A few years ago, I reconnected with Michelle, and last year I shot the images for her latest release “Into Her Future”. We shot at a location, several hours north of Toronto that has a special connection for Michelle, since some of the songs for the album were written there.
There was pretty much no power where we were going, so I had to make sure all my batteries were charged on all my camera gear, portable lighting and computer. The car was stuffed with as much gear as possible, and we headed north and into the rain. Once we arrived and unloaded the gear, everyone got their rubber boots on and we headed out to look for locations. I actually shoot a lot of work in not so great weather, but it just didn’t want to stop! We had to make the best of it, but it was really amazing how the rain made the colours more intense and how peaceful and quiet it was.
The shot on the cover was on our first day on location and was not set up. It was pretty much the first frame I shot. We were getting ready to fill some water bottles and I was walking behind Michelle. I saw a moment and I took the photo – it ended up being the front cover. Over the next few days, we would wait for a break in the rain and them scramble outside as quickly as possible to get as much done before it started to rain again.
When working with musicians, I like to work with a small crew, or none at all if it suits the project. It’s great having the support on set, but it’s also really nice to be able to work one-on-one with the artist. I feel like there is more of a direct connection with the person your photographing. I did that a number of years ago with Gord Downie, and it worked so well. It can allow for a much more relaxed shoot that gives more flexibility, and sometimes it can provide a bit of break for the artist from a lot of other distractions that sometimes comes with working with a large crew.
We lucked out, and just as the sun was setting, there was a break in the clouds. If you would like to check out some of Michelle’s music you can find her on Facebook / Twitter and here is the Video by Yuula Benivolski for the 1st single “Into Her Future”