The theme for the January issue of 501 Life Magazine was “Fired Up!”, which would naturally feature an article about firefighters in some manner. Editor Sonja Keith found just such a feature with the Sanders family of the Conway Fire Department. His son and nephew work for the department as well as serve in leadership roles with a nearby volunteer fire department.
My thinking was to use the training facility where the department regularly works on their skills. It featured a large concrete structure where fires could be (safely) set and re-started, if need be. Fortunately, we only needed one nice fire going to make the shot. Funny what you can accomplish with hay bales and wooden pallets.
To give our designers a second option – and, since the big red truck was there anyway – we posed the trio in front of the truck with lights blazing. This created some interesting lighting scenarios, but using a big studio light helped alleviate some of those issues. However, I need to not forget my second radio slave, since the flashing lights had one of my optically-fired lights going into a seizure-inducing frenzy of flashes.
It was a quick shoot, but was really fun. Over the years, I’ve had some memorable shoots with firefighters, including being geared up in turnouts and crawling into a burning house with them while training. I’ve also known Mr. Sanders for many years, and he is a friendly guy and easy to work with.
In the end, it made for a cover that we’re pretty proud of. Let’s see what we can do for next month.