My most recent fire performer photography adventure brought me to Voluntown, CT, this past weekend.
I was invited to a private birthday campout by Andrew, a fire-spinning buddy of mine, for some headshots and fire-performer photography action shots.
His location was wonderfully hidden away from everyone, on a swampy piece of family property. Between alien-looking, multi-colored WTF bugs, the brutal humidity, and the ever rising tide of COVID-19 infections, I think we were able to pull off a successful photo shoot and birthday celebration.
We started with a simple headshot portrait session.
The rest of the photos we took were centered around the dedicated fire-circle Andrew set up, ringed by citronella torches. To light photos with the fire staff and dragon staff, I had the key-light gelled with CTO and set the camera to 3200K, or Tungsten white balance, in order to preserve the yellow-orange flames while simultaneously reducing their influence on over all color cast. A red-gelled flash was aimed to cross with the key light in order to add a touch of dramatic fill-lighting.
To photograph the fire sword and fire flail, I changed lenses and turned off the flashes in order to grab some action shots, lit only by the props themselves. It was obvious, to me, by this point, near the end of the photo session that 1) I was sorely out of practice with fire performer photography, and 2) I was getting very tired with a 2 hour drive back, so it was safest all around to call it a night.
I did have the option to camp out in Nightshade, but I thought it was best to let Andrew focus on his birthday celebration camp-out with his other friends, who were wonderfully accommodating of my COVID-19 concerns, and very much stayed a socially distant 6-10 feet away, even when enlisting some to help with other photo ideas, even if those ideas did not work out.
WARNING – DO NOT ATTEMPT
I shouldn’t have to say this, but here we are. I am an experienced fire performer photographer. Photos taken with fire involved professional fire performers with proper fire safety training, equipment, and procedures in place.
The use of fire comes with inherent risks to life, limb, or property. Any action you take based on any information on this website is strictly at your own risk and I will not be held liable for any loss or damages you cause to yourself or others because you chose to use fire in any way.
Don’t be a bogan wook. Leave the siiiiiiiiick fire trails and fire plumes to the professionals and support them by cheering their performances in person!
We also used an LED dragon-staff for some photos
Misc images and some outtakes
There’s normal flow-face, and then there’s I CAN SEE GOD flow-face…
One last thing
Something that every portrait photographer needs in their camera bag is good portrait banter.
I tend to ramble during a portrait session. For example, this is what I was saying while guiding Andrew’s head, face tilt, eyes, shoulder placement, and expression:
“Wait! Okay, now what the hell is that? What are you doing? All right, let’s try this. Something different. Ready? Great. Take the corners of your mouth, right? Okay, now try to touch your ears with them…”Portrait photography banter
Andrew looked at me with the most incredulous “what the #$%!#$^ is that supposed to mean??” expression and then found himself fighting the urge to smirk, as if he just ripped an uncomfortably moist fart, before he burst into laughter for a few seconds, and then quickly recomposed himself.
I may have said something completely bizarre but his eyes came alive in this photo, and that is all that mattered. It ended up becoming one of my favorite photos of the entire night.
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