I recent was contacted by the Chicago band Boots with Spurs about shooting some new band images for their website and an upcoming magazine article for Chicago Music. I jumped at the idea of getting to put my spin on the classic music images that I grew up with. If you've ever listened to the most recent Boots with Spurs album you know that these guys have a very rock style with a lot of energy.
I spent some time before the shoot combing the Rolling Stones magazine website to get some inspiration. The band picked a local bar in Bucktown for the shoot location. The style of the bar was a perfect fit for the band's style.
We set up the first couple of shots in the VIP section under a really unique chandelier. I decided to have the band sit across from me on some stools we found. I first started shooting head on using two speedlights to light the band from both sides. I used a grid on each speedlight to shape the light and give it a harder look. I was trying to avoid over lighting the room.
After I shot the band from the front I decided to shoot from the sides just below and above the speedlights. This gave me some good hard light and quick falloff so that the rest of the room stayed dark.
After we shot in the VIP room we headed out to the bar. The bar had a great wall of liquor that made for a great backdrop. I had the guys move out the stools that were in the way and I set up one speedlight high and to the right of the band and one speedlight behind the bar facing the band. This gave me a good rim light around the heads of the band. I worked with them on a few different poses but ultimately the shot that was the best was the shot after one of the guys cracked a joke. Everyone quickly let down their guard and they looked like they were just hanging out.
A few weeks after the shoot the band asked me to come to their show and shoot a few more photos. I brought my Nikon 28-70 f2.8 and headed out. Thanks to the performance of my D800 I can shoot at extremely high ISO's so I turned my camera to the manual setting, set my ISO to 2000, shutter speed to 160, and aperture to 2.8 and I was ready to roll. Check out the pictures below for the results.