(photos by Nate Edwards, BYU) Nate Edwards is photo manager at Brigham Young University and 2-time UPAA Photographer of the Year. Nate’s photo “Jazz Voices” was voted Best In Show in the November 2018 Monthly Image Competition.  Nate also won the Best in Show in October 2018 so some of the questions are answered in that Q&A.

Quick tech stuff—camera model, focal length, exposure data, lighting used (if any):

Canon 5DmkIV,

16-35 f/2.8 III (shot at 16mm)

F/10, 1/200 sec, ISO 100

Alien Bees ring light

Briefly go through the process: How did the job land on your calendar? Any unique logistics in making the photo? What sort of post processing (or not)?

This request came from our group formerly known as Jazz Voices (now Syncopation). Each year I’ve been at BYU we have done an on-location group photo and portraits for them. This year I was approached with a different task as they were coming out with their first album and wanted to do something different for an album cover. They were all in for just going with any ideas I came up with. I approached them with the idea of doing a “Brady Bunch” type cover but with a twist. I had done something similar to this when I was at Utah Valley University for one of the magazine covers on an Autism story--which gave me the idea. We coordinated the color scheme and met in a very little room in the student center to take the photos. I just used the white wall as a backdrop and a ring light on a stand as my light source. I had them go up one by one and just play around with the camera. I had the images transferring wirelessly to the iPad so they could see them and that helped them encourage each other and play around more. The thought (or afterthought) of doing it this way was that in the group they are all individuals--individual parts and individual people, but they all work together to have one cohesive voice. I used the circle frame of the ring light as my frame in-camera, and afterwards pieced the grid pattern together in Photoshop with the individual photos.

Contact sheet from the shoot

What (if anything) would you do differently if you could re-shoot this today?

If I were to do it differently, I would have taken more photos with interaction on the edges to use around the frame of the photo. Jay Drowns from Utah Valley University pointed that out to me and I think that would have been a little more complete.

Where do you look for inspiration, feedback and motivation?

Read last month’s Q&A here

What would your dream assignment be?

Read last month’s Q&A here

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“What do you call a rich elf? Welfy.” Blog stories/ideas welcome any time, email editor Matt Cashore at mcashore@nd.edu