Ok so its been a bit of a slow start to the year but there is always so much to do in the new year, setting things up for the rest of the year, updating websites, making sure all the gear is sorted for the year. But I have managed a few jobs, a 2 plus 2 wedding was great fun and we found some dry weather !! And Ive been introduced to a new model in the shape of Rachel.
Rachel is a friend of my good friend Lindie who runs Angel Face Bridal lounge in Newton Abbot, Devon. Lindie has used Rachel as a catwalk model for bridal wear and fashion in the past but Rachel has not spent much time in front of the lens.
So for me it was a case of just watching how she reacted and drawing out her strong areas. She has great hair so for me this became a focal point in the shots we did, as well as that Rachel has a relaxed comfortable look which makes it easy to get those unforced type of images, I don't like pushing people in to certain shapes for pictures, more often than not they will look un natural in the final pictures.
I like the whole process to be organic because nine times out of ten the model will become more comfortable as the shoots goes on and direction becomes less of a need, unless the picture needs to be super specific.
Massive thank you to Laurel Whitfield for taking care of makeup on the studio shoot, Laurel is still training but she is more than competent and knew exactly what I was looking for and delivered.
So we kicked off in the studio down in Torquay. I kept the lighting set up as simple as possible using one light in most shots.
The first few shots were lit with 1 light in a beauty dish with shower cap. The natural look of this modifier will enhance face structure, pulling to the cheek bones etc..
Next I swapped the Beauty dish for a 120cm umbrella with no diffuser attached. The effect of this modifier is a bit more harsh and contrasty, more of a fashion feel. A change of hair and wardrobe for Rachel get a totally different feel.
We went for one more look while we in the mood, very casual and unforced as in the rest of the shoot. I popped a grey backdrop up for this shot and stuck with the 120 brolly but added a light behind Rachel and to camera left just to act as a hair light.
So a week or so later and with a break in the weather forecast, we decided to go out on location at one of my favourite locations. I often visit here with my dog and am always checking the potential of certain areas as I walk around. Again I wanted to keep things as simple as possible in terms of wardrobe etc. So I just asked Rachel to wear a smartest coat and bring some wooly garments such as hat and scarf as the weather was pretty cold. There is nothing worse than a model looking cold in the final pics from a shoot, goosebumps are hard to get rid off post process wise !!
I took no lights and relied on natural light for all shots, I'd done my homework so I knew exactly where I wanted to be at the correct time, this was important and worked perfectly as we wasted no time and got the shoot done in around an hour and a half.
Blessed with a spring like evening I made the most of the available light. I spot metered all the shots I took and I have to say we got some great shots. By positioning myself at certain angles to the sun I was able to control the amount of haze or flare I had in the final shots. I don't mind a bit of flare sometimes but its not always welcome. I was looking for some natural portrait style shots with a lifestyle type feel, but these shots could suit a multitude of purpose, such as fashion or hairshoots.