Last week I had the opportunity to work with the wonderful Taarna Swanson and the very professional Ross Burns on a Black and White Mickey Mouse styled shoot.
The concept of the shoot was to create, a very rough, not overly polished Make-Up effect and capture that essence on camera as a gritty grunge styled beauty shot. Quite similar to my People work but with a mild fashion twist.
The location was an old derelict near Partick Station, which looked great – from about waist height up. If the ground wasn’t iced over, it would have been nice to give it a clean up with a yard brush and do some wider shots but we got what we were after, so I can’t complain. I’m glad it was a minimalist production off the books because I’m sure a risk assessment would have all types of red flags.
It was a pretty straightforward shoot, a single light, harsh and directional to create stark contrast where possible, and more frontal on the shots taken outside to add a ‘kick’ to the subject against the overcast lighting of a standard Scottish winters day.
Besides being cold enough to make the models teeth chatter uncontrollably, the conditions were for the most part ideal. Their was one issue, that damned Nikon SB800. In the interest of keeping weight down, and having a quick, energetic shoot, I opted for speedlights as my light source. In small, dark spaces and indoor locations I have found the flash to be very handy, but the wide area and natural daylight seemed to have an adverse effect on the IR receiver on the unit. Instead of doing what I wanted, it flashed whenever it could be bothered. Making my quick ‘in and out’ shoot, a slow trudge, and worse making me look like a bumbling, and at times angry (with an inanimate object) fool. I don’t usually leave without a back up for my kit, and even this time I took two SLR body’s, I just thought that the built in IR would mean I could leave my radio triggers at home, it’s not a mistake I will be repeating any time soon. My back might suffer but my work, and more importantly my clients wont.
This has been my first detailed post about my work and the way I do things on location. Usually I just post an image with a short description and let the world guess the rest, but I’m hoping to give a more detailed insight into the various areas of photography and retouching that I am involved in, and hope it shows… something you might not have seen elsewhere.
I wont be posting shooting data, for two reasons, firstly to stop people just copying what I do. If you like my style and what I do, that’s great. But if you want to copy it, you’re going to have to work for that. I’m not trying to be mean, but the styles that I liked and that inspired me, I had to work out for myself, and you should too. It’s a great way to learn, it’s slow, but trial and error should lead to your own unique look, rather than a carbon copy of mine, which if I’m honest I don’t want. If everyone takes photos like me, why would anyone pay me?
My second reasons is, out with the specific conditions of my shoot. The ambient light, models complexion, lighting equipment, lenses etc, it would be no use anyway.
So don’t ask, ’cause I wont tell.
If however you wish more detail about the shoots and processes get in touch. I also welcome feedback about my blog and posts, your feedback will help me make a more interesting blog, and hopefully more helpful.