A few weeks ago the style makers and party planners of the national lifestyle collective, GILT Groupe, met at the Hudson Hotel in New York City for their annual sales meeting. GILT asked me to make a series of 80 stylized portraits of executives and reps throughout the day.
This sounded easy enough except for the fact that I had four hours to make the shots. This meant I had 6-10 minutes per person, which is not exactly the type of time you want under normal circumstances, but I accepted the challenge.
My camera of choice for this shoot was the HASSELBLAD H4D-31. I could have selected a Canon 5D or 1Ds MK IV, but I prefer the depth, tones, and most importantly sharpness of the Hasselblad lenses and camera system. 35mm DSLRs are great, but they still don't have the punch of a medium format system. And for me, creating portraits with a medium format camera just feels more natural.
Going this route would not have been possible without an awesome digital tech manning the work station and watching my back. I was lucky enough to grab Mike Isler for the day, which was a good thing considering we ran into a number of technical problems with the camera and Hasselblad software. Shooting with a tight schedule means you have to cover all your bases, have a back-up, and spending the money where it counts to make your life easier.
Organizing hair by and make-up was the key to getting the shoot off to a strong start and staggering the reps. We managed to capture a selection of great shots of each person. Having the client on-site to approve the images for each person was also helpful to keep our momentum.
However, my favorite part of the shoot came the following morning when I took the Hasselblad out for some street shooting. I really enjoy the functionality and ergonomics of the Hasselblad H4D-31. It's controls and autofocus are really quick and I like the positions of the shutter / aperture dials.
All in all... a great day of shooting.