Fortunately, a client seldom arrives for a portrait session carrying two large axes, but life never ceases to surprise me. Sean Littlejohn, senior editor for The Bay Street Bull, dropped by the condo to work on a few headshot photographs, and brought along two prized possessions: a pair of axes brought to market by Base Camp X’s Graeme Cameron. While not standard props for a corporate-style portrait, these beautiful tools brought in a unique twist for a unique individual, and that is what photographers hope will happen. Even though we spent two hours working through lighting Sean’s features and picking a lens, the axes kept coming back into the photos. I have never been a big fan of headshots or portraits. I do not do the chat well, I do not make the subject laugh with witticisms, and most of my time is spent fiddling with lighting while the subject goes through the process of becoming super-tense and then finally relaxing. I am not Annie Leibovitz, but the final product [that one great shot] is consistently solid. In the end we came away with about ten solid shots and one photograph that really worked brilliantly.
As a commercial product photographer, my main interests lie in food and products. I love to make a well-designed, craftsman product shine in the lens of my cameras, and that brings me back to the axes from Base Camp X; they were simply mesmerizing. I have never owned an axe, but after carrying these tools up through the parking garage I really wanted one. When a product is this well-made, it feels like an old friend, and Sean’s Titanis Leviathan and double-headed Littlejohn [named in his hounour, I believe] were both finished in a sumptuous green stain that ran half-way up the Tennessee Hickory handles, and ended with a neat ebony-sparkle mark line. As a fan of kitchen knives and tools that will last a lifetime, I knew that I would be a sucker for these if I held them any longer. Sadly, they left the condo last night, but I feel like these are objects that would fit into any home where genuine craftsmanship and quality are valued. At $445 and $315 respectively, these are not impulse buys for the average lumberjack, but a Hardcore Blue Hammer at $115 or or a $235 Ranger are certainly on my list of must-have nows. If you have the means, then I do suggest picking a few of these up for the cottage or the zombie-apocalyse.
Heading out now to pick up a rental Hasselblad CFV-39 medium format digital back from Headshots. This is my first time renting a killer back like this, but the 4 day for the price of one rental due to Easter was just too good to pass up when I have ten hero shots to complete this weekend, too. A review of the experience will be posted soon.