lundi 16 septembre 2013

Shooting DJ Senateur

Hi everyone !

BIG news before I go into the post related to the shooting with DJ Senateur ! My website is done, as well as all my portfolios edited, organized and presented in a cohesive and useful manner.

You can visit my website here by clicking on this link Jonathan Vahsen Photography
I would love to have your feedback!

Ok, enough of this, let's dive into the shoot :-)

The detailed lighting diagrams are at the end of the post.
I met Dj Senateur while shooting an event he was performing at and we exchanged contact details. After sending the pictures of the event around, he contacted me to create 4-6 pictures for his promotional and press material 2013-2014. Creatively he gave me 100% freedom, the only thing he wanted is something classy and unique. We agreed to update eachother in two weeks.

I came up with the following ideas:
- The Jazz Singer
- The Blues Singer
- The Tower of Power
- Urban

Here are the results, each the best image per idea:

1. The Jazz Singer:

 2. The Blues Singer:

Blues - Setting old military stuff on fire

3. Tower of Power:

Power - Involved a little Photoshop

4. Urban:

Urban Style

In the end he received a total of ten pictures.

 Here some behind the scenes pictures, taken by friend and fellow photographer Frédéric Swennen. He is one of Belgiums top wedding and event photographer, check him out at

As you can see I have a couple of stuff on set. 

The set btw is the old abandoned warehouses from Tour and Taxi, in downtown Brussels. I don't have a studio, so I am forced to go on location. This one is awesome, you are all alone in an old warehouse, ca. 800m² big, the atmosphear is really soothing, calm and pro-creative.

On set I had a smoke machine, some old military cans that I emptied and set on fire with different fuels and wood. In order to use the smoke machine we brought a generator, that we rented from La Fabrique 22A.

The smoke in the jazzy shot has so much density beceause there is also a lot of smoke / haze in the air, and because it is side- and backlit. I had a Quadra Ranger with a rectangular Softbox on his right as sort of mainlight, a bare speedlight behind and on the side of him, for rim and fill. Jazz and Urban have the same lighting, for the third shot I used ambient light, the Qaudra and one speedlight. For the Blues style I wanted something moodier, more dramatic, as usually blues musicians hader a hard life than the jazz musicians, there is in my mind more drama and mood in the Blueslifestyle than in a Jazzlifestyle. I did a couple of tests, but the ones I liked the most was when I used only one flash, the ambient light and the light provided by the burning cans. In the end super simple from a flash point of view.

Dj Senateur is a cool guy to photograph, I showed him moodboards beforehand and he was super into it and knew how to work the camera without apprehension. I like to shoot a bit and then review the pictures with the model, I believe it is the best way for them to see how we can change or improve the composition.

You can see the whole series here

Thank you for reading and have a nice day.

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