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Ron Sexsmith Wednesday, October 08, 2008

[Update: The Ron Sexsmith interview is online now. Click here to go directly to the story. -ed.]

I had the pleasure of interviewing legendary singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith this afternoon before his performance at the Doug Fir Lounge here in Portland.

Look for the interview on Northwest CanCon in a few days.

For me, at least, the toughest thing about doing these interviews and portrait sessions is that it's usually a really rushed process, especially the photo shoots.

Ron was just checking into the hotel when I arrived (at the appointed hour). I don't know where the breakdown occurred, but he didn't realize that he was booked for an interview today, so I was already kind of invading.

He checked his emails as I unpacked my audio gear in his hotel room. We talked for about 20 minutes, then he went back to checking emails as I got ready to do the portrait.

Ron was the first artist I've met at the Doug Fir, and I didn't have time ahead of the interview to look for a suitable place to take pictures. So I made a 30-second scouting trip outside his room, found a decent place, and went back to put my simple kit together.

One speedlight (SB-800) in a softbox on a stand, camera and a couple of PocketWizards ... that's it. I had a reflector I wanted to use, but no assistant and no time to recruit one. So we did without.

I was pushing it to go 5 minutes 17 seconds from the first frame to the last, including a few seconds for some guests who had to walk through our set, and a slight shift of positions to get to a different background.

Total time photo from scouting to walking out ... less than 20 minutes.

Ron ran off to his sound check. I met up with some friends who had conveniently chosen the Doug Fir for happy hour.