Resident photographer Chris Collins did a photo shoot earlier this year to help promote his favorite band The Contortionist‘s new album Intrinsic. Check out his telling of the process and the complete photos below.

Flash back to April; Jimmy (Alkahest) was getting me on board to shoot the Dallas date of All Shall Perish‘s tour with support from The Contortionist (photos here). Being my favorite band, I was extremely excited to see The Contortionist for the first time. Jimmy asked if I’d be interested in pitching some ideas to them for some promotional shots and I was very eager to. So much so, money and payment was never a factor and was never discussed — I was just grateful for the opportunity.

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The band, label, and PR agreed it was time for some new promotional shots to support their new album which, at the time, no one had any details for. They really liked the ideas I pitched them. As the biggest band I’ve had the privilege of shooting at that point, I was very nervous and wanted to deliver something they’d really like and use to promote the album. I got right to work on testing lighting setups with a musician friend of mine so I didn’t have to experiment the day of the shoot. After a few hours, I felt very confident with the test shots I did and was ready.

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Jump to the Dallas date at Trees, it started with me arriving early. The shoot time was officially scheduled for 5pm and as I walked in around 4:30pm they were loading gear in and my friends In Search of Sight were sound checking. I got to finally meet the guys in The Contortionist and they were some of the nicest dudes I’ve ever met. Very down-to-earth and humble. I look at my phone soon after to read an email from their PR saying the shoot needs to be moved to 6pm. It’s now 5:15 and the venue staff isn’t even happy I’m there to begin with, so I ignore the email and start setting up.

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So I get right to shooting, starting with individual member shots. Everything was going great. Around 6:15 I’m approached by a venue employee telling me that I need to clear the area for them to set up before the doors open. I agree and tell them I’ll be 10 more minutes. At this point, I only have 10 minutes to shoot their group shots. I adjust my backdrop and set up for my first shot. Right after taking the first picture I am interrupted again by the staff telling me to wrap it up. I had no chance to adjust lighting in anyway and by now two employees had approached me, both over each of my shoulders.

I understand they had to do their job, but I’d be damned if I fucked this up.

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I scratch the use of my backlight and just boomed up my key light high up for safety. At this point, I wasn’t even being creative with the light, I was just making sure they were all lit.

I pop a couple more shots and the employees had had enough. They start breaking down my backdrop stands and taking my gear apart while I am still scrambling and snapping shots. I took as many as I possibly could before the pictures were unusable. In fact, one of the best group shots I ended up using had a staff member in the background that I had to Photoshop out of the shot.

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After I had broken down I noticed all they had to do was move two tables to where my photoshoot was set up, and even then, they didn’t open the doors until 7pm. I probably could have shot for another 30 minutes, but you have to respect the venue, of course.

I was very happy with the shoot with the exception of the limited time I had for the group shots and it was a pleasure meeting all the guys responsible for some of my favorite metal music ever. After all the editing and graphics work, I’d have to say that these pictures are my best work to date and I am very proud of them.

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The Contortionist’s phenomenal new record Intrinsic is out now on eOne/Good Fight Music! Check out Chris Collins on Flickr for more photos in high resolution. For contact information, visit Chris C. Collins Photography on Facebook!

– CC

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