Vince Neil Aviation Photoshoot Las Vegas, NV
On or about March 10th, I (Dizeman) received a call from a fellow photographer and friend Valerie Nerres who began describing a photoshoot she had scheduled for March 18th. During that phone call, she expressed her desire to have assistance on the photoshoot since the project involved two BizJets to be flown in from California and a set either outside or inside of a hanger had to be blocked and lighted to accommodate the planes.
I was quite reluctant in offering my time and experience, I knew the headaches that lay ahead and frankly, I just did not need it.
I told her if it was any way possible to not include me in the photoshoot, that would suit me just fine, but I would create a photographic SHOOT SHEET in Photoshop so that she could have some idea of how to position the Hawker 700 and Lear 35 BizJets, be they posed outside of inside of a hanger.
A copy of the original SHOOT SHEET I created for her is posted below. This made life so, so much easier, I printed multiple copies of the SHOOT SHEET and handed it to the Airport Manger, Vince Neil and the two ATP Pilots that ferried the planes from California to Vegas. No misunderstandings, it was right there in the photos where I wanted the planes to be.
After providing the SHOOT SHEET to Valerie, she asked if I would at least go to airport with her to check things out and give my opinion on how I thought the shoot should progress. I agreed and set the alarm clock for 10:00 a.m. Monday March 15th.
Woke up, collected my thoughts and headed over to Henderson Executive Terminal where I found Vince Neil and Bob Simpson, but no Valerie. They both asked where Valerie was and I told them I thought I was meeting her there. They then told me that she had called them and her car had broken down on I-15. I tried messaging her, but she was on the phone with AAA.
Unable to contact Valerie and standing there with Vince Neil and Airport Executive Bob Simpson, I thought... no need to compound the problem of the day, might as well find out what they had in mind.
So, we all hopped into a Golf Cart and began exploring exterior locations of the airport, but after realizing that in every location the wind was blowing and very likely would be blowing on Thursday, the day of the shoot, we collectively agreed that shooting outside became an obstacle.
Why did the wind matter? WOMEN! The plan was to include Vince's wife Lia and her best friend Marley Taylor of Zowie Bowie, but neither of the three men could imagine risking the wrath of two beautiful women having their fresh DO blown apart by wind gusts on the tarmac, so... we decided to move the photoshoot inside of a hanger, but which hanger?
We began at Hanger A-170, but realized moving two jets around in there could be hazardous, so we looked for a larger hanger and on the north side of the airport, we have a HUGE hanger, we could spin the planes around a couple of times inside of this hanger and never have their wings touch. The decision was made right there. This would be the location!
About 30 minutes into the meeting Valerie called me and she was lets say UPSET! I told her that all was fine, I had her back and I would drive over and pick her up after the meeting.
I continued to discuss the posing of the planes with Neil and Bob and I gave each of them a copy of the SHOOT SHEET which showed how I felt the planes should be posed and they said that would not be a problem, the planes would arrive 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
We concluded the meeting and I drove over to the I-15 Truckstop/T&A and we waited for AAA to come and take her car to the mechanic shop.
I told Valerie that I had prep'd Bob Simpson the Airport Manager with the option of brining Valerie back over to the airport to go over the location with her before I gave her a ride home.
We both returned to the hanger where the planes would be shot and discussed what timeline needed to be in place and we chose 10:00 a.m. for the actual photoshoot.
I went home and returned Thursday at 7:00 a.m. and found Vince, his Lamborghini and two BizJets waiting outside of the hanger.
I did not expect Valerie to arrive until later, she had to take her kids to school and planned on being there at or about 8:30 a.m.
I talked with Vince Neil, Bob Simpson and the pilots that had ferried the planes in from California and they made arrangements to move the planes.
This was a very precise placement of the Hawker 700 which had to be put in place first, with it's horizontal and vertical stabilizers just inches away from the hanger wall. Then the Lear 35 was backed into place with one of it's wing-tanks just inches away from the wing of the Hawker. There was plenty of room in the hanger, we were taking into consideration the width of our lenses, so the planes had to be pretty close to each other to make the photo work.
I unpacked and setup a truck full of lightstands and lights and tripods and this and that... it was a workout!
Everyone began to arrive and I began guiding Vince as he backed in his Lamborghini, his custom motorcycle bearing artwork on the gas tank that honored the memory of Skylar Neil, Vince's daughter who died of cancer at four years-old.
Then the roar of Vince's Custom Hot Rod filled the hanger as he backed in this all black beauty and the light testing began.
Valerie arrived, Lia and Marley arrived and we are about to get the show on the road.
Most of the time was spent making sure the room was lit and faces could be seen, the posing was pretty much SET IN STONE at least to a large degree, though we did change it up a bit here and there.
After an hour or so, we were notified that the PRESS had arrived and then we lost control of the set and it was a free-for-all with half a dozen photographers vying for the same shots.
Below are some of the photos DIZEMAN took at the event. I was the primary shooter for the posed BIZ JET (Vince Neil Aviation Corporate Photo)... I had sketched out the SHOOT SHEET, so it made sense that I shoot the BIG SHOT as Valerie and I have learned to call it.
Tom Donoghue arrived in the middle of the BIG SHOOT and snapped the photos below and AFTER THE BIG SHOT WAS DONE Sally Steel of Vegas Rocks Magazine and others were allowed to take some photos.
Since Valerie Nerres was assigned the photoshoot by Vince Neil, I acted as an assistant and the photos I shot at the event will be posted bearing the copyright of Valerie Nerres. We agreed upon that! I don't need the credit, not looking for more work and she booked the gig.
As any photographer who takes specific photos expects, I will retain the right to exhibit the photos I took of the event, though I told Valerie I would not be splashing them all over my blogs, it's just not necessary. It is her gig, her moment... I hope she enjoys the experience!
Now... on with the photos.
This is the END RESULT, the FINISHED PRODUCT of the photoshoot. (Photo by Dizeman)
I could not help myself, I had to do a few variations upon a theme. (Photo by Dizeman)
Yep! Another Variable. (Photo by Dizeman)
Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil and myself... DIZEMAN (Photo by Valerie Nerres with Dizeman's D700)
Dizeman giving direction from the steps of Vince Neil's Hawker 700 BizJet, with me is Marley Taylor of Zowie Bowie. (Photo courtesy of Tom Donoghue)
Dizeman again giving direction as to where Vince, Lia and Marley should be standing. (Photo courtesy of Tom Donoghue)
Vince showing off his own brand of Tequilla "Tres Rios" (Three Rivers)(Photo by Dizeman)
Lia Neil and Marley Taylor posing for Dizeman, Valerie Nerres and Tom Donoghue (Photo by Dizeman)
Vince Neil Owner of Vince Neil Aviation... Life is good for this Rock Star! (Photo by Dizeman)
Dizeman and Marley Taylor again on the steps of Vince Neil's Hawker 700 (Photo courtesy of Tom Donoghue)
Dizeman at the camera. Valerie Nerres keeping an eye on things. (Photo courtesy of Tom Donoghue)
Dizeman and Vince Neil reviewing previous light test. (Photo courtesy of Tom Donoghue)
Dizeman discussing model placement. (Photo courtesy of Tom Donoghue)
Dizeman explaining how the finished product will look to Vince Neil. (Photo courtesy of Tom Donoghue)
Valerie Nerres directs as Dizeman explains depth of field limitations to Vince Neil (Photo courtesy of Tom Donoghue)
The Original In Camera RAW Image Captured On-Location. (Photo by Dizeman)
I guess the funny part of this photoshoot was... I took my 23 inch DELL HD DIGITAL monitor and computer on-location so I could check right there and then that everything was as I wanted it to be.|
This is a good thing and can be a bad thing as well... everyone just had to see what DIZEMAN had photographed, so everyone gathered around the monitor after every shot.
The bad part is... they saw what I SHOT, not what I was going to do with the RAW image later, so they all looked at the STARK BLANDNESS of the two planes, two cars, motorcycle and three people in the photo, all of the white walls, overhead beams, dirty floor and they did not understand how this was going to make a photograph worthy of the time it took to create it.
But... I have been studying the CRAFT, I say CRAFT since I don't have an artistic bone in my body... The CRAFT of LAYERING and shooting COMPOSITES to be assembled later and it was during my photographing and creating of the Sin City Sinners CD cover that I got to fully explore the CRAFT of layering composites, so I knew what everyone in the hanger did not know that day... What the final image was going to look like.
I STAGED and PHOTOGRAPHED the PLANES by themselves so I could create OBJECTS out of them, so each OBJECT was individual layers to be added, moved, or eliminated on it's own without being tethered to the other OBJECTS in the image.
After I shot the BIG SHOT as I call it, I photographed and Valerie photographed the individual PEOPLE in the photo, full length, up close to where we could make sure they were sharp and shot from the same perspective as the BIG SHOT except THEY WERE THE ONLY THING IN THE PHOTO. THEN, back in LIGHTROOM their color could be matched to the BIG SHOT components and they could be resized/resampled and inserted anywhere into the BIG SHOT that I wanted... which is what I did in the final photo.
But watching the eyes and expressions on Vince Neil and others as they looked at the monitor and thought..."THAT KINDA SUCKS!" was funny, because I could see what they could not... THE FINAL IMAGE! as it appears at the top of this page.