PHOTO CREDIT:© David Drebin/Stockland Martel

How I Got That Shot: David Drebin


NOVEMBER 04, 2010

Client: Italian watch maker Breil
Agency: UNITED, Milan, Italy Art director: Vincenzo Gasbarro


Commercial and fine-art photographer David Drebin photographed this layout in a street in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City for a print campaign that ran at the end of last year. “Basically they wanted pictures of lots of people hugging and kissing everywhere,” Drebin says. It appears to be shot through the frame of a store window, with the Breil watch on the windowsill.

Camera: Hasselblad with a P40 back, 100mm lens. “I had to close down a lot, so the f/stop was probably f/32.”

Lights: Eight Profoto Beauty Dishes with grids, “two on each couple,” set up “about 8 feet from each couple as we wanted to hide them out of view of the camera” He synched and fired with Pocket Wizards. The shot was taken at noon on a sunny day, “but I overpower it with lights anyway.”

Logistics: The street was closed down for the shoot, which took about six hours.

Getting strangers to make out for the camera: Drebin cast the models for their look, he says, rather than acting ability or energy. “I can get anyone to do anything. I’m willing to do what they do so they watch me and forget about themselves. Basically I’d have them hug, then take two steps back, then hug again.”

Post Production: “You might think it’s massively retouched but actually I photographed almost all the people where they are. Nowadays photographers like to do the backgrounds here and the subjects there and piece them together, but I prefer to do as much in camera as possible. I love being a photographer, and I’m not a digital illustrator. Except the couple at the far, far end, I just couldn’t get the lights to reach, so I photographed them in the studio and added them. I shot the watch and the window frame separately too.”

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