Amantes Latinos was the name chosen by Victor and Melina for their musical duet.
"Amantes latinos" translates from Spanish to "Latin Lovers" and was a deliberate double entendre, raising the question are the couple actually lovers or does the term refer to the fact that they are both in fact lovers of the latin music genre that they perform?
In their performances latin dance teacher Victor provided lead vocals and played acoustic guitar, Melina provided backing vocals and accompanied on keyboard.
Amantes Latinos - The assignment brief
Melina and Victor wanted a set of images to use for promotional purposes for their duet.
They wanted the images to play up to the double entendre of the band's "Amantes Latinos" name.
I needed to capture images to reinforce the idea that they might be romantically involved (in fact they were just very good friends) but also emphasise the fact that they are lovers of Latin music and reinforce the point that that this was the genre that the duet would be performing
This was actually to be my first photography assignment and I was thrilled to be invited by Melina and Victor (both good friends of mine) to provide the photography.
The venue was the Greek island of Rhodes which meant we could be almost certain to enjoy rain free and clear weather. The bright mid-day sunshine is however very harsh and not flattering for natural light photos.
I therefore suggested we meet for the last hour before sunset when the light would be warmer and a little softer.
This meant I would have to be "on my game" as there would only be a relatively short window of good light in which to work.
The approach to the assignment
The message from this assignment is therefore the importance of preparation.
When on assignment, especially when time is going to be limited (even if my subjects could spare more time - the daylight wasn't going to hang around waiting for me) it is imperative to be well prepared and ready to maximise the available time actually shooting and not fumbling around setting up the camera or pondering locations and poses.
The following is a list of pointers to consider to help your preparation for a shoot.
- Study the brief you have been given and form a clear idea of what your (and more importantly, your client's) objectives are. Discuss the assignment in advance and as afar as possible pre-plan the key shots you aim to achieve. A good tip is to use google images to search for ideas and to give your clients a visual basis for your (or their) ideas.
- Scope out the location. If you have a location in mind, try and visit it in advance in similar lighting conditions to those anticipated for the assignment. Check to make sure there are no restrictions on photography - for example in Rhodes there are restrictions around military bases and at many of the historic monuments it is not permitted to use tripods or light stands etc. Establish which spots you will utilise, familiarise yourself with camera angles and how the light falls - take some test shots to get a basis of exposure settings from which you will work and plan the sequence of shots especially if the rapidly changing light in the last minutes of sunset affects each spot in a particular way. Establish if there are likely to be other members of the public around - try and plan compositions and poses that aren't likely to be adversely effected if there are!
- Know your equipment. I mean really know it. It isn't enough to simply know what functions your camera has - you should be able to access them and adjust them rapidly and instinctively almost blindfolded. This will result in more time shooting and less time setting up your camera
- Check then check again for everything you will need to bring to the shoot. (I once arrived at an assignment with everything I needed for the shoot except my camera - oops! ) Are your batteries fully charged (for camera and any speed lights you plan to use) do you have spares? Do you have sufficient memory cards including spares? Which lenses will you use - are they clean? Do you need filters? tripod? cleaning cloths? flashlight? rain gear etc etc ...
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