As seen in Head(lamp)case a couple weeks ago, I sometimes rope reporters into helping with lighting setups. This happened a lot more before I put together my portable lighting kit and relied on one flash with a three-foot cord. Nowadays, light stands and modifiers do the heavy lifting, but reporters can still serve a purpose.
You know, besides the reporting and writing or whatever.
It's often useful to have a stand-in as you set up your lights. This is especially true when dealing with athletes at practice. Many times, it's unclear when we can actually get him or her, which leads to a hurry-up-and-wait scenario. Other times, I or the athlete decide a different outfit is in order. Practice scrubs can look pretty junky in photos and certain colors (home or away) could work better for whatever scene I'm working with.
I'm not sure exactly why, but these days, nobody stands in more lighting tests for me than Craig Craker. At 6'4", Craig is considerably taller than most of the high school athletes I'm photographing, but his standing in for lighting tests is still a useful tool.
Coincidentally, he's also the one who most often (jokingly) jabs me for not mentioning him enough in my blog, so here you go, Craig. This should be a real Dear-Diary kind of moment for you.
I thought it might be cool to put these alongside the final portraits, but realized it would be much funnier (and less work!) to just present them without even links to the stories they accompanied. Astute and longtime readers may recognize some of these, however, so I'll open it up to a comment thread contest instead. The first person who can figure out which stories four of these portraits were from wins a signed and framed print from me:
Some of these setups changed quite a bit from quick test to final shot, so I think eight would be nearly impossible, but if somebody can name all eight, he or she will get two prints. Employees of the Herald and Craig's wife Veronica are not eligible to apply. Void where prohibited. See store for details. No links since I'm on vacation, so use that time you budget every week to Google Craig's stories and figure where all these lighting tests came from.