Behind the Scenes - Editorial Portrait Assignment - Sacramento Magazine

Up on the helicopter pad of Capitol Towers I hear the newly appointed Chief of Police say, "This is the best part of my day!" But how did we get here?

I was contacted by a Sacramento magazine to create a portrait of the new Sacramento Police Chief, Daniel Hahn. The art direction was spotlight him up on a roof in the fading sunset light. It was my job to get it done, but how do we get it done after the assignment comes in? 

Phone calls; call the building, call the security, call the property manager, editor, and Police Chief's PIO to explain our plan and hope we get a green light. To my surprise the building manager was very easy going, in fact I thought for sure we'd hit a snag somewhere but the manager of the building was a dream throughout this process. Extra shout to Marv at the the front desk. 

After clearance from the building manager, it was then a matter of convincing the PIO, Public Information Officer for the Chief, of our plan. After some back and forth, they were excited about the idea and we officially had the green light. 

While waiting for the Chief and his PIO to show up we set up two lights, one with a beauty dish and one standard light with a 20 degree grid to narrow the light beam. The beauty dish was for the close up portrait you'll see below, and the grid on the regular light was for the two page spread. As they arrived the PIO was surprised asked how we got the access to the building. Neither of them had ever been to the roof and I tried to play it cool. The truth was that I just made a few phone calls.

Everything happens so fast when you are aiming for the fading light so once the person is ready you need to start getting images. We had two looks in mind and worked to get the portrait done first as we had more remaining ambient light to work with. After we nailed the close up we had to get the hero image. This was the darker shot with more of the city lights coming on in the buildings. We switched to the gridded light for that somewhat spotlight look. 

What a cool assignment, I love this stuff. Have a look at the behind the scenes photos below. 

You can see more of my editorial work here. EDITORIAL