Fresh off a recent senior rep photo shoot that involved 13 seniors from 3 different high schools out on a half day adventure in 3 different cities in Texas, Alison Carlino took the time to answer some of my questions about the nuts and bolts of the ambitious shoot, just as the back-to-school season gets fully underway.
Jacqueline Tobin: Where did the shoot take place?
Alison Carlino: We photographed in downtown Houston, Galveston and El Campo. Each group of senior reps were asked where they'd like to shoot within a two-hour distance around the Richmond studio location.
JT: How did you find your subjects?
AC: The groups of seniors were from three local high schools in the Richmond and Rosenberg areas, all three of which I photograph nearly 1,200 cap/gown yearbook images for. Each student applied and was chosen based on involvement, personality and fun shoot ideas.
JT: What was purpose of this shoot? Was it branding for your senior business?
AC: The seniors were chosen to be photographed/edited for free in return for sharing around our Sticky App, passing out our Rep Cards, and posting to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for us. We are trying to book more separate Senior Style Sessions and they were the examples of how fun this adventure truly could be. Once a friend turns in a Rep Card and books w/deposit, they also get discounts on prints and products (art books, metal prints, custom designed grad cards, etc).
JT: I hear smoke bombs were involved! How did that work?
AC: The smoke bombs were used in an abandoned warehouse that skaters sprayed graffiti all over. We had the space all to ourselves and there was no air flow that made them blow out of the image. We also used sparklers to light paint "2014" in that same dark warehouse. Students brought their sports items and I used two Profoto Lights to side light from left and right to get that mean shadow down the middle of their noses (as on the football player's image below).
AC: For the sprinkler sports series, that group of seniors also brought their sports items (shoes for track runners, volleyballs, etc). The sprinkler is about 8 feet behind them and the Profoto stand another several feet behind the sprinkler. Stands always have a Vagabond battery pack hanging on them for power.
JT: What has the feedback been? How has it taken off?
AC: We had a big reveal with the parents in studio. We have a 10-foot screen for viewings so we designed a show and there were cheers and tears. The rep cards literally came in this week so the seniors are picking those up from studio and starting to pass them out.
JT: I hardly ever see guys in senior shoots, but you had several for this endeavor. Did you include them to try and get more male clients for your senior business?
AC: The boys bring the drama for the sports shoots, especially the ones that are so physically fit. In choosing the seniors that made the "Carlino's Crew," I made sure to have equal amounts of boys and girls as well as different races.
JT: How would you describe your signature style?
AC: I have become known for a style of fashion-forward posing, off-camera lighting, fun locations and bold colors.