“Stand By Me” Themed Photoshoot

(click for larger view, also if you look close you may see me in the pic too)

Well today was Labor Day, and I actually decided to take a "day-off" and do a fun personal portfolio shoot. It's pretty rare that I can get a full day off where I don't need to edit something or do a shoot, so being able to do so on a holiday, meant that other people would be hopefully free too, and alas some of my friends were.

Before we get into the shoot specifics, let me tell you where this idea came from. For as long as I can remember, I've loved movies. Big budget blockbusters are normally my favorite, but I've always been a fan of just good story telling too. One of the first movies I can remember really loving, was the Rob Reiner film, Stand By Me. What's even more surprising about it, was it was written by Stephen King. Jeez, I remember listening to the soundtrack cassette over and over too.

The movie follows four boys, as they travel to find out of if a rumor of a local boy who was hit by a train and died, was actually true. They all get into some typical mischief, but to me, one scene always stood out to me. All four of them are sitting around a campfire sharing stories, when the main character Gordie, tells his story of "Lardass"

The story he told was about a rather "robust" child that the entire town made fun of and ridiculed. Even when the boy (Lardass) would walk, the locals would scream out "BUM BUM BUM BUM" with each step. Finally becoming fet up with the town, Lardass uses a pie eating contest to get back at them. Before the contest, Lardass, drinks castor oil, and eats various things to ensure an "explosive" ending to the pie eating contest. Belly full of pies, Lardass's stomach begins to grumble, and for lack of a better term, proceeds to "barf" everywhere, which in turn, causes everyone else to vomit. Pleased with what he created, Lardass sits back, and relishes in his victory.

That scene, always grossed me out, and made me laugh, and it wasn't until recently when I re watched the movie, did I come up with the idea to use it for a photo shoot idea. I created a Facebook invite, asking people to show up, dressed in 1950's style clothing, and be prepared for a fun shoot.

My buddy Chris volunteered to be our "Lardass", he's a big guy, and was happy to do so. In PS I bloated his cheeks a bit more, to really emphasize the size of out main character. For lighting my main light was a AB800, boomed over head, set to just above half power, with a medium size Calumet softbox. I had two AB1600's with Calumet strip boxes for back/rimlighting. To complete the lighting, I used a 8 foot parabolic reflector on a AB800 behind me for some fill light. Take a look at some of the behind the scenes pics!

doing some test shots





Monique, Dari, and Joy talking, me laughing…





setting up the first shot with everyone in place





Moe looking ever so dashing







first take in the pie





Joy killed it with her look today, thanks so much! so pretty!!








Our "Contestants" dig in














A huge thank you too everyone who donated their time today, Diana, Monique, Yuliya, Shawn, Dari, Sean, Moe, Joy, and our main character Chris. This wouldn't have been possible without you guys!!





2 thoughts on ““Stand By Me” Themed Photoshoot

  1. Message*

    Hi Jonathan, great concept -well executed and looks like it was a lot o' fun!

    Just wondering if you got that 'perfect' expression from each subject in one take or was the finished image a series of composited plates?

    Cheers from the UK




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