4 minutes times 50 portraits

When should I talk about a shooting I did? Just after it is completed and fresh in my memory, but without being able to show it here, or after it is published, sometime months later?

This time, I’m not going to wait. I’m still recovering of the intense job I did for La Presse, one of the Montreal’s dailies.

It was a two and a half days job, with 50 portraits made in about 4 minutes each. Again I will quote my ex-teacher Frank O’Connor: “Creativity on demand!”

It was suppose to be head shot only “a good gig, but a bit boring,” said the photo editor over the phone. On the first day, we had only one person to photograph (I was tagging along with the reporter), and I decided to give him a bit more. I sent a nicely lit and composed portrait of the guy. I asked him by email if he wanted more of that, or if he wanted me to stick with the plan.

“Go ahead,” he said, “as long as you have an head shot of everyone.” With 4 or 5 minutes only per subject, not everyone got more than the head-shot, but I’m pretty happy with the result.

What I like with La Presse is the reproduction quality, one of the best in the country. You have to understand that we use 5000$ cameras to shot pictures that will be printed in something that is as good as toilette-paper to reproduce photo on. Some papers do a better job that other. They might use better paper, better press, or have a better workflow on the pre-press process. La Presse does a wonderful job and, since they got their new press a year or two ago, the photos look terrific. Wich is good since I used my 85mm for almost every picture. I can’t wait to see how the paper can hold this level of sharpness!

It should be in the paper (and on the web) in mid-July. Only then I will show you a selection of pictures I took for this job.

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