed an essential service, I had the luxury of being allowed out of my house to still venture into the world, mind you it has been quite different.
To keep myself busy artistically, I had bought a photo printer before the pandemic but didn’t have much time to do anything with it. The shutdown of most photography work allowed me time to get into printing my photos and learning all about different paper that can be used.
At the end of 2019 one of my oldest clients Victor Escoto, scored an endorsement deal with Soultone Cymbals. Once he announced the deal we immediately began talking about doing a promo shoot for Soultone’s webpage and Vic’s social media channels.
I first met Vic when I shot a band he was in,Trophy Wife, years ago. It was from that series of pics I got my first album credit and launched me into the world of music photography.
We arranged a date in the beginning of February and booked in at my favorite studio, Mystic Rhythms Rehearsal Studios in Langley, BC. Shooting took place on the afternoon of 8th. Sean (owner of Mystic) prepared studio 3 so I could set out a backdrop and lights. Vic brought his natural finish Yamaha kit which worked well with the backdrop. After I had the background up, Vic unpacked and set up the kit on the black fabric. While he was doing that, I set up a 5 point lighting system that incorporated 3 LED video lights and 2 strobes I could trigger from my camera. Once we got going, I dialed the lighting in and we played around with different poses/lighting.
Some of my favorite shots were from misfires of the strobes, as the LED sources gave an interesting effect. I’ve been doing different shoots lately using just the LED lights as the primary sources. Why am I wanting to go LED? Well, I found that portability is much more effective with battery powered, smaller panels. Although I am still packing my strobes to most shoots, I find I go with the LED’s much more these days.
We shot for about 4 hours at the studio which is about par when the owner is a drummer and you bring in another drummer with shiny new things! The shoot realistically takes about an hour to set up, hour for shooting, and an hour for tear down. In this case there was a whole lot of conversation which accounted for the additional time.
Checkout the pics below and you can find Soultone Cymbals at: https://www.soultonecymbals.com/
Follow Victor on Instagram @vescoto_drums
Book your next rehearsal or photoshoot at Mystic Rhythms Rehearsal Studios https://mysticrhythms.ca/