Jonathan Baer for Naked Magazine

Production is in full swing for Naked Magazine. Which by tradition means staying up late designing pages and shooting images at the last minute up until print deadline. But that is just how we work I guess.

Last Tuesday, I photographed Jonathan Baer for a short piece that we will be publishing on him. Jonathan also happens to be a friend of mine and its always more fun to shoot pictures of your friends.

From the start I knew that I wanted to shoot at the new College Center for the Arts building at Las Positas College. Home to the new performing arts center were Jonathan is a cast member for the current production Much Ado About Nothing. There is this excellent outdoor patio study area room in the middle of the building that is completely overgrown by bamboo. Like seriously. Its totally invasive and the school is not sure what they are going to do about it.

My original idea was to tuck Jonathan into the bamboo and start shooting away. But…. Rain. I woke up to lots of it. On my drive over I raced to come up with last minute background ideas but had nothing. So I relaxed on the notion that it would just work out.

As soon as I got into the building I picked my lens and started framing backgrounds. There is more bamboo inside the building so I tried all those for backgrounds but I wasn’t liking any of em.

I knew that I wanted the image to be fairly straight on, with the subject standing outside against the bamboo but nothing was working.

So I walked outside were there is yet more bamboo. The plant is everywhere. Almost ridiculous. On the side of one of the entrances is a long narrow planter box and next to that is the enclosure for the stairs inside. Then it struck me. Shoot THROUGH the bamboo and put Jonathan under the stairs out of the rain and STILL get some great ambient light!!

Quickly I raced inside and grabbed my bag and came back out to the spot. Jonathan was arriving just as I was finishing setting up a shoot through umbrella with an SB800.

I had Jonathan lean against a pole and framed a few images to test the exposure before he pulled out his guitar. We then had a mini concert under the stairs as people were walking in the building out of the rain.

Please stay tuned for more info on the release of this years Naked Magazine. The release party is tentatively 12/10ish.



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