All photography and content © John Raptis Photography 2020

Mason Promo Shoot At Montsalvat

Tears Of Tragedy

Melbourne Thrash Metal band Mason approached me again to help them with their new promo/portrait photos for their forthcoming 2016 release album.

I last worked with the band last year with our photoshoot at the Old Geelong Gaol.

That particular session can be seen here.

I was absolutely delighted to be working with the boys again as they are very easy to deal with and photographically look great!

The initial brief was to do the shoot in an old church or chapel and upon doing some pre-shoot research, I decided to scope out the Montsalvat location as I was aware there was an old chapel there we could use. I always prepare hard before a shoot, so I headed to the location a few weeks before our shoot to scope it out and do some test shots to show the boys.

You can view those photos here.

The chapel featured a little room to the side and this is where we began our day. Using the beautiful natural light, we started off with some simple portraits of the boys.

With them out-of-the-way we set about to get some band shots in this room. As stated, the morning light was simply gorgeous and we utilised it as best as we could.

After we had finished our work in the Chapel, it was time to explore the rest of the compound and utilise it as much as we could. Stepping outside, the old blue-stone wall looked too good to pass up and we just took some shots with that and the Chapel doorway as the background. Pretty darn generic but the texture and shape of the door was amazing.

Unfortunately, we had very limited time and access of the main room in the complex. The gallery with the beautiful stain-glass windows was hosting a wedding whilst we were there and we had to wait around an eternity to quickly take some snaps around the window. The wedding was being set up around us so it was uncomfortable and limiting. We only really got one decent shot here (see below) but I would have really liked to have had this room to ourselves for longer than we did.

With most of the band’s I work with, I try not to influence how or where they stand. I’ll direct them in terms of the best positioning and being able to get everyone in shot and for the most part I try to let the scene be as natural and unforced as possible. Gnashing teeth and screaming into a lens is so fuckn cliché in the Metal industry.

From when I last explored the location, I really loved this hidden underground room that looked positively ancient and medieval. We spent most of our time in here again utilising as much of the surrounds as we possibly could.

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