I'm in the midst of planning my second shoot for Jazz at Lincoln Center, and thought it was a good opportunity to finally share last season's images as well as some BTS photos and videos. 

Late last year my friend and fellow Portfolio Center alum, Casey Walter asked me if I'd like to do some work for Jazz at Lincoln Center.  Casey is a design director at Jazz, and we'd been talking about collaborating on a project for some time, but it had mostly been in the vein of shooting some live concerts and small portrait work (all things I would have been more than excited to shoot). But when he approached me with the opportunity to shoot the 2015-2016 featured artist campaign, printed collateral to be used throughout the year, AND Wynton Marsalis and the JLC Orchestra?? Whoa.  YES.

That conversation set off a busy month of planning, assembling a team, multiple meetings about concept, lighting, budget, and scheduling.  It was by far the biggest project I had ever been a part of, and an experience I will value long into my career.  

The shoot was split into two days at Milk Studios.  Day one featured some fun portraits with the different artists who would be performing during the upcoming season, including Kate Davis, Jared GrimesMonty Alexander, and Adriane Lenox.

Photo by Madison Salavec

Day 2 was a bit more involved and included individual portraits of each member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, including the man himself, Wynton Marsalis.  A major challenge of day 2 was a group shot featuring all 16 members of the orchestra.  This had to be done in the middle of the head shots, as not all members could be there for the full day, and a large number of production meetings centered on how best to accommodate the artists who had to leave early.  To do this, we had to make sure our headshot set and lighting were marked, so we could quickly move them and make room for our full orchestra group shot, and then come back to our original set for the remaining head shots .  To add to our already complicated day, we had to shoot the band in two different shots as not everyone could fit on the cyc wall at one time. 

We finished day 2 with solo portraits of Wynton Marsalis. He was incredibly gracious with his time and even allowed me to make a few natural light portraits of him after we had wrapped up on set.  The evening light flooding into the studio at the end of the day was too good to pass up.  It was the perfect end to a busy month of planning and an exciting couple of days.  The studio was constantly filled with music, and several impromptu jam sessions broke out throughout the day.  Not a bad way to close out the year!  

Shoots like these don't come together on their own, and I owe huge thanks to the folks at Wonderful Machine, Casey and everyone at Jazz at Lincoln Center, my rockstar friend and assistant Claudia Paul, digital tech Alex Rudinski, and of course my incredible producer, Madison Salavec. 

If you've been around Lincoln Center the past few months you may have seen some of the final images, but I'll be posting the final print materials here soon.  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more :) 

Photo by Madison Salavec