Unit Stills Photographer for Alex Maxwell’s “Signs”
Being a unit stills photographer for film, TV, and music video is something I have been wanting to do for a long time. With all the work that I do within the music industry, this was something I knew would come eventually…and it did in November. In November I was commissioned by Disney’s Hollywood Records to be the unit stills photographer for their artist Alex Maxwell and her video Signs. Being the unit stills photographer was only part of my job on the day, as I was also asked to take some promotional portraits of Alex when we had time as well… and there is always time for portraits!!
The day was a tremendously fun, and exciting day. I have been on set for a few music videos before, but not in the capacity that I was this day. Prior to this I had been in and out to take some portraits in between takes, but this day I was busy and active for the entire day. While Alex was in makeup, the video crew were already busy filming various story elements for the video and I followed them around taking photos of everything that was happening…both in a behind the scenes sense as in a unit stills sense. The overall feel of the video was very dark, so the lighting that the video crew were using was very dark as well. This perfectly suited my normal style, but was also challenging to work in. However, once I got myself situated and sorted, it was a piece of cake.
Once Alex was out of makeup, we had a bit of time before the performance portion of the video was due to be filmed. I grabbed Alex and the two wolves that were on set and took a few portraits of Alex. Since virtually the entire building we were in was a live set, I was very limited in where I could shoot the portraits. However, we did find a secluded corner that was out of the way and off we went. These portraits were going to be used by both Alex and Hollywood records for promotion of the video and Alex herself. Getting to do some portraits with wolves was a first, and was awesome!
After that, it was time for the performance. This was virtually no different to photographing a gig, except that I always had to be conscious of the video team and ensure that I was alongside them and not in shot. The lighting that they had set up for this was amazing and offered us four different setups that they changed throughout the shoot. This gave us a variety of moods for both the video and the unit stills.
Below are some of my favourite images from the day. These will cover everything from portraits of Alex, through to behind the scenes as well as unit stills.
As always, I try to take a selfie with everyone that I photograph. Thankfully we had some time for our selfie at the end of filming. It was a long day, but definitely a fun and awesome day!
You can watch Alex Maxwell’s video for Signs here:
All in all this was a great day. I got some great portraits of Alex as well as some great unit stills for everyone to use. If you need an awesome unit stills photographer for your next film, TV program, or music video be sure to get in touch!