Photo Insight: BTS Serena with Common

A few months ago I photographed the behind the scenes for Serena with Common interview for ESPN’s The Undefeated. Everything about this shoot was amazing, the location at Urban Vintage cafe in Brooklyn, the film crew, and the talent. Check out some of my favorite shots below.

Serana Willams and Common on set.

In this situation it is easy to get tunnel vision and only focus on the talent. My goal for this type of shoot is to tell a complete story with the talent while also including the producers, film crew, and store owners. My overall philosophy doesn’t change. Shoot like you are shooting a movie; wide, medium, tight. Look for scene setters, details and most importantly interactions.

Hair and Make & Film crew setting up.
Owners of the Urban Vintage Cafe, Elizabeth Hazelwood and Emily, assist with set decorations.

Break Down:

For this shoot I used one camera (5D Mark 4), 16–35mm, 50mm, and the 70–200mm. I wanted to stay light and flexible since the location was small and would have lights, cords, people, and expensive camera equipment everwhere.

Film crew testing light placement.
Detail shot of the store space.
The arrival of Common and interactions.
Common hugs Serena.
Mid interview.
Demetrius Freeman for The Undefeated.

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes. It was an honored to be part of the team. Keep shooting! Check out more photos here on the Undefeated site.


Demetrius Freeman is a photographer based in New York City. Follow his work on Instagram or view his portfolio on his website.