Thursday, 30 December 2010

Sunday Shoots: Two

Sara -6I booked every Sunday in October to do some in-depth studio shooting. I called the series "Scott's Sunday Studio Shoots". This second shoot of the series was with models Sara and Jade with Nadine running the make-up. As with the first shoot, I learned quite a bit.

This Sunday's shoot was with Sara and Jade.

Sara was up first. She wanted a series of "glamor" shots and had selected suitable clothes and props. Before we got to shooting her concept, I wanted to try out a pose I had seen in an ad for lipstick. The ad photo focused on the models face to highlight the lipstick, using a very dark frame to highlight only part of the model's face. The emphasis was therefore on the lipstick. Nadine didn't have the same color deep red as that used in the ad, but it was close.

Sara -6

I then tried to combine "high-key" with Sara's glamor concept. The test shot worked well.

Sara -5

Sara changed into her shoot clothes and got out her props, one of which was an awesome sailor's hat, and I shot a test head shot.

Sara -1

As I pulled back, I lost something in the composition and most of the shots did not work. I tried a chair shot.

Sara -4

I tried a 3/4 "shirt" shot.

Sara -2

I tried a 3/4 "shirtless" shot.

Sara -7

We spent several hours shooting and grabbed a couple of hundred images, but none of them really worked for me. I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board for Sara on this one. You can see Sara has classic good looks and I would love to shoot her in Steichen's style. Maybe that was my problem: I kept visualizing Sara in a high fashion composition and not a glamor composition.

After Sara and I wrapped up, Jade came in. She had an idea to shoot a "doll" series. As I was still working on my high-key shots (and still learning quite a bit), we agreed to shot some high-key before we moved to the doll concept.

Jade 3

High-key was becoming more natural to me now. I was able to set up and shoot without too much trouble. I still learned a few things, such as to test your lens on a high-key shoot BEFORE using it. The 50mm f1.8 is normally my sharpest lens so I use it for key portrait work but when I tried it here with Jade I got lens flare right in the middle of the shot. It seems some lenses cannot handle all of the light coming off of the background and they just flare out. So I tested my other lenses first and settled on my 70mm-200mm /2.8.

After the high key, we moved to the same "lipstick ad" concept I tried with Sara. I started a little further out than with Sara and moved in with each shot. I also kept the light a little wider to see what the effect would be. I think the result is quite different from the one I did with Sara.

Nadine had the idea to apply some sort of whitening cream to Jade's face and arms to enhance the idea of a "doll". I think Jade had in mind a "Raggedy Ann" concept, but when I saw her all made up, I was reminded of the sort of porcelain doll my grandmother would have had. So I call this series of shots "China Doll".

Jade 10

Jade 8
We used an old trunk and some other items in the studio as props. I set the camera, Jade did her thing, and I fired away like a madman.

Jade 16

Jade 11

Jade 12

Jade 14

I treated the images in post-production to get a daguerreotype look, as if I had discovered some old photos in a trunk. (As an aside, if you are not up on the Vivian Maier story, go to this website.) I thought about stressing the images with an overlay. In the end I decided not to as Jade would no longer be the focus. I also thought about black and white and tried out a couple of shots to see what they would look like.

Jade 18

I think B&W is great because they are so graphic, but it loses the "old photo, china-doll" feel that I was looking for.

Jade went through several poses and we got several fantastic images. I think this one gets the "best of the shoot" title.

Jade 14

To see a larger slide show of the photos from this shoot click here.

Thanks to Sara for her patience as she waited for me to get her shots done and for her understanding that not every day is an "on" day.

Thanks to Jade for her usual creativity. I never know what she is going to come up with when we shoot.

Thanks to Nadine for her wonderful work on make-up in these shots.

Without people like Sara, Jade, and Nadine, I would still be shooting garbage on park benches.

Garbage #1

Scott's Sunday Studio Shoots Day One is here.
Scott's Sunday Studio Shoots Day Two is here.
Scott's Sunday Studio Shoots Day Three is here.
Scott's Sunday Studio Shoots Day Four is here.
Scott's Sunday Studio Shoots Day Five is here.

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