Photoshoot and a “Closed For Repairs” Sign
Think about the shoot you been talking for a month, planning everything, asking for permission, getting all your gear ready, your awesome Cosplayer is excited about it, and when you get there, boom, you find a nice CLOSED sign!
First of all, imagine a shoot planned in an Abbey (which of course has a church on Sunday, then add the usual people attending the service and one thing you didn’t thought like a bus of tourists. This must be a nightmare!
But thankfully, it turned out to be one wonderful session. I woke up around mid-morning, got ready, and called the Abbey (I done that earlier in the week, but wanted to confirm) to see if it was ok to shoot in their internal gardens, galleries and patios. The phone rang one time, two times, three times…nobody answered.
I waited a couple of hours and tried again to call the administration office, but again, no luck. By this time, my lovely Demon Hunter, Cosplayer and Artist Lilia Lemoine, was knocking on my door, a shiny day outside, ready to go!
Hey Fer!! Let’s go!!
That was the moment I thought this can’t be happening, I waited so long for this and now it looked like it wouldn’t happen. But i wasn’t going to give up that easily.
We went downstairs, took a taxi and enjoyed the trip with a positive mind.
We got to the Abbey in 40-minutes. Its located near downtown of the city of Buenos Aires, in a neighbourhood that has many nice churches and architecture. Unfortunately, it didn’t look good from the taxi. The usual wooden walls outside the block… We look each other like “oh oh”. Walked around the block, uphill to the church entrance, to the administration office to find another sign: “Working days: Monday to Saturday”. Oh nooo!
I had only a small chance, because you know in other types of locations, you can go and just “shoot and explain if somebody ask” way of working in places like abandoned warehouses, etc., but this isn’t an abandoned building, but rather a sacred place for religion, which we wanted to be more respectful and ask before doing anything sacrilegious.
What could I do!? I had one last chance. I walked back to the entrace of the Church, which has a small place where you can buy bibles, candles and so on and I asked the clerk:
Fernando: Hello! I’m a freelance photographer and I’m supposed to do a shoot in the Abbey’s gardens, you know if anyone can help me?
Clerk: Well, no. The exteriors are been remodeled now and the gardens will remain close at least on weekends.
It took a minute for me to think of everything i saw outside and replied:
Fernando: What if take pictures in the entrance gallery and around the church walls? Will it be ok?
Clerk: There is no problem at all. Just don’t go into the church and be sure not to bother anyone.
Fernando: (I almost screamed) YES!! Dont worry. It will be very quiet and won’t bother anyone here.
So I went out the store and gave my friend and cosplayer Lilia the news.
I was a bit dissapointed in one hand, but happy in the other. I didn’t have the exact background I wanted, but now I had the challenge to make it happen. And sometimes, I learned a lot from improvising from an adverse situations.
Lilia had everything practiced. She could put the armour on and do the make up herself. Thank god she had the clothes for the Demon Hunter already on, just needed to slip on the armour and we would be set.
After about 30 minutes, she was ready.
For this shoot, I used my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD IF lens (FX compatible), a SB700 Flash and a single tripod. And most important of all, it was my first shoot with my brand new Nikon D800 camera.
My objective was find a proper set, medieval looking in the mood of the places you find in Diablo III, inspired in the artwork of Peter Lee’s Tristam Cathedral.
I used the entrance gallery to the church and abbey which has nice arcs, but shows the street too much. So I tried to use f/2.8 as much as I could to leave a blurred background and isolate the place from the more modern-looking city. The arcs on the opposite side had nice views of the church, which has a huge rounded window in front. Also the back of the entrance has steel bars and a place to sit (reminiscent of a crypt). And finally some of the outer walls of the church, covered with wallflowers.
Total time shooting was one and a half hour, with stops in between because people wanted a picture of the Demon Hunter. Everyone totally love the costume and the setting for the costume which was great for me and Lilia. Here are the photos: