I arrived at the Leytonstone ex-servicemens club on a cold and blustery morning ready for a shoot with the amazing The Ghost Riders in the Sky for Kerrang. The name may seem like a mouthful, but it comes from a Johnny Cash song, and the influence of Johnny Cash is their music is there, though they’ve indeed added their own flare and influence. The Ghost Riders in the Sky are comprised of former Gallows guitarist Steph Carter and Gillian Maxwell, making for an amazing husband and wife band.
The idea for the shoot was to take a little inspiration from the amazing film Walk the Line. The tie in here was pretty obvious, and we wanted to pay homage to the Johnny Cash influence in the band. The Leytonstone ex-servicemen’s club has an absolutely amazing stage filled with artificial tropical plants and a pretty sweet curtain backdrop… it was absolutely perfect for our shoot and a massive thank you to them for allowing us the time for our shoot!
We ran through a few different poses and setup both with and without the plants on stage, but as you can see from the image below, the ones with the plants in the frame gave the overall image a little something extra. Steph and Gillian were absolutely amazing to work with and I didn’t have any problems getting awesome expressions and poses out of them. I think the awesomeness of the resulting image speaks to their abilities in front of the camera.
For the lighting, I wanted to replicate stage lighting a little bit. So I had one key light in a position that you would expect from a broad spot light on them and then I positioned one light high above and behind them to simulate the lighting you would expect to see on stage. I was initially going to add a coloured gel to this light, but opted for a neutral white instead.
As usual with Fresh Blood shoots for Kerrang, I shot this image in a portrait orientation as I know this is how the page lays. I also made sure there was plenty of space around Steph and Gillian to allow for the text and logos and headline. The image in the magazine is obviously slightly cropped from the version you see above as the page format is different to the camera’s format.
As usual I shot this with my Nikon D800e and I used my 24-70mm 2.8 lens. For lighting I used two Elinchrom Quadra Rangers. The key light was shot through a large octobox and the rim light was shot through a small beauty dish to diffuse the light slightly.
And here you have my obligatory selfie! Taking a selfie with everyone that I photograph has been my tradition for the last year or so and something I love doing. It gives me something to look back on when I am too old to be doing this anymore! 😀
The Ghost Riders in the Sky. Be sure to check them out and have a watch of a video below.