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Michael Grecco is no stranger to the world of celebrities and big productions. His distinctive work has been showcased worldwide in printed media, on television and the Internet. Fully embracing today's imaging technologies, he has built a high-end digital capture and processing workflow that includes the Leaf Valeo 22 digital camera back and Hasselblad H1 camera. We've been invited "on set" to follow the step-by-step process behind two of his recent digital productions.
PROJECT 1 JESSE MCCARTNEY
OVERVIEW: This past summer, Michael Grecco produced a series of photographs of singer/actor Jesse McCartney, including the image on our cover. McCartney, 16, plays the role of Bradin Westerly on the WB show "Summerland." The project was done with a number of uses in mind, and to date, images have appeared in assorted promotional materials, including a poster, music CD, and on the record label's website (www.hollywoodrecords.com).
Step 1 GET THE JOB AND HIRE THE RIGHT TEAM
Jesse McCartney's manager contacted Grecco's studio after seeing his website. Grecco explains, "They were not pleased with some of the existing photography they had done, so I asked questions like, 'What didn't you like?' and 'What would you like done differently?' Asking the right questions will often help get the job because the client knows that you are going to be sensitive to their needs. After some further creative discussions, I then had her speak with my rep to work out other details, such as pricing and usage." Grecco continues, "During my conversation with McCartney's manager, she also mentioned the possible use of a car, so we looked into what type of car would be available.
In this case, someone on our staff was the producer on the shoot; She did some research and after finding a company, photos of classic cars were sent via email to us. After getting approval from the client, we booked the car, as well as a motor home, which is common for celebrity photo shoots. There was very little time to do the shoot--we were called on a Monday and the job was scheduled for two days later.
Grecco emphasizes the importance of knowing how to delegate: "I learned a long time ago to concentrate on what I do best: running my business, taking good pictures and being on the phone with clients." Grecco recommends hiring the right people to help with the rest. The "rest" can sometimes involve ten or more people, each with an important role. Those hired for this project included Tom Stratton, Grecco's lead digital technician, two photo assistants, a location scout and a hair stylist/makeup artist."
Step 2 CHOOSE THE RIGHT LOCATION …