Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Charlotte Michelle Photoshoot Part II - sunset at Ulua Beach

During our pre-shoot meeting, Charlotte indicated that she wanted to have some scenic shots of Maui where she was incorporated into the scene (as opposed to images where she was the primary subject).  For the second half of our shoot together, we headed down to Ulua Beach to catch the sunset.

For shots looking down the coastline, we used a silver California Sunbounce Pro reflector to soften the shadows.

As we got closer to sunset, and started shooting into the sun, we switched to using a White Lightning X1600 with a beauty dish for the main light.

So glad I had the opportunity to shoot with this model again after all these years.  Working with a professional model of Michelle's caliber makes a photographer's job SO much easier. She just kept knocking the poses and looks out of the park so I basically all I had to do was point and shoot. ;-)

I like it when models make things simple like that.  'Cause I'm simple-minded. ;-)

After the sun dropped below the horizon, I had Jen hold an SB26 with a CTO gel just out of frame behind the model to add a bit of hair/rim light to the model.

While I really liked the look we were getting from the addition of the rim light toward the end of our shoot, it was very hard on the assistant because she had to stand practically in the surf and get soaked in order to get into the right position.  Jen, you are awesome! :-)

It was very challenging to shoot on this beach, mainly because of the crowd that was gathering off to the side to check out what we were doing. As a result, there were a few other ideas we wanted to try but decided not to. Always try to stay within the model's comfort zone. If your model's happy, you're happy.  If your model's not happy, NOBODY is happy. ;-)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Canon CPS | Don McCullin Feature "Seeking the light" - The Movie

Take the time to watch this - such a great video.

Best quote comes right before the end - "One must not think about doing things in life. You must do them."

Monday, July 8, 2013

Charlotte Michelle Photoshoot Pt I - Creating a Bedroom Scene with One Light

One of the first models I worked with when I began studying model photography was Charlotte Michelle, whom I met through photographer Rolando Gomez when he held a glamour workshop in Hana, Maui back in May of '06. After nearly 7 years, I finally had the opportunity to reconnect with this model and do another photoshoot with her.

We met for a pre-shoot meeting a few days before and I was actually surprised she remembered me from the workshop. But then again, I guess you do kind of remember when a photographer asks you to climb up on top of a Ford Escalade wearing practically nothing for a shot.

(Yep, shooting with me can be a traumatic experience for any model.) ;-)

Our makeup artist for this shoot was Kahulani, doing her amazing magic as usual - helping to even out sunburned skin, adjust hair, cut tags off of clothing, etc.  Kat is always so much fun to work with and her hard work saves me countless hours in post production.

I was also lucky enough to have my friend Jennifer Stephens of Unique Art Hawaii assist us this time since this particular shoot included some implied/partial nudity.

It's always a good idea to have a female assistant on shoots like this so that they can run in and adjust the model's hair, clothing (or lack thereof) etc.  An added bonus is that Jennifer is one of Maui's top graphic artists, so I also relied on her creative eye on the set for different ideas and poses we could do.

I've also been meaning to do more behind the scenes videos of our shoots, but since it's difficult to shoot both photo and video on the same shoot, I had our other assistant Ronald focus on shooting video and setup shots.

For our studio shoot, the main concept was to create a morning bedroom scene with sunlight streaming in through the windows.   Since the studio we were in had no windows of any kind, we had to create one from scratch.  We lit this entire set with just one light.

A single White Lightning 800 strobe with a 7" reflector was pointed at the back white wall.  This was triggered with a Pocket Wizard Plus II Transceiver.  The reflected light then passed through a 77"x77" translucent Photoflex Litepanel to backlight our set.

Our "bed" was a simple table with couch cushions, a comforter and some satin sheets draped over it.

To light the front of the model, 2 white v-flats were placed in front of the table to bounce the back light into the front of the model.

To hide the fact that we were using a litepanel and to make the set look more like a bedroom, we added two free-standing closet doors on either side of the litepanel to hide the frame.

I liked the soft looks we got using this simple lighting setup, but would like to tweak the set a bit more on the next shoot to get more depth.