Shooting a lot of basic things in studio and lots of models on white it is always fun to get out of the studio. I was given a change to shoot in a Halloween “Haunted House” and think I got some interesting images. After scouting the area we picked 3 rooms to shoot in. The first was a mock up of a house, with a yard, axes, and just lots of junk. Second was a graveyard and cage. Finally we shoot in a butcher’s house with tables, and kitchen area.
Most was shot with just simple costumes but we did add some stage blood for the butcher’s house. I didn’t know if we would have power so this shoot was done completely with speed lights using the Nikon ® CLS. I brought some modifiers like Gels, Umbrella, and Snoot plus light stands. I used the built in commander on my D300. This was nice because I could make adjustments on the fly if I didn’t like the lighting.
I chose to use the manual zoom sticking to my 50mm 1.8 and my 35mm 1.8 lenses. For those of you who don’t get the “manual” part… I just walked closer to model for the zoom. I also played a bit with the lens baby® to get some wild creepy effects. All the lenses I chose were fast primes because of the poor lighting. I did find this limiting in some areas but it was just something I had to work around. All in all this was a great shoot, now what to shoot next….
I had the pleasure of attending another workshop by Danny Griffin on glamor photography. We started with the basics. First setting the camera for our location. The location was a nice studio in downtown Kansas City on the top floor of an older building. Lots of large windows, bright color walls and old hardwood floors. It was a really nice location. Next we setup the lights to create highlights on the model. The back lights were more of a harsh lighting. These were set about 1 stop above the main light. The main light was a large soft box set slightly off center. We also used a kicker to ensure our model had even lighting.
We then had the pleasure of working with model Jessica Vaugn. We shot several different outfits. In addition we changed up the lighting to several different styles ranging from a single center to color gels for our back lights. Our photoshoot with Jessica was about an hour and a half.
Following the photoshoot we had a photo editing session. I always learn a lot from these. Even if it is a simple tip it really helps.
The other great part about the editing session is the fact you get feedback on how your images look. You get to see how others shoot the same model in the same setting. This is a great tool to learn what to change or not change.
Now as I always say I don’t give ratings. I think like any training you get out of it what you put into it. Each person learns differently. So, here is what you will get out of the workshop. First a chance to work with an experienced model. Second lots of lighting tips, ideas and the ability to put them to use with practice. Finally, a chance to learn new editing techniques. If this sounds good then the workshop is well worth your time. I know I enjoyed it and learned a lot. I would recommend this workshop.
Over the years I have had the chance to work with many different models. Some turn out to fall into the diva category. Some turn out to be flakes but to spite all that most, I’d say 90% do a great job. That 90% are also the ones that realize it is a job.
When it comes to trade it seems to be simple but then as a photographer I have the impression that the model is either new or is trying something new. That is not a big deal because they have not been convinced that every shot has to look like a glamour shot. Far from that in commercial photography I want more natural looks, honest expressions and most of all I want the image to look real.
My issue lately has been finding paid models. Most likely because of the market I live in. Small market, limited choice and most are asking more than a large market rate. Because of the market size I have little choice here. My current dilemma is the need to complete a project but finding the model that fits the look. I found 10 in the area and sent requests to shoot on a specific day. From the 10 requests I sent out I got 3 responses. 2 of the 3 were to say they were currently booked. These 2 models are now on the list of models I would contact again just for the fact they took the time to respond to my request.
The 3rd model said she could do the project. Great news, looks like I may have this in the bag! We went over the rate, the looks needed, she had a location that fit the style. So far everything is good. Sent a copy of the release to complete with a photo ID required this was all good. At this point I am thinking I have this in the bag. Last thing to do is nail down the schedule. I sent her the time start time and let her know we could actually start any time after that, just let me know what works. I get back a response for a different day all together. I sent back an email to explain that the shoot was for the day listed on the casting call. Model response “I have plans that day so we need to change the date.”
I had to expand my search, look in other markets and now looks like I will have to travel about 3 hours if I want to do the project. But the good new here is the area I am traveling to has a workshop going on, so those who attend workshops… New review coming soon! I think this blog was more of me bitching that being constructive…. LOL