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Bruce DeBoer Presents “The Seniors” Section

January 10, 2018

By Bruce DeBoer

© Bruce DeBoer

© Bruce DeBoer

© Bruce DeBoer

© Bruce DeBoer

© Bruce DeBoer

© Bruce DeBoer

© Bruce DeBoer

© Bruce DeBoer

© Bruce DeBoer

“I got something for ya” is how Dominick Rella, Executive Creative Director from Engine Brand Builders greeted me on the phone. Clients usually become friends and Dominick has been a good one for a decade at least. He must have read my mind. Not only was I thinking that I hadn’t heard from Dom in a while, but I was also lamenting the need for a “Seniors” category on my site. Dominick continues: “It’s a three day shoot for a classy retirement community in Durham, NC – The Forest at Duke; great location, great people, reasonable budget. We’re reworking their website with the theme: “Keep Growing.”

The job: Twenty plus delivered images of 15 separate scenes in three days. We decided to mix a few professional talent among real residents. Since this was a close knit community; one that is filled with activities, routines, and friends, we had to be extra careful to keep our footprint small and efficient. Even though we had Production, Hair/Makeup, Wardrobe, and Grip professionals, we stayed relatively invisible. Essentially, we were a traveling photo party. We fit right in, becoming friends with the staff and residents. We managed to annoy only one very vocal gentleman, however he was hungry and we were shooting at his favorite table, all apologies. Regardless, the client was thrilled.

We don’t work that much different than others I suspect. Find a “scene” – let’s say: puzzling in the library, for example. Then we shoot it to death in the scheduled time. Augmenting practical lighting if possible, full light set-ups when necessary. We moved talent in and out, changed angles, changed motivations, moving lights with the camera angle. 1000+ clicks later we moved on.

After 30 years, I have a clear idea of my good-to-trash image ratio. Figure 1:100. This always sounds so bad it makes me laugh, yet it works. It’s as though I have to get the crappy shots out of the way to find the gold. It’s one of the luxuries offered us with digital that wasn’t available with film. The result was a strong variety of images over the amount contracted, plus a new “Seniors” section and a couple new print book pages for me.

Additional Credits:
Producer: Catherine Schramm
Photo Grip: Phil Allison
Hair/Makeup Stylist: Elaine Harrison
Wardrobe/Props: Denise diPrima


More of Bruce’s work can be seen at brucedeboer.com be sure to drop by the “Seniors” section.

Check out his PhotoServe portfolio too.


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