Even though my studio has been open for well over a year, I never had an official opening by the Ashland Chamber of Commerce. As a member of the Chamber, it's one of those perks where you get to cut a ribbon with oversized scissors to commemorate the opening of your business. Fun!
This was also a chance to host "Greeters". Greeters is a weekly Chamber meeting, always at a different local business. It's a great way to introduce your business to others in town. That's what Greeters is all about anyway, but hosting it of course is extra nice, as everyone gets to see your place. I went crazy the weeks before getting the studio ready… painting, hanging new photos, organizing and reorganizing… but sometimes it's a hard deadline like this that gets us to do it!
The setup above was pretty cool to build. I bought five rusty steel bars from the hardware store (under $1/ft. when buying 10ft or more), about 10 ft. long each and 1½ inch wide, sprayed them with a clear lacquer on both sides to seal in the rust, then bolted those to the wall. The prints are all either 8× or 11× inches, printed and mounted on masonite by Millers Lab. Magnets were hot glued to the back of each print (two in a line on the smaller ones, three as a triangle on the bigger), and then set on the bars. Since they are magnetic, they are easy to rearrange, swap out, or take down to show a client more closely. I love it!
It was a big hit in the meeting, and served a great backdrop for the presentations.
As a little extra for the meeting, I set up a photo booth in the studio so anyone could get their picture taken. Initially I set it up so folks could do "selfies", so I didn't need to man the camera. To do that, I set up a single Profoto light in an octabox and my LUMIX GH4 and LUMIX 12-35mm f/2.8 (24-70 mm equivalent) on a tripod just underneath it. I wirelessly tethered the GH4 to the iPad mini, and printed up some simple instructions, leaving them in front of the camera. Guests could frame themselves and trigger the shutter on the iPad, which gave them a two second countdown to smile. It was funny; I had to print up the big "Camera is here!" sign because I realized that no one could see it with the octabox shining in their eyes!
Before the meeting officially started, one of our local Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) actors and promoter of the Daedalus Project asked if I minded if folks who wanted to drew the AIDS ribbon on their hand and had their shots done in Daedalus Project style. So of course we did it! After the meeting, people were lined up to get their photo taken. I eventually took over shooting to speed things up, but still used the iPad as a viewfinder and trigger since that was quicker than rearranging things. Turned out pretty cool, I think! Here's a few of the shots; you can see more on Facebook.