Dancers and Destroyers

If you are a Facebook fan or follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed my post last week about Joe McNally shooting a ballerina on the foc’sle (bow) of a destroyer. Joe’s no stranger to shooting on military installations, but this time he brought a ballerina from the California Ballet.

I got a call on Wednesday afternoon from my buddy RC, explaining that Joe was in San Diego and he was looking for locations to shoot at. He asked if I was free and if I was interested (which of course I was) and then he put me in touch with Joe’s First Assistant, Drew.

I called Drew up to find out exactly what they were looking for and gathered as many details as I could in order to present something solid to my Chain of Command on the ship. Note: It’s always advisable to put together a solid plan before approaching anyone with something like this because it’s a helluva lot easier to sell on such a short fuse.

After getting it all set up, I met up with Joe, Drew, Kayla, her Mom, Brad (ballet instructor), and Rob Stephen and we headed to the ship. In Joe’s usual lighting style, he was thinking Rangers, 74″ Octa, and Lastolite panels. Well, the wind didn’t lend itself to Octas and Lastolite panels that day. It was blowing so hard that you might have thought we were at sea.

After Drew, Rob, and Joe lugged 150 pounds of gear onto the ship, Joe went with natural light. I don’t blame him one bit either! As you can see from the BTS shots I took, the light we had was absolutely gorgeous! Who would’ve guessed?!


When all was said and done, it was a great shoot. I’m looking forward to seeing the selects. Thanks to Kayla for being a great sport and braving the elements of probably the worst week of weather San Diego has seen in a long time.


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