Shooting for Charity: Project New Day

March 15th 2010

I was honored to be asked by the Project New Day committee this year to shoot the official ad campaign and the photography for the runway show for this years event.  For those who don't know, Project New Day is an annual event organization that hosts the largest fashion runway show in New Mexico to generate proceeds to help A New Day Youth & Family Services.   They are a multi-service agency providing clinical services, educational programs and emergency shelter to low income, at risk youth and their families.  To be a part of something that helps kids in tough situations is something I'm not only eager to do, but gracious that there even is a place like this to contribute to.  I personally feel that everyone should give something of themselves to help others who need it- especially kids who need adults that will give them something positive to look forward to while growing up.  So when they asked me if I would be interested in shooting for them, I was quick to answer a whole-hearted, "You betcha".

The ad concept was designed by a team of people made up of contributing businesses in New Mexico including fashion retailers, an ad agency, a modeling agency and many other companies who put it together.  They wanted two models photographed laying down, inverted to each other, shot from overhead.  Hair, makeup, models and wardrobe were all provided, I just had to get the shot.  So after putting together a scaffold-type rig to shoot an overhead from, we set up for an all-dayer.  Here's where it gets interesting.

The day of the shoot while I'm on my way to the studio, a guy backs into by truck at a stoplight and crunches my front fender.  So I'm almost late to the shoot from having to do the whole insurance exchange dance, and it didn't put me in the best of moods to start the shoot day.  Next I arrive at the studio and one of the committee team members informs me that the color theme changed and as of right now they're going to do this other thing instead.  So I'm handed a list of exactly what models are supposed to wear what and how it's supposed to look.  Ok cool, I can switch gears fast.  Next, the construction workers in the loft above mine begin their ultimate teardown and start sending chunks of concrete and dust through the plumbing holes right into the hair and makeup area.  Models and hair designers are scattering and refusing to go over there (can't blame them).  So I call the building manager and they send over a maintenance worker to help me move my hair/makeup studio into another room where the workers aren't above us.  Next my assistant Jason calls me and says that he is stuck at an insurance meeting and can't make it for another 2  1/2 hours and I'm on my own for awhile.  Rats!  Only that's not the four-letter word that I'm thinking.  The thing is, whenever things are going the wrong way, you still have to pull off a good shot.  People are counting on you.  So I never did lose my cool, I knew that if I didn't keep a positive energy going, that there would be no excuse for a failed shoot.  So we commenced with the shoot, and everything went according to plan after the initial disasters of the day.  We had fun, the client was happy, the ad agency was happy, the models were happy and all-in-all it was a great end-result.  It's like prepping your bike for a motorcycle race.  Even though everything might be going to hell in a hand basket in your pit area before the race, it doesn't matter as long as you cross the line in first at the end.

I'm excited to see the ads when they come out in our local magazines, television ads, posters and whatever else they do, but I'm even more excited to be a part of something that helps kids who really need it.  More to come on Project New Day event, for now here are the behind-the-scenes.

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