Michael Grecco for Psychology Today

Here's a cool, ~1-minute time-lapse that offers some neat ideas. Grecco uses an undersized set and some oversized creativity to create a conceptual cover photo for Psychology Today.

It's quick, and some details are easy to miss if you don't hit pause. (Watch it full-screen on 1080p for best effect.) But the lighting is one out-of-frame boomed box on the background, a top-of-frame box for key and a ring for fill.

Note that after the model is done, he shoots the grass and flowers separately for an easy strip-in with a locked-down camera position. (Final image is shown in close at the 0:38 second mark.)

Props to Grecco for his steady stream of BTS vids from many of his shoots. If you have not seen them, here are some others:

:: Grecco Shoots Will Ferrell ::
:: Grecco Shoots Martin Scorsese ::
:: Grecco: Guerilla Shooting in LA ::



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Blogger Debbi_in_California said...


February 23, 2012 10:10 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I like how you wrote how long the video runs in the first paragraph which shows up in Google reader that way I know whether I have time to click through to your blog and watch it or if I should save it for later. Thanks.

February 23, 2012 11:15 AM  
Blogger RexGRP said...

Another great shot by Grecco.
How helpful to have a room full of people providing props, set construction, and helping with the lighting.
The magazine cover I just shot was done with a crew of only three.
Me, myself, and I.

February 23, 2012 2:36 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


Oh, come on. That shoot could have easily been done solo, box-build included. It was creativity, not brute force. That's NPPA illustration scale, dude.

February 23, 2012 5:56 PM  
Blogger RexGRP said...

David, I express eny and wishful thinking, not complaint or sarcasim, and I marvel that editorial rates in this economy can cover such a creative crew.
I'm accustomed to asking a passerby
to stop for a minute and hold a light or reflector.
The number of different set-ups he tried while working the concept is impressive.
Thanks for the cool video.

February 23, 2012 7:33 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...

Heh. I am teaching an editorial portraiture class in Dubai next month. One of the things we will cover is The Art of The Scrounge.

February 23, 2012 7:51 PM  
Blogger RexGRP said...

oops....envy, not eny, and Sarcasm. Where's that edit feature ?

February 24, 2012 12:15 AM  
Blogger Ken Gray Photo said...

There is an art to scrounging now?
You mean I no longer have to wear a disguise and beg for help when on location?

February 24, 2012 10:12 AM  
Blogger F8 Studio LV said...

This is awesome!!! I am inspired.

February 25, 2012 5:22 PM  
Blogger Mathew said...

@ Ken, nah, that pretty much is the art


February 26, 2012 7:58 AM  
Blogger Mathew said...


I hear where you're coming from, but another way to look at it is the value of Michael's time.
To make up some totally arbitrary numbers, let's say he gets $1000 for the cover shot. He could take all day to shoot it himself, or pay a bunch of dudes collectively $400 to help him get it done in an hour, then he's free to do several more "$1000" jobs that day (netting $600 each).
At various times you juggle "the money or the time". Savvy business folk know which is more valuable in any given situation. I wouldn't necessarily put myself in the savvy category, alas

February 26, 2012 8:05 AM  
Blogger Mathew said...

It's a pretty cool idea. My one complaint with the finished product is the ring-light shadow behind her hair (the gaps near her shoulders in particular) gives a similar look to a poor etch-and-composite job. It's a shame, because Michael clearly put in good effort to get it all in-camera


February 26, 2012 8:13 AM  
Blogger Michele Stapleton said...

Would have loved to see the finished cover at the end of the time-lapse.

February 26, 2012 11:50 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

The song that Grecco used in this work is haunting me. I know I have heard it before. Anybody know what the original is called.

February 26, 2012 3:20 PM  
Blogger Giulio Sciorio said...

Looks like a copy of Maki Kawakita's series head in a box series she shot years ago and still shoots.


March 01, 2012 12:05 PM  
Blogger asif said...

really nice ,

March 28, 2012 7:41 PM  
Blogger Ashley Collins Couchois said...

Yes, there is an art to scrounging and David teaches it well in his course! I enjoyed the course very much.

July 14, 2014 5:40 PM  

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