Portrait Preparedness

In January, I started working for Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As a production assistant, I’m responsible for filming and editing promotional videos and assisting the creative department with research and editing for planetarium shows. But perhaps the coolest perk is being able to photograph some of the awesome people who come to visit.

On Friday, Astronaut Charlie Duke came to talk about the various Apollo missions he participated in, including the one that took him to the moon. General Duke is one of only 12 people to have walked on the moon and was the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) for Apollo 11, the first moon landing. It was incredible to hear him talk about some of his experiences in person.

Because he was on a tight schedule, I did not have a lot of time to make a portrait. I thought about what I wanted it to look like and arrived early to set up. I knew it had to be simple because of the time constraints so I took my reliable and efficient Yongnuo YN360 light and had Sam - a gentleman who was working the event - help me out and stand in so I could have an idea of what my exposure would be. 


Hurry up and wait.

About 10 minutes later, General Duke walked in and I quickly introduced myself, directed him to the spot where I wanted him to stand, and fired off six frames in 10 seconds.


Mission Accomplished.

Professor Greg Heisler at Syracuse University always stressed the importance of working with intention, having an idea, and then being prepared. Though this was a simple setup and thankfully everything went seamlessly, this shows the importance of all these tips - especially in larger, complicated shoots.