Normally when I post these kind of post I get right in to talking about the shoot and the model/person I worked with along side images. But for this one I want to start a little different and talk about my thoughts on personal work and working with models. May be this should be its own post..maybe but it’s this shoot that got me thinking so here it is.
Of late I have been shooting allot of models, why? well for me there are a few reasons.
1. You get to meet, collaborate with different creative people face to face (not just online)
2. It keeps you thinking creatively and working the camera and lights. Stops the rust setting in.
3. You can field test stuff for client work. Yeah I do that, test a lighting setup or two.
4. You get to work on developing your style of shooting/lighting (I'm years off this by the way) and keep moving forward, making mistakes and learning from them.
5. You can build your book / portfolio or at least (depending on what you shoot for client work or want your book to be) develop & continue your skill set & growth as a photographer.
6. You can gain great experience in dealing with many different types of people in front of your camera, yes they are models but lets not forget they are not just models. Talk you who you have in front of the camera, get to know them and find the real them, a real expression or moment.
Personal work is important not only for some of the reasons above but also to give you goals, focus and to help you not suck so much, take my #HrdLight project for example is it some amazing photography project or theme Nope in fact I have had much better project ideas since starting that, and that's the key I started a project.. set a theme or goal and am still shooting it! had not done this who knows if I would be writing this post now or working on another project. Fact is its important and Personal to me and I WILL finish the 25 image edit for the project because I know even if I end up never really adopting hard light in to my future style I would never of know if the project were not to be completed. Ok now that's said on to the shoot with Bex….
I love #1 for a few reasons the light (3 light setup + reflector), the eye contact.. but also for Bex’s hair, it’s amazing (big & wild in a way). Many beauty shots show styled hair and are photoshopped to with in an inch of their lives, this would probably give some people fits in post production but for me it works as its a little different as I let Bex’s hair do pretty much what it wants apart from her fringe so I could keep light in her right eye. Exposure was pushed 1/3rd in camera to give the bright punchy and clean look.
For #2 & #3 I added a 4th light (gridded speedlite) to the set to light the background, image 2 has the rim/hair lights turned off (handy groups feature on the Photix Strato II triggers) and image #3 has them turned back on (the right one failed to fire) but I love the smile on this one, some times no always the moment, expression or smile is more important than a perfect all lights firing image.
Numbers 4 & 5 are actually from the first set shot using the Westcott 7ft Silver Parabolic Umbrella. I am really likening the 1:1 square crops lately and placing my subject centre frame on clean simple backgrounds. I would of liked the light to go a little higher but with 10ft celling height that was a no go.
Numbers 6 & 7 were list using a Westcott 28” Apollo (love that thing), hair light and a gridded light on a material background. Again Bex’s hair is great and apparently it use to be longer.
Number 8 is something a little bit different form the beauty lighting set up of (1,2 and 3) turning the key light off and taking the reflector out leaving the rim/hair lights only. The colour gradient is a result of flare not photoshop.
Number 9 was a I have this bubble wrap so lets see what it will do as a background kind of experiment. Yup specular highlights expected that, quite interesting and something I will come back to maybe lighting the background separately. Key light was a 28” beauty dish.
The next images were shot as a sequence with a fair amount of frames which will fill this post up so I have made them in to a collage instead, which i delivered to Bex. Also I shot these at ISO 400 on my back up camera Canon 500D, still looks great so don't be afraid to up the ISO in studio or good light as it will allow your speedlites to recycle faster due the the reduced flash power required and the flash durations will be much shorter at the lower power so action freezing is no problem.
#10 A sequence of actin and dancing. Some fun to wind down a shoot.
#11 Some back lit fun and hair flicking.
#12 & #13 - My two favourite images from the sequence in #11
To Finnish the shoot off I wanted to play with some fog in a can (thanks to @damienlovegrove for the idea shown on his Lighting Studio Portraits Videos). I only had one can so limited fog.
Big thanks to @markboadey for assisting with this one.
#14 A 3 light set up and some fog in a can. Must order some more. ISO 400 F10 with speedlites.
Thank you Bex for a great shoot, your pre shoot communications were great and you rocked the shoot. Will be working with you again soon.
PS any spelling mistakes are not real, honest. It’s 2 am