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View Full Version : My First Shoot with Kim Kardashian



Nick Saglimbeni
December 2nd, 2009, 11:41 AM
Hey guys, I just posted my first shoot with Kim K on my blog, and I included some exposure tests to show how I burned in the moody background with Kim's properly exposed lighting...I'm going to try to get more technical moving forward and soon add tips & tricks without boring the general public. Lemme know your thoughts, you can leave comments here or on the blog! (And forgive the text-only post here...normally I'd attach pics, but the blog is laid out so you compare all the behind-the-scenes...as soon as I figure out a good way to do that, I'll host pics on here too.)

Flashback: August 2007 - Kim Kardashian (http://nicksaglimbeni.com/?p=166)

Matt Timmons
December 2nd, 2009, 03:04 PM
I decided to save this part of my comment for the forums here, since it's more directed to the kinds of subjects we discuss here.

First, I'm glad that you actually set up something cool and had Kim have to do more than just stand there and have her portrait done. I get so sick and tired every time I walk into B&N and see magazine covers of celebs with a boring, "easily setup" shot where the photog is probably scared to direct them. I've always thought that if I could shoot a cover of say, Megan Fox, that I would want to do something cool and innovative rather than just another standing shot on a white background. Wouldn't they appreciate it more if the photo could be remembered in 20 years?

You lost me on "backplates". Clueless as any noob on that one.

Here's what I guarantee everyone on this forum or for that matter any photog who read your blog wants to know (and since it's industry info that can't be discussed on a forum, can it be discussed at PhotoKamp?):
When "they" contact you about seriously shooting, how does one go about securing compensation? I'm guessing it's billed to the magazine, but does Kim get paid? Your crew? Are there line items for location scouting, wardrobe, permits and location fees? I'm just curious how this machine runs and where the oil cap is. Is this the kind of shoot that would be pro bono just for the career stepping stone? Are they leveraging a discounted rate because it's a celebrity and can help your business name? I'm happy as anyone for all the technical behind the scenes info, (and keep it coming) and at the same time I want to offer up what's going through my head as I'm reading.
BTW your blog format and look is mega cool, and makes me want to shake my fist at Wordpress.

Corey Jenkins
December 2nd, 2009, 03:07 PM
Interesting stuff, some input on the "ghetto hdr technique" would be interesting in an upcoming dvd. I've done some stuff like it but never really thought about what it could be used for with white balance and all that stuff. It was actually cool seeing the un-retouched test shots, shows us what to aim for lighting wise for glamor style stuff. Keep up the blog, its awesome!

JoRoFoto
December 2nd, 2009, 10:56 PM
You lost me on "backplates". Clueless as any noob on that one.

When "they" contact you about seriously shooting, how does one go about securing compensation? I'm guessing it's billed to the magazine, but does Kim get paid? Your crew? Are there line items for location scouting, wardrobe, permits and location fees? I'm just curious how this machine runs and where the oil cap is. Is this the kind of shoot that would be pro bono just for the career stepping stone? Are they leveraging a discounted rate because it's a celebrity and can help your business name? I'm happy as anyone for all the technical behind the scenes info, (and keep it coming) and at the same time I want to offer up what's going through my head as I'm reading.


backplates I'm guessing meaning the background for the composite shots, he'd shoot the background first, with a long exposure.. then drop in Kim in post..

and I'm curious as to the question with Kim's PR people as well, seeing as how most of the time if you're not in VOGUE they have no idea who you are and feel as though they can treat you like shit.. which makes one think if giving it back to them, to make them think you're bigger than you are as well, is the right thing to do.. because no one likes getting walked all over even if it's for a shoot that they're dying to book..

Nick Saglimbeni
December 3rd, 2009, 02:12 AM
Alright, that's a good sign that we've got so many questions. I suppose that means at least the blog is interesting lol. Lemme take a stab at a few:

"Back plates" is industry term most commonly used in motion-picture, but Jose is exactly right, it just means capturing the backgrounds at whatever exposure works best, then shooting the model with her own light setup, then merging the two. Short for "background plate."

The "ghetto HDR" was simply a layer blend I did manually. Meaning instead of cutting out Kim the way you would for a typical composite, I instead put her layer on top of the background layer, then selectively erased certain parts of the top layer to let the background exposure show through. This only works if you lock down your camera—it's impossible to do with handheld shots.

As far as the PR/celeb contact questions, Matt is right, I'll be going over that stuff at the upcoming PhotoKamp. For any artist, you certainly hold your high-profile contacts close to the vest, because they are often your lifeline. To answer Jose and Matt's questions, I will say that I learned most of my PR skills while working for director John Woo while I was at USC. That was during his Mission: Impossible 2 days, so I was dealing with A-listers such as Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Nicolas Cage, and Quentin Tarantino...you learn very quickly how to get comfortable around celebs, because if you make them nervous, you get fired. I don't think I realized until this very post how much that experience helped me navigate A-hole publicists.

And since you all know I don't come from money and I didn't know anyone in LA when I got here, I'll let you in on a secret as to how I booked THAT job. My major was East Asian Studies in undergrad. I lived in China for a year, and speak fluent Mandarin and some Cantonese (though I'm grossly out of practice). John is from Hong Kong, so I used my Chinese contacts in LA to beg my way into interning for him.

I think the point to this story is, that was years before I ever knew I would become a photographer. Meet as many people as you can, and expose yourself to as many educational new experiences as possible. Because you never know when you're going to need to call in a favor.