Behind the Scenes With the Queens of Arts with Miami Herald Photographer Al Diaz

 

Recently, I had the opportunity to work for the Miami Herald to assist photographer Al Diaz and help create a portrait of five incredible women who are arts leaders in South Florida: Lourdes Lopez, the head of Miami City Ballet;  Barbara Stein, the executive director of Actors’ Playhouse;  Susan Danis, head of Florida Grand OperaSilvia Karman Cubiñá, head of the Bass Museum; and Beth Boone, head of Miami Light Project.

Al and I met up at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and quickly got to work setting up our gear inside the stunning Ziff Ballet Opera House.  The assignment called for Al to capture portraits of each woman individually, in addition to one main group portrait that would be used for the leading story in the arts section of the newspaper September 21, 2014.  Al would only have a short span of time that the women were available, so we opted for two separate lighting setups to keep the transition from group to individual portraits  fluid.

Working with 5 separate Profoto strobes, our main setup had two large softboxes on either side of the camera to illuminate both ends of the group photo evenly, another boomed overhead to shed light on their hair and give an additional kick to their dark black dresses, and a backlight with a 20 degree grid about 25 feet behind the subjects.  When we moved over to the individual portrait area, this backlight was moved a few feet away to fulfill it’s job for the next series of images along with one large strobe with shoot through umbrella as the main light source.

When the five women arrived it was go-time and all ran smoothly! Al shot beautiful portraits and it was an honor to be able to work along side helping direct and assist with the gear.  Below are  a few BTS images I shot with my iPhone 5s and the main image he shot for the Miami Herald.

 

Original image run in the Miami Herald September 21, 2014.  Lourdes Lopez, the head of Miami City Ballet; Susan Danis, the head of Florida Grand Opera; Silvia Karman Cubina, head of the Bass Museum; Beth Boone, head of Miami Light Project; and Barbara Stein, executive director of Actors' Playhouse at the Ziff Ballet Opera House, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, August 27, 2014.  © Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Original image run in the Miami Herald September 21, 2014. Lourdes Lopez, the head of Miami City Ballet; Susan Danis, the head of Florida Grand Opera; Silvia Karman Cubina, head of the Bass Museum; Beth Boone, head of Miami Light Project; and Barbara Stein, executive director of Actors’ Playhouse at the Ziff Ballet Opera House, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, August 27, 2014. © Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Photographer Al Diaz and art director Anan Larrauri review images that will be run in the Miami Herald for the Queens of Arts article.

Photographer Al Diaz and art director Anan Larrauri review images that will be run in the Miami Herald for the Queens of Arts article.

Art leaders in South Florida (clockwise from back-left): Silvia Karman Cubina, Beth Boone, Susan Danis, Lourdes Lopez, and Barbara Stein chat between photo takes at the Ziff Ballet Opera House in Miami, Florida.

Art leaders in South Florida (clockwise from back-left): Silvia Karman Cubiñá, Beth Boone, Susan Danis, Lourdes Lopez, and Barbara Stein chat between photo takes at the Ziff Ballet Opera House in Miami, Florida.

Photographer Al Diaz photographs art leaders in South Florida for the Miami Herald.

Photographer Al Diaz photographs art leaders in South Florida for the Miami Herald.

Pulitzer Prize photojournalist Al Diaz and me sit on our photography set inside the grand Ziff Ballet Opera House after wrapping a successful shoot for the Miami Herald.  Much thanks to Suzette Espinosa Fuentes of the Adrienne Arsht Center for taking this photo.

Pulitzer Prize photojournalist Al Diaz and me sit on our photography set inside the grand Ziff Ballet Opera House after wrapping a successful shoot for the Miami Herald. Much thanks to Suzette Espinosa Fuentes of the Adrienne Arsht Center for taking this photo.

 

Thank you Al!!!

Me sitting on our photography set inside the grand Ziff Ballet Opera House after wrapping a successful shoot for the Miami Herald. I was literally thinking how much I missed spending time shooting inside theatres.  Much thanks to Al Diaz of the Miami Herald for taking this photo.

Me sitting on our photography set inside the grand Ziff Ballet Opera House after wrapping a successful shoot for the Miami Herald. I was literally thinking how much I missed spending time shooting inside theatres. Much thanks to Al Diaz of the Miami Herald for taking this photo.