From fake family portraits to gruesome forensic photos, a look behind the scenes of set photography


posted Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 6:00 AM EST


You might not have given them much active thought when you were watching your favorite television series or movie, but photos hanging in the background of sets are critical for creating immersion for the viewer. Where there's a photograph, there must be a photographer. In the case of many of these photos, the photographer is Ron Jaffe.

Jaffe, whose expansive career includes 21 years of corporate portrait photography and capturing images of six US presidents, has worked on such hit television shows as "CSI," "Dr. Phil," "Mad Men" and "NCIS." As a set photographer, Jaffe does three primary types of photography, he told Fstoppers, "promotional, prop shoots (photos that sit in the background), and behind the scenes." He is a very versatile photographer. Consider that for a show like Mad Men, he might capture portraits of character's children to hang on the walls of the family home while for something like CSI, he shoots the forensic photos used in fictional cases. All the while, he needs to be photographing the action on set for marketing and promotional materials.

It's perhaps no surprise that Jaffe's job comes with a unique set of challenges. From actors not keeping schedules to challenging shooting conditions requiring Jaffe to use his Nikon D4S at ISO 12,000, his day-to-day work varies dramatically. You can read more about it at Fstoppers.

To see more of Ron Jaffe's work, visit his website and follow him on Instagram.

(Seen via Fstoppers)