Poster Contest Entry

Ok, I’ll admit… I’ve been wanting to post and blog about this for quite awhile. I had to hold off because I entered the image above into a poster contest and didn’t want anyone stealing my ideas. Now that the entry deadline has passed, it’s time to share!

The Navy is holding a poster contest for Suicide Awareness. They opened the contest up to Active Duty and Reservists on Active Duty to submit entries. The winner gets a plaque and the the top three entries will be published in All Hands magazine, which is a very popular monthly Navy publication.

Nuts & Bolts
Being the photog that I am, I had to enter. When I got news of the contest, I immediately started brainstorming. The idea I envisioned came pretty easily as this subject hits really close to home for the crew on my ship, as we lost a Shipmate to suicide less than a year ago.

The posters that have already been made this year aren’t that great. They are cheesy. Sorry to say it guys, but they are. My thought is that a poster covering this type of subject should grab the viewer and say, “Hey, look at me!” Ya know? The message should be clear and concise. It shouldn’t beat around the bush.

The How-To
I came up with the concept of having the tools of suicide on a table and shoot that and add the text. My fellow teammate, Chuck Long, added the idea of someone sitting at the table. We collaborated and came up with having another person looking on with concern. We approached our third teammate, Matt Poling, and recruited him.

The setup was pretty basic. I used a folding table with a black piece of cloth so that the noose, pad of paper, and pills would stand out. I shot it against a black seamless background. For lighting, I lit Chuck’s face (sitting) and the table with an SB800 and homemade beauty dish. I used an SB80DX with a grid for fill on his face. I used another SB80DX snooted to light Matt’s face only. Lastly, I used an SB28 with 2 homemade gobos to separate Matt from the background. I triggered it all with CyberSyncs. Text was added in Photoshop. Done deal.

I’ll keep you posted on the results, which won’t be announced for a couple of months. “Hurry up and wait” is something I have become VERY accustomed to. I hope you have a great day and an awesome week!


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