I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical when my buddy Val called me and asked if AMS could do lighting for his photo shoot in the forest for the Spring 2012 issue of The Wedding Style Guide International. The first time we worked with Val Nanovsky of Valdorma Photography was a couple months ago when we did a wedding at The Pond House in Hartford, CT. We immediately hit it off and were able to work together and help Val get some amazing shots with some cool lighting for the bride and groom. We have lit up countless venues, but a forest? This was all new territory for us.
We went to check out the space and were even more nervous. It was a couple of hundred feet down a ravine in the woods made worse by a blanket of poison ivy covering the entire area. We knew that if we took on this job, there were would other challenges like how can we get power down here? Who is going to be the lucky person that gets to work in the poison ivy? And of course, being an outdoor shoot we would be at the mercy of the weather. Not being the type of company that backs down from a challenge we decided to go for it!
It was a hot, but beautiful sunny day the day of the shoot. We showed up with all our gear late in the afternoon and ready to get to work! Val was already working his magic taking tons of shots in the daylight and everything looked gorgeous. All we had to do was get set up and wait for the sun to go down. We ending up running 250 feet of electrical cabling down the hill from Val’s laundry room and eventually managed to get two circuits of power down t0 the forest floor. Also, thankfully our up wash specialist, Erin, is not allergic to poison ivy so she went to work immediately setting up all the light fixtures.
To pull off the lighting effects we wanted, we brought 16 LED multicolor up wash fixtures in three robotic moving head projectors loaded up with custom shapes and colors. It was a beautiful night and the air was completely still so we were able to use our fog machines to completely engulfed the area in fog. This gave us a beautiful beam through the air look that is normally very difficult to capture outdoors. It couldn’t have worked out more perfect!
Once the sun went down, it was time to get to work. Val was shooting up a storm all day but once the darkness fell, I have to admit that I sort of took over things. I knew what my lights could do probably better than he did so I eased into making my own scenes and eventually ended up instructing Val where to stand for the best effect. This is something that many photographers would not stand for but Val in his infinite professionalism was open to any and all suggestions.
We think the results speak for themselves.