Getting fired up

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.


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