Watching a photographer at work is always fascinating to me. Ever been to a wedding as “just a guest,” when you’re a wedding photographer? You almost have a sixth sense as to where the hired photographer has positioned himself, how he has posed the couple and what lenses he is using for that particular shot. You picture in your mind what you would do differently had you been the one in their shoes instead of enjoying the wedding cake and champagne from the grandstands.
But watching a master photographer at work is something altogether different. When commercial photographer Erik Almas gives a glimpse of himself at work, you stop and you listen and soak in every word. Erik’s images have a hint of surrealism to them that pulls you into a dreamy romantic world. He is unapologetic for his use of compositing to fulfill his vision as a tool for his art and his vast knowledge is freely shared.
For one of his latest commercial campaigns for Benlysta, Erik’s challenge was to make the location be not specific to a certain region, but appeal to people all around the world. He chose to shoot in Morro Bay for the 4 scenes needed in this campaign and with the lush foliage, calm waters and mountain backgrounds, the location “feels like it could be anywhere.”
After capturing the beautiful backdrop, Erik traveled to Los Angeles and into a studio to photograph the people separately. They will later be composited into the final images, “building them in layers,” as Erik says.
Watch Erik at work in the behind the scenes video clip below. To further your own photographic education, I encourage you to check out Erik Almas’ DVD workshop, On Aspects of Image Making, which has 14 hours of education where Erik guides you through the process of discovering your unique voice as a commercial photographer and much, much more.