Clickenzee to Embiggen!
The story is about prominent Philadelphia Black Republicans Thermon Spence, Lewis Harris Jr, and Robert Allen Mansfield and the assignment was for a basic power portrait, which is typically the treatment that CEO's & head honcho's get, usually taken from a low angle, lots of folded arms -- probably the most famous example is Alberto Korda's photo of Che Guevara -- although it wasn't set up (I think it was actually a snapshot taken at a rally) it's got all the elements of making the Cuban guerrilla look like a total badass.
The setup was really quick, I knew I wanted the sun directly behind them so location was largely dictated by that, two flashes on stands left and right -- I tried shooting this cover again with the Panasonic GX1 and the 20mm lens as part of the "can I use this instead of my DSLR" experiment and was less enthused about it this time. The flash sync on the GX1 is 1/160th of a second instead of the d800's 250th which made it difficult to balance the flash with the sun. Going into a situation like this you basically have a camera with one setting: fastest shutter speed, lowest iso, smallest f-stop and you get what you get. We created quite a ruckus in the park -- lights, cameras, and crowds create a lot of interest and everybody was sure they knew who these guys were but couldn't quite remember (they've all run for political office, so you've seen them on TV) and I was continually peppered with "Yo! Yo! Who are those guys???" which is made all the more exciting when you say "It's top sekret. Check out the cover of the Philadelphia Weekly next Wednesday." The pose was relatively simple too, Lewis Harris Jr is a little bit shorter than Robert Mansfield and Thermon spence, so I put him in the front and leaned down until all their heads lined up.
Philly Weekly features writer Randy LoBasso, who did the article, shot some behind the scenes video for which I'm very grateful, you can watch it here