Prints Under Pressure: Lindsay Adler’s Whirlwind Live Shoot

Presented by Canon

The dissemination of photography online has plenty of advantages, and the ability to visually communicate without barriers on the Web has become a monumental boon for contemporary photographers. But for fashion and beauty photographer Lindsay Adler, who does attribute much of her success to her online reach, printing her work still makes an impact unrivaled by any touchscreen.

On her blog, Adler writes: “[In person], viewers take their time exploring the image, appreciating the detail and interacting with art you’ve created. Seeing your images in print feels like taking the image to its final conclusion.”

Adler’s quote comes from her blog post about a live shoot, gallery show and panel she participated in earlier this fall, hosted by Canon. Adler’s vivid work was a perfect fit for the event, titled Behind The Print: A Look Inside A Photographer’s Obsession, which celebrated Canon’s launch of the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printer. The two-day whirlwind event included a combined 24 hours of production, culminating in a 1.5-hour shoot in front of a live audience. Portrait photographer Joel Grimes and sports photographer David Bergman were also on set conducting their own shoots in front of the audience. Adler, who is comfortable working with big sets and multiple concepts, took on the project.

Canon imagePROGRAPH Pro 1000 Printer event - Lindsay Adler Photo

A final image from the first live-shoot setup. Photo © Lindsay Adler


The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 turning out Adler’s prints. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Adler

In an interview with Adler, she says, “I love clean, bold and graphic imagery that demand viewers’ attention. That’s what I aimed to create while showing the Pro-1000’s ability to show rich and saturated colors, shadow detail and fine detail.” After pitching different mood boards to Canon, Adler assembled her team, including hair and makeup artist Griselle Rosario, styling teams 4 Season Style Management and Ivie Joy Flowers and retoucher Tetyana Mykhalska.

In a typical shoot, Adler says she budgets several hours per shot to get the lighting, posing and concept right. For this event, she created 13 different looks over two 12-hour sessions. Then came the live shoot, for which hundreds of people were ushered in to watch Adler, Bergman and Grimes each construct sets, shoot and print work in less than two hours. Adler, who created two sets—one with an elaborate floral wall and one all-red-everything motif—had no room for error. Lighting, posing, image selection, retouching and printing all had to be achieved within the time frame.

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Behind the scenes of the first live-shoot setup. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Adler

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Behind the scenes of the second live-shoot setup. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Adler

“This event was as far opposite of [typical] conditions as possible,” she says. But the purpose it served was unique: viewers were invited to view all of the moving parts that go into a shoot from inception to print. The on-the-fly choices made by Adler and her team were accessible to the audience, highlighting the obsessive attention to detail that goes into production, right up to the prints made by the equally detail-oriented PRO-1000.

Communication was the foundation for this type of shoot. “If I failed to communicate concepts or ideas, the shot would have fallen flat—and we would have lost a lot of time trying to salvage it,” she explains. Adler recommends practice, practice, practice for shoots with little time and lots of pressure. Her mood board, which included inspiration for hair, makeup, wardrobe and lighting, became the shoot’s blueprint, keeping everyone visually on the same page.

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Lindsay Adler and her team on set selecting images for print. Photo courtesy of Lindsday Adler

No matter how much a photographer plans for a shoot, though, technology can sometimes throw a wrench into the works. But the PRO-1000, the final step in Adler’s shoot, kept humming along and making true-to-color prints. “I didn’t need to worry about the limitations of the printer,” Adler says. “I knew that if I captured rich colors, the printer would show them. If I wanted high contrast while maintaining details in the black—no problem.” And there was never a bottleneck, she says, calling the speed “lightning fast.”

Canon imagePROGRAPH Pro 1000 Printer event - Lindsay Adler Photo

A final image from the second live-shoot setup. Photo © Lindsay Adler

Seeing her work hung on the gallery walls gave both the audience—and Adler—more appreciation for the level of detail she put in. And while she believes that social media is still an “incredibly powerful tool” for sharing her work, printing her photographs does justice to her meticulousness. “The two processes together—sharing images [online] and printing your favorite shots,” she explains, “are a powerful approach to appreciating and sharing your vision.”

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