BTS: The Moniz set

On May 28, 2015 by M. Scott Mahaskey
Secretary of Energy Moniz photographed May 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. (M. Scott Mahaskey/Politico)

Secretary of Energy Moniz photographed May 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. (M. Scott Mahaskey/Politico)

The assignment was to photograph a Cabinet Secretary in a style to match a buzzy new policy website, Politico’s The Agenda. On this Friday, May 22, I met Sec. Moniz staff at 9:15AM in order to setup for a 10 AM shoot. Security woes – such as calling the bomb dogs from the kennel to sniff gear and THEN pushing all equipment through x-ray – kept me from setting up until roughly 9:55. I skipped a few ideas I would have liked to try, but stuck with the original concept: ring flash (using an Orbis light modifier) and a simple background.

Secretary of Energy Moniz photographed May 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. (M. Scott Mahaskey/Politico)

Secretary of Energy Moniz photographed May 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. (M. Scott Mahaskey/Politico)

The stand – unfortunately a great stand from the now defunct Calumet – setup in about 2 minutes with the modest help of Moniz’s handlers. I had prepared the ring flash kit – which admittedly is a beast of a rig – back at the office and it was fire ready. Next… a handshake with the Secretary and a 3.5 minutes shoot. I had a hard stop time of 10:15 (out of the room) and everything broke back down in just a couple minutes.

Secretary of Energy Moniz photographed May 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. (M. Scott Mahaskey/Politico)

Secretary of Energy Moniz photographed May 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. (M. Scott Mahaskey/Politico)

The hardest part of the shoot? Convincing a Cabinet Secretary to stand just inches from him while this crazy contraption captures him in a high-fashion way. “Trust me” I said to Moniz. His reply, “no, I don’t” – a few chuckles later the shoot was over.

moniz-agenda

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