Being a photographer affords one some special opportunities that most other people just don’t get. Like, for example, a personal performance by an internationally-recognized musician. But that’s just what I got when I photographed Darrell Grant last December for a feature about his upcoming trip to Russia.
OK, I exaggerate a little—Darrell only played a couple of pieces, and I was working the whole time, thus unable to fully appreciate the wonderful music emanating from the man at the piano in front of me. But I’ve worked in far worse conditions.
Just about every shoot comes with some kind of challenge which usually falls into one of two categories: limited time or limited space. In this case, we ran into both.
Darrell is a busy guy, so I had just a 45-minute appointment to photograph him in his office at Portland State University. As college professors’ offices go, it’s probably average- to decent-sized, but by the time you put a grand piano in there—and don’t ask me how they did that!—you’ve pretty much used up all the space that isn’t consumed by the usual office furniture. Nevertheless, I was able to find a clean space on the wall and enough room for a pair of lights and still fit in Darrell and me.
After he posed for a few portrait variations, I asked Darrell to play a bit to get some “action” shots. Then he posed with some of the Russian CD’s he’d been listening to in preparation for his trip.