Sunday, March 28, 2010

Diary Details Clay Aiken Shoot

BACK IN TOWN -- Clay Aiken returned to his hometown of Raleigh, NC, for the concert taping of a PBS Special Friday, March 12. Graphic by Fountaindawg, photos by Jim R. Bounds/AP.

'Tried and True' CD

Photo Shoot Spotlights Triangle

The March 12 taping of Clay Aiken's PBS Special/Concert in Raleigh was just the beginning of a jam-packed weekend that also included the all-important photo shoot for his upcoming Decca release, "Tried and True."

Saturday Randy Hamilton, writer-photographer for the Durham Photography Examiner, filled in many details of the March 13 photo shoot with his piece, Diary of a professional photography shoot for Clay Aiken's "Tried and True".

The reprint here includes photos from several of the article's linked sites in the Raleigh-Durham area. Naturally, the lunch menu was Eastern syle North Carolina barbeque.

Local fans of Clay Aiken surely know he was in the area recently, recording a concert in Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium that featured songs from his new album, Tried and True. The album is scheduled for release on June 1, 2010, and broadcast of the concert is set for sometime this summer on PBS.

Private train car, American Tobacco
Photo by Randy Hamilton

What fans may not know is that, while visiting his home town, Aiken searched for locations for the art for the CD package of his new album.

Driving around Raleigh and Durham, he photographed locations that fit the theme of the upcoming album, the 1950s and the Rat Pack [Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin].

Among the locations in his pictures of Durham are a bar, a diner and several street shots. Others show parts of the American Tobacco Campus, including Bay 7 and the train car at the North end.

These Bay 7 photos will expand to a larger size.

Aiken also favored the Mecca Restaurant in Raleigh, a nearly perfect location for the images he had in mind for the package art.

Using his photographs to go by, it was necessary to scout the locations, to take additional photographs for determining their suitability and availability for the shoot.

With photographs of the interior of the train car at American Tobacco, the Mecca and others from a newly recommended site, the locations for the one-day shoot were set.

The Kenan Bar, Treyburn Country Club
Photo by Randy Hamilton

18th green at Treyburn
Photo courtesy of Treyburn Country Club

The day would begin at Treyburn Country Club in Durham, with shots in the bar and on the golf course.

Afterward, the crew would head to American Tobacco before finishing in Raleigh at the Mecca.

The Mecca - Photo by Jason Hamilton

Upon arrival at Treyburn at 7am, NY photographer Vincent Soyez began setting up for the first shot in the bar. Soyez, who uses the Norman lighting system, said, "You’ll be disappointed if you’re expecting an elaborate lighting setup. I just set up the lights where I think they should go, take some test shots and adjust the lights until I get the effect we want."

For the Aiken shoot, the desired effect derives from the dramatic light and shadow sometimes associated with celebrity photographs of the 1950s.

Following Aiken’s arrival and wardrobe preparation, the shooting began with work around settings at the bar. After a couple of hours, the crew moved out to the golf course. Luckily, the preferred location was at the 18th green, making it relatively easy to transport equipment and set up the shot.

Mt. Bethel Methodist Church in Bahama, NC

After completing the shots, Aiken bought lunch for the crew. One could easily see he was happy to be home and to introduce his NY colleagues to North Carolina barbecue, Eastern style of course. (And as it happens, his grandmother lives nearby. He described his visits to Bahama while growing up, with many Sunday mornings spent singing in Mt. Bethel Methodist Church.)

Following lunch, the crew finished with a few publicity shots, packed up and headed to American Tobacco.

Rain threatened the afternoon, but the crew managed to set up in the train car before the rain began, and by the time they had finished, the rain had stopped. They packed up again and headed to the Mecca in Raleigh, the final location of the day. The shoot wrapped up around 11pm.

While Aiken fans anxiously await the new music of his next album, photography fans might look for a copy to see how these locations, and Clay Aiken, are transformed by the work of
Vincent Soyez.

In addition to providing some of the location photography,
Jason Hamilton also contributed information for this article. By clicking on his link, readers can view examples of his photography.

American Tobacco Campus posted the following on Facebook Sunday:

American Tobacco Campus plays a big part in Clay Aiken's upcoming album and the photo shoot to illustrate his love of the Triangle!

You can read about the author of the diary, Randy Hamilton, here. Below is a clickable of Fountaindawg's concert graphic:

Have a wonderful week, Clay Nation! Is it June yet?



Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I can't wait to see the results of Clay Aiken's photo shoot.


Sandy said...

It's just like Clay to be so involved in every aspect of his CD! I think it's great that he choose locations from his home town. Like Dorothy said "There's no place like home"! Looking forward to this album with great anticipation!


musicfan123 said...

Caro.........Those pictures are so beautiful. They almost take you back in time. I am so glad that Clay took the time to find such wonderful places for the photoshoot.

I am so excited about the new album...and learning more about the photos makes it even more exciting!!

Thank you for this exciting blog!!

ImGranny said...

Great blog! Everything about Clay Aiken's new CD is getting better and better. I can hardly wait to see and hear the finished product!

SueReu said...

I cannot WAIT to see these photos of Clay Aiken!! I visited the photographer's website - some interesting and innovative photos there - can't wait to see what he does with Clay :)

Thanks for the blog!

T said...

Caro, what an exciting blog and seeing the beautiful location for Clay's shoot. I can't wait to see the results. Although it's been so busy for me, I'm really looking forward to this album.

Thanks so much for keeping me up-to-date with what's going on. Your blogs always bring very interesting information.

Have a wonderful week. Cheers!



P.S. Many thanks for featuring the graphic on your "Clay Aiken Defines Verb 'To Sing'" blog. I didn't get a chance to visit and leave a comment.

Anonymous said...

Hi Caro,

I am so happy you keep up on things, I just don't know how you do it and everything else you do.....but I am sure glad you do!!

The Photo Shoot locations look wonderful, and I can not wait to see the results, nor can I wait for the CD or PBS it June yet???

Hope you had a great weekend.


Anonymous said...

Hello Caro. This is really neat. Love seeing where they are going to do the photo shoot for Clay. The locations look really neat and some are personal to Clay. Finally he gets some of his own wishes in his career. Just awesome. I cant wait to see the locations with Clay in them. EEEEE. Getting more excited for the new CD. :)

Love you so much Caro.



CCOL4HIM said...

It looks like Decca is giving Clay more input into his album and that's exciting! I also read about the photos on the Clay News Network.I can't wait for June 1!!! Take care & God bless. Love always, Cynthia

deyabird said...

Very interesting article. It's neat knowing a little about how locations are chosen and that Clay had such a hand in this particular shoot.

Anonymous said...

Great blog and great article. Thanks


Anonymous said...

Gosh, does this mean we're going to get a variety of photos along with the CD? Sounds exciting. Maybe it's going to be in the Deluxe CD that Clay mentioned. I'll certainly get it.

katy said...

Great article. Beautiful pictures. Can't wait to see Clay Aiken's new album.

anberwa said...

Can't wait until this album is released

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Caro, for all the interesting background information. You do such a wonderful job of keeping us informed - and excited about the good things to come!

LovesClaysVoice said...

Caro, I am dying to see the photoshoot pics! Just like I'm dying for the CD release and the PBS special!!!! EEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!