Lauren Alaina

American Idol - Lauren Alaina

Probably the biggest retailer of music in the world, Walmart just released a new feature on Soundcheck with American Idol top runner up, Lauren Alaina. Michael Allen was the still photographer for the shoot in Memphis at Ardent Studios. Lauren flew into Memphis and was honored to light the Christmas lights at Graceland, a long tradition held only by very special individuals. Be sure to visit to see the feature. Lauren’s new album just hit the country billboard charts at number 2, which shows the talent she has as an artist. The crew captured a live concert and behind the scenes interviews with the celebrity along with photographs from the day long shoot. Michael was honored to be selected as the photographer for this incredible shoot. The video crew used (7) Canon 5d’s to capture the live concert inside world renown Ardent Studios.

For the still photographs, Michael used both his Canon 5d Mark II, and an original Canon 5d with a wide array of lenses from the 15mm f2.8 fisheye, the 70-200mm f2.8 IS lens, and the Canon 50mm f1.2. All of the live scenes were shot with available light from the video setup, with ISO ranges from 800 to 1600. For Ms Alaina’s portrait session, Michael used a Canon 24-105mm f4 lens and the 50mm f1.2, coupled with an Alien Bees ring light with a 56″ moon unit, triggered by Pocket Wizard TT5’s and TT1, along with a canon 580EX. Michael loves to shoot high ISO in manual mode, with wide open apertures. Michael’s goal for her shoot was to capture her with a soft, off camera light, offering natural light look for the control room, but also with an edge that fits the music industry. Michael used blue gels to supplement the room light, and help provide some separation from the background. Working behind the scenes on a live video shoot is home ground for Michael, he can often be found behind a video camera on set, as well as shooting stills for movies, concerts and more. The producers wanted to capture Lauren behind the scenes, the details behind a music video shoot, so my camera rarely left my hand the entire day, as to not miss a moment.