Matt Heafy for Kerrang!
A couple of months ago I was arriving at the Warner Brothers studio in London…an hour early. Well, technically I arrived in the area of Warner Brothers an hour early, but not into the offices until a few minutes before I was due. This was my first shoot for Kerrang, and I couldn’t risk being late…especially when I considered what this shoot entailed. Not only was it my first commission for Kerrang, but it was a big one! The shoot involved one of Metal’s biggest names Trivium, massive makeup, and quite a bit of editing from me on the finished photo.
The nice thing about shoots like this is that you are there to capture one image. I don’t walk away from these shoots with just one capture mind you, but my time is devoted to creating one perfect image. For some people this can add stress to the shoot, but for me it puts me in my element. I can focus my attention on the little details and ensure that what I am capturing is exactly what I envisioned in my head.
Once I had met with PR, I was brought up to one of the meetings room at Warner Brothers that we were going to be using for the shoot. It was definitely big enough, but it was filled with “stuff”. Matt and Corey (guitar player for Trivium) came in to say hi and kindly helped me shift some of the stuff out of the way to make room for our shoot and then Matt was off for makeup. This gave me plenty of time to setup my lights and get everything ready…which only took around 15 minutes and Matt was going to be in makeup for at least 45 minutes. This gave me time to plan the shot in my head a little more, and wander down to makeup to see how things were getting on. Needless to say our makeup artist Samm Agnew was creating a master piece! I couldn’t believe what I saw when I walked into makeup… it was utterly amazing!
Once makeup was done, we all headed back up to our meeting room for the shoot. Due to the stiffness of the “snow” on Matt’s face, we decided to start the shoot with facial expressions that didn’t require drastic movements on his face. We were aiming for expressions ranging from fierce defiance of the cold, through to absolutely freezing. Once we felt that we had those expressions in the bag, we went with more dramatic facial expressions. We saved these for last because, as we thought, the big movements in Matt’s face was breaking the “snow”. All in all the shoot itself took about 20 minutes and we were done. Matt was absolutely brilliant to work with, and he nailed every expression that I was looking for.
Once home, I downloaded all of our shots and started editing a couple of my favourites. The idea behind this shoot was to promote Trivium’s new album Silence in the Snow. We wanted to capture the “snow” makeup and step it up a gear or two with added snow in Photoshop. This was something I have done a few times before so was nothing new or challenging for me and the edits were done in a matter of hours. The resulting image, I think you will agree, turned out badass as you can see below.
The image looked even better in print that I could have imagined…or maybe it was because it was my first shoot for Kerrang? Either way, everyone was over the moon with the result!
Of course I had to take my obligatory selfie afterwards…and I have good documentation of that makeup as well. 😀
This shoot was pretty straight forward in terms of equipment. Even though I was shooting indoors, I brought my trusty Elinchrom Quadra’s, and I am glad I did as there were not any mains plugs in the meeting room we shot in! For this shoot I opted for two light. One key light shot through a small beauty dish and one rim light setup camera left and behind Matt. This was to add a little separation and to give the highlight some of the “snow” and “icicles” that Samm had so expertly created. Lens I used my ever trusty 50mm 1.8 shot through my Nikon D800e. That was it!
Hope you liked reading about the shoot and please leave any comments and questions below.