Die Hard Photoshoot - Lucy McClane Grows Up


Sometimes you go into a photoshoot with a certain concept in mind, but what comes out is totally different and far exceeds what you had originally envisioned.


During my recent shoot with Charlotte Michelle , one of the concepts I planned to do was a Matrix-themed shoot. Unfortunately, in terms of wardrobe we just could not pull it off on this day. I therefore had to work with what we had.

When models visit Maui they don't normally bring along trench coats and black latex outfits. ;-)


Luckily our model had a pair of jeans and a white tank top among her outfits. Having just seen the movie "A Good Day to Die Hard" the day before the shoot, I figured we could switch the concept to something along the lines of "In the next Die Hard movie, Lucy McClane takes over for her dad".

The gun and holster were recent purchases from PowerEdge Hawaii on Oahu. Mahalo to Peter, the owner of Poweredge, who gave me a great deal on both props. I chose to use these for the shoot since the silver accents on the gun would stand out a bit  as opposed to an all-black gun.


The holster had some straps to attach to a belt, but we didn't have one in wardrobe.  So I ended up loaning my belt to the model so that we could attach the holster to it.  Didn't realize how difficult it would be to take the shot and hold my pants up at the same time. ;-)


To show movement in the image, we had Charlotte pretend to fire the gun while leaping away from the camera as we took the shot. This required pre-focusing on a spot slightly behind the model and then taking the shot as she leapt onto her mark.

After a couple of tries, we realized that she needed something to do with her other hand. We tried using dual guns for a couple of frames, but then thought "hey, a suitcase of money might look cool". Too bad we didn't have one of those Zero Halliburton cases lying around the studio. :-(

That's when our makeup artist Kahulani came to the rescue - she closed up her silver makeup case and handed it to Charlotte. That was when the concept really started to come together.


This is one of the main reasons why I love working in a team with other creative people. They'll save my sorry butt every time.  :-)


To light this image we used 2 studio strobes, a reflector, and a small hotshoe flash.

The main light was a White Lightning 800 in a large soft box with a grid and a 1/4 CTO gel.

The accent light was an AB800 in a medium soft box with a grid and blue gels to simulate the glow from the surrounding city background.

We used grids on both soft boxes to keep the light from spilling too much onto the white background.  This made the white wall turn to a darker gray, which made it easier to extract the model from the background in post.

A silver California Sunbounce Pro reflector was used to bounce some of the main light into the shadows of the model. To bring out a small level of detail in the gun, Ron handheld a Nikon SB26 set on the lowest setting and aimed it at just the gun.

Jennifer held up a fan to add a little more movement to the model's hair as she went through the motions.

In post production I wanted to put her in a construction area of a high-rise, but since we don't have a lot of high-rises on Maui, I had to think of something else.


At our office we have a raised floor, which allows us to run cabling underneath. We were pulling cables one afternoon when I saw this view and figured that with a few tweaks it could work as a construction site location.  So with an iPhone 4s, and an LED light, I started taking various angled shots of this view until I found one that worked perspective-wise.

In post production we added a biohazard sticker to the makeup case, placed her in our "construction site" setting, added a night skyline shot of Honolulu, showered her with smoke and glass shards and our Lucy McClane came to life in a nighttime warehouse shootout.



Due to time constraints we could only afford to do one pose with this setup/concept.  But now this has me thinking of all kinds of other crazy stuff we could do in the near future. :-)