Every now and then a shoot comes along that totally meshes with what you love to photograph. That’s the case with Ryan Gibson’s recent assignment for the Velocity channel (a cable channel owned by Discovery). For the shoot, Ryan photographed Dan Short in FantomWorks, his Norfolk, Virginia garage where he restores classic cars which also acts as the setting of his show. The authentic, rustic feel of the images perfectly matches the vibe of the show, in which Dan and his crew get down and dirty to make classic cars look new again. Enjoy the final shots and read more about the shoot from Ryan, below!
How does this shoot fit into your style?
I am primarily a portrait photographer. Environmental portraiture makes up the majority of what I do. I love photographing interesting people and especially people with a passion for something. Dan was a great guy with a true passion for classic cars. This was a textbook example of the type of assignment that I truly love. I’ve worked with Discovery Communications on a previous assignment and have stayed in touch with them over the last couple of years. I had planned on being in the Washington, DC area in June and contacted them about dropping by to show some of my new work. They were excited to hear from me and, as it turned out, they had this assignment in the works and felt like I would be a good fit for it.
Were there any challenges involved with this shoot? If so, how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge with this particular shoot was the timeline. There was a pretty hefty shot list and a limited timeframe that Dan would be available to shoot. We planned everything out in great detail during our scout day and were able to stick to the schedule on set. I even had a little time to squeeze in an additional shot that I had envisioned. A little improv!
What was involved in planning/preproduction?
I met up with the Discovery creative team (two photo producers and an art director) the day before the shoot to plan everything out. With the tight timeline, precise planning was key. We finalized the shot list, picked the cars that we wanted featured in the shots and finalized locations for each shot. We did a complete walk through to make sure we would be able to pull it off.
What has the reaction to the images been so far?
The response has been great from the client. The creative team at Discovery and the folks at Velocity have told me numerous times how much they love the finished product. It’s great to hear that positive feedback. An added bonus: they loved the shot that I just kind of threw in there that wasn’t on the shot list (low front view of car with Dan leaning and looking out of the frame to the right).
Did you learn anything during the shoot?
Planning is great but don’t be afraid to improvise. I had a vision for the particular shot that I mentioned above and I knew it wouldn’t take long to pull it off. I knew it would be a great shot. I visualized it the night before during our scout and did a quick shot with my phone (there’s more about that in my blog post). It turned out to be my favorite shot.
Take a look at some behind-the-scenes shots from Ryan below:
Check out more of Ryan’s work on his website, ryangibsonphotography.com.