Philly’s Gossip Guy
These days, it’s not often that we’re shooting in Philadelphia. Most of our assignments take us all over the place, and when we are back in the city of brotherly love, we enjoy a brief respite to get organized and recharge before we had back out on the road. If our friends at Philadelphia Magazine call, it’s a different story – especially if they call asking us to shoot one of our cities most iconic gossip columnists.
Dan Gross has been Philadelphia’s go-to gossip guy since 2004 and last month we welcomed him to our studio for a day of shooting. Keep reading to see the results, as well as some behind the scenes photos and stories…
For a gossip icon like Dan Gross, we knew there would only be one setting appropriate enough to serve as a backdrop for the shoot – our local Philadelphia newspapers themselves.
After a day of set-building with the art and photo team at Philadelphia Magazine, our studio was covered in newsprint and ready to shoot
We built out an additional wall of newspapers for our subject to interact with – only to learn (as it might seem obvious from the photo above) that hundreds upon hundreds of sheets of very thin paper aren’t exactly the most willing subjects.
After some very creative architecture, we finally had piles and piles of newspaper to work with.
We knew that in terms of lighting, it was important to focus in on Dan, creating some nice shape and contrast, but at the same time, illuminating the newspapers and background accordingly.
In order to achieve this light, we used a gridded octabank for our key, along with a large octabank behind camera as a fill – we also made use of a gridded extra small softbox for a touch of catch-light from the top of our set. The light provided a perfect mix of shape and contrast on our subject as well as catching and highlighting the newspapers that rained down on him.
And of course, no photoshoot would be complete without a few test shots. Ridiculous photos aside, Philadelphia Magazine has an incredible article written by the gossip kings himself – Dan Gross. Do yourself a favor and take the time to read it.
Want to know more? Any questions? Let us know in the comments or @crismanphoto!