I think I shoot way less in Chicago than I should, and I’ll try to change that. It might be a little bit too late, since the weather is acting up and we’re almost having fall, but Chicago has so many great locations and it’s so beautiful, I will try to catch up. Ooh yeah, if you want to know what printout you should have in your camera bag, in order to photograph ANY federal building, without being hassled keep on reading…
We were planning this photoshoot for couple of weeks. Our model – Say – lives in the city, and we decided on am hours. Say did her own makeup, Kamila helped with the hair and we were ready to go around 8AM. Sky that day, because of overcast weather, was like a huge softbox, so I wasn’t worried about overpowering the sun or ugly shadows. I actually had to worry about rain, it was on and off throughout the shoot. It actually worked out well, because when Say was changing her outfit in the car in garage, Kamila took an umbrella, and we used it as a prop later on – happy accident
Setup info – I used Elinchrom Quadra RX + Rotalux 20×51 Softbox - pretty mobile and light, because I’ve to care about my assistant’s back – she’s my wife after all and I might want to use her again for helping me out :]
Gold doors – very good for fashion, reminds me of New York Broadway doors:
Then we moved to next location across the street, next to Federal Reserve Bank. Guard came out and was asking questions what are we doing here, am I gonna take pictures of the building, etc. I politely explained that no, I will not take pictures of any federal building in particular, but it might happen that there will be in the background, but totally blurred, and you won’t be able to make out details out of it. I showed him some pictures that I took, and thanks to my 1.2 aperture, he agreed that he cannot say what’s in the background. This guard was cool.
Then we moved to the next location, I scouted day before. That was big house – no really – it was Federal Prison– I didn’t pay attention to that day before, even though it was kind of weird that the neighborhood was sketchy looking, despite the location – couple blocks from CBOT. I wanted to shoot there anyways, so I started to set up (same setup plus one 580+full CTO for kicker camera right). Sure enough another guard shows up, with his “I’m in charge here, asshole” attitude. He asked me pretty much the same questions, and I politely gave him same answers, then I started to shoot. Federal building wasn’t even in the picture, but he came again, ruining my creamy background. And he said that I cannot shoot here, because it’s Federal Prison, and I was on the property, etc. So I told him once again: that I’m not shooting the building, and I’m on the street, so it shouldn’t be a problem. He insisted that I can get arrested because of that, and he suggest me to move somewhere else. I really wanted that shot, and I asked him very nicely to give me 5 more shots or 2 mins and we’re done, but ooh hell no, he wanted to be an asshole. So it reached that point that I asked him “If I stay here and shoot for another 2mins – are you going to arrest me”, to which obviously he replied no, but he also added “if US Marshals show up, you gonna be on your own and they will put you in jail”. I told him I really appreciate his time and concerns and I said we will stay here for another 2mins.
That pissed me off. After the first guard – who was cool about it – I remembered that sometime ago officials decided that it is absolutely legal to photograph ANY AND ALL exteriors of federal buildings from “publicly accessible spaces such as streets, sidewalks, parks and plazas.”, but I wasn’t ready to pull that off, because I had no supporting document. But after the situation with the second guard, I knew I should of just showed him the document, and be done with it – oh well – lesson learned.
So from now on, I’ll have that thing printed out and it will sit in my camera bag, just in case… - here is the link -http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdoc
after all that drama, we moved to another location, and shorty after that we called it a day…
Thanks for stopping by…