I had a customer, SafepathProducts, ask me to photograph a specialized material that they developed for decks. We chose a new senior housing development in downtown San Francisco, because this product can be installed at high rise apartments.
Sounds kind of like a simple product shot. Pick the right time of day, go up and shoot the deck. Not so fast.
First off, the deck was pretty small. I couldn't stand on the deck and get much in the frame even with my ultra wide Nikon lenses. The second problem was that the apartment we wanted to shoot was yet to be occupied, so there was nothing in the apartment to see through the glass nor any lights I could turn on to make it look lived in. Also, getting a lift to raise me up to shoot from outside the deck was out of the question as the one we had wouldn't go high enough. The main shot needed so show that the deck was outside an apartment building, showing other floors below.
Luckily, I came prepared for the unexpected.
To solve the puzzel, I shot from the deck above, attached my camera to a monopod and held it over the edge. I also had a ProView viewfinder camera attached to my regular camera to send back the view what I was seeing though the viewfinder, to a monitor I held in my hand.
Lastly, I hooked up a couple of portable strobes in the apartment below, reflected off a wall, and fired it by a remote wireless slave (Pocket Wizard) also attached to my camera.
Gotta love when a plan comes together.
"...Cue the models with the dog."