Late last year the fine folks at Fender® Musical Instruments approached me about doing a small add series for their Passport® 500 Pro. You know Fender right? Some of the world’s finest guitars? The Stratocaster®? What, were you born in a barn? If you were, Fender is a big deal in the music world with their products played by the likes of Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, John Mayer, Avril Lavigne, Pete Townshend, Dick Dale, Flogging Molly, Mark Hoppus from Blink 182, Mike Dirnt from Green Day, and my personal favorite Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins. Needless to say, I was stoked to work with these guys.
After a quick meeting to discuss ideas and concepts, they tasked me with scouting locations in the Tempe and Scottsdale areas. After checking out a number of places, the Venue of Scottsdale and its adjoining Comedy Spot moved to the head of the pack. After some quick negotiations, we were in.
The shoot for the first ad was fairly straight forward thanks to all the help of the lead designer, Jon Stolarski (a fantastic photographer in his own right whose work can be seen here). The set up was simple; Einstein camera left in a Westcott 28″ Apollo at around f5.6 ish, Nikon speedlight behind the artist for a skosh of rim light and background separation, and an Alien Bee 1600, reflector only, about a stop lower than the Einstein and centered on the Passport. I controlled the ratios from the camera with the Pocket Wizard AC3 zone controller.
The best part about the shoot? Listening to Brian Page bang the guitar for an hour. The dude can flat out play. Phenominal is an understatement. Don’t believe me? 80’s band Brian Page & The Next? Former Star Search winner? Anyway, you can check him out Wednesdays playing at the luxury Scottsdale resort The Phoenician. You will not be disappointed.
Here is the first ad in the series, which can be found in a number of guitar magazines, including Acoustic Guitar’s February issue and Annual Gear Guide along with a double truck version in a Fender price guide. We just finished shooting the second ad, complete with 10-12 extras, and I’m looking forward to it’s final layout and future campaigns.