Doing What It Takes: Pete Barrett – A Sporting Life Article

The website “A Sporting Life”  just ran a feature article on me.   See the link http://www.asportinglife.com/doing-what-it-takes-pete-barrett/  or read below:

Pete Barrett is an advertising photographer who shoots lifestyle and sports photography for a virtual who’s who of clients ranging from AT&T, Pfizer, Ford Motors, Cannondale Bikes, New Balance, McDonalds and Anheuser Busch. Most of Pete’s shoots involve large productions with teams of producers, stylists,  hair & makeup, location scouts, digital techs and many photo assistants. “I work with a terrific team of people.  Every job is a collaboration where the whole team is working toward a common goal of creating amazing images.”

Pete Barrett

Whether the task at hand is a big budget multishot campaign shot in studio with LeBron James or a recent Sports Illustrated assignment with tennis pro Jack Sock where he shot solo,  Pete puts the same attention to detail and creativity towards the job.

A lot goes in to putting together a shoot in advertising and even some editorial jobs.  There are seemingly a million things that need to be considered and arranged.   Dealing with professional athletes brings with it special considerations, like do they have special needs or requirements?   It is not uncommon to get a list of requirements such as transportation to and from the shoot,  specific menu or chef for catering,  studio or dressing room requirements,  type of music preferred etc. Couple this with the common shoot logistics of finding locations, acquiring wardrobe, special lighting, arranging RV’s  and it’s enough to keep a team of producers and PA’s busy.

This series of images came from a project for Remicade which is pharmaceutical product of Janssen Biotech. The athlete we were to shoot was the Edmonton Oilers right winger, Fernando Pisani.

Pete Barrett

Every job comes with its own unique set of challenges and this job was no exception. Being a pharmaceutical client they come with a laundry list of do’s and don’ts from their legal department.   On this particular shoot we were tasked with putting Fernando in wardrobe that had to be generic and non specific.    No logos are allowed.   No Nike logos,   no Oilers logos,  no team colors,  nothing…  Not as easy as it sounds.   It couldn’t even be a blank jersey from a team as the design of the shirt is patented.   This requires the stylist to have a generic jersey custom made in solid grey to have only his number on it.   This way no other companies can get ruffled by the use that they themselves are not promoting.

Pete Barrett

One has to be ready for anything and be able to solve problems quickly. We had one such problem almost derail the shoot entirely. Fernando broke his ankle 3 days before the shoot and his ankle was now in a cast.   Since two of the shots had him skating and 4 others were to be full figure portraits in gear this put an obvious damper on the plans. Pete quickly solved the problem and the shoot went on as scheduled. “I called my producer and had him source a body double.    We then shot every shot twice,   once with Fernando and again with a body double dressed the same way with full gear and skates on in the same position. I then removed Fernando’s legs and broken foot and replaced it with that of the body double in post. This was easier said than done as you need to also retouch in shadows and reflections. The biggest challenge was getting the action shots of him skating and showing speed. We built a platform rig that he could stand on which consisted of several sheets of thick plywood with hockey pucks screwed to the bottom of it so it would slide easily on the ice. Two photo assistants towed Fernando across the ice on this thing while a third pushed me alongside sitting on a folding chair while I shot.  It worked great! Fernando just stood hunched in a prone position swinging his arms and I did a little flash and drag where the flash freezes him and the shutter stays open a bit longer to show the motion.  In the end it worked out great. Happy clients, happy athlete, happy photographer!

Here are more of my photos:

Pete Barrett

This shot is from a Cannondale Bike shoot we did up at Mount Tam outside of San Francisco. To get a consistent low angle on the cyclist as he rode through the hilly landscape, my crew built me a shoot platform that extended out the side of a minivan about 6 feet.  We paid for several off duty police officers to stop traffic for about a mile and spent the morning chasing this guy up and down Mount Tam while I knuckle dragged it hanging off the gang plank.

Pete Barrett

This shot was done for self promotion and for stock. For this we shot at night. We hung a huge sheet of black duvateen fabric across the back of the pool on highboy stands and speed rail. Lighting was from 4 Dynalite heads,  two on grids back lighting the water and two from the sides to flank the swimmer.    Power on the strobes was dialed way down to keep the flash duration short to freeze the action.

Pete Barrett

This was shot for self promotion and for stock. We did a whole story of this guy starting from pulling his board out of the car and followed him through his morning,  down the path, up the beach, watching waves crash and then paddling out.  We are shooting a motion version of this as well that will be cut together to make a spec commercial that will target the financial markets.

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