Many people might know that my wife and I have been in public safety for a long time. My wife has been an EMT and then a Paramedic for 17 years. These folks (mostly volunteers) are there, day and night giving comfort to the sick and saving those who are near death. Being around them for a long time gave me appreciation for the work they do. So having this in mind, I had the thought to do a shoot with one of the crews at Colchester Rescue and give them some images that they probably would never have seen before and could also use for their annual Family Fun and Safety Night. I told my wife that I needed a crew that was both willing to do it, and would have fun while doing it. She gave me a choice of a few crews and I definitely think I chose the right one. (Not that all of their EMT's wouldn't have been willing and they are all a fun-loving group!)
I wanted to do some individual shots and a group set up that would both show the camaraderie they have and the seriousness of their job. We started around 6:30 PM and I knew that the group shot I envisioned would include the spectacular waterfront that Colchester has. This meant I was fighting time against the sunset and had to get some of the individuals done before moving to the park near Lake Champlain. I set up a quick shot near one of their ambulances and tried to use it as the background for my models. Using just one speedlight through an umbrella I was able to light them with some great light and a simple set-up. As you can see from the production shot, I was trying to get a fairly low angle. I also used another gelled flash on a radio trigger to throw some red light light to the rear of one of the shots to give the background some depth.
After, we moved to the waterfront and set up a shot with the sun setting behind the truck. I posed the crew in a manner that would sort of give them an action figure feeling. I know they wouldn't agree, but I think they played the part well. I used a large 43" softbox with two speedlights this time since I thought I would need the power to light a large group. I was able to make them the focal point and still include the truck that is their office by using a 24-70 lens set to 35mm. Some tweaking in Lightroom in post and I had the shot I saw in my head.
The crew moved back to the station and since it was now dark, we wanted to try to make some cool shots as if they were responding out of the garage. The image at the top was shot with ambient light only, and one flash placed on the dash, again with a red gell. The two guys played up to the idea of this shot and gave me some great poses to choose from.
Finally, I shot the annual squad photo for CRS and had a ball doing so. They have such an easy going group of folks that it's hard to not make great pics with them.
Thanks to CRS for allowing me to shoot their event and especially to Ben, Katherine, Tonia, and Peter for volunteering to be models for me! You guys are the best and your work is very much appreciated.