Behind the Scenes: The Secret Science Shot

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This image, dubbed "secret science" on our Facebook page, looked very different in my mind when Amanda and Yutaro told me they wanted a shot of the lab where they work during their engagement session. I wasn't exactly sure what a genetics research laboratory at the Cleveland Clinic would look like, but I pictured something like a cross between Minority Report and NASA Mission Control. In short, it was going to be awesome!

Come to find out... a Cleveland Clinic genetics research laboratory looks like pretty much any other office space. But where you have a fancy Mitel office phone they have a scanning electron microscope. My original idea of a bright, crisp, techy shot wasn't going nowhere fast. I tried adding a few flashes around the room but they just made everything more washed out and depressing than before. 

You've got to be a problem solver if you want to be a working photographer so we started improvising. First we killed the overhead lights. The cool blue glue coming from the right is actually the login screen from a Windows PC sitting just out of frame. The computer screen couldn't light Yutaro enough so we opened the door a crack and had him look out into the hall. We set the white balance of the camera so the hallway light came in as a warm compliment to the cold monitor glow. Yutaro looking toward the door gives the image a bit of a cloak and dagger feel, hence "secret science".

And occasionally we like to to celebrate the end of a shoot or job with something fun so I asked them to give their version of a eureka! moment. Amanda is yelling Nature, the publication of choice for genetics research.

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