One of the things that I firmly believe in is if someone helps you out then you should return the favour. Tiffany Williams, who is the makeup artist who helped me out on the Book Queen series, works at Tawa Hair Salon. They wanted to do a series of shots that promoted what they could do and I was more that willing to help out. The images from the shoot were intended to be used both on Facebook and in print.
So last Sunday I ended up at their salon for the shoot which consisted of three female and two male models.
Taking photographs of hair dressing is quite tricky. While it is simplistically a portrait you are trying to bring out the details in hairstyles and this can present an issue depending upon the colour of the hair.
The original intention was to shoot each model on a number of backdrops so I set up a white, blue and multi-colour backdrops in such a way so it was a simple matter of changing them. This would enable them to use the same image in different setting. As it turned out the white background was the only one suitable for all models.
I used a simple two light setup. My main light was slightly to camera right and was in a 1×1 metre softbox. A second light was fitted with a small gridded reflector and mounted on the end of a boom arm. This was then positioned either above or on the opposite side of the model to bring out the highlights in the model.
I did experience some issues with my gear early in the shoot and there was a couple of minutes of panic as the camera refused to fire. Fortunately it resolved itself however it did reinforce the need to ensure that you have back of key gear available.
I am quite pleased with the results and I hope that the client is as well.
For some time now I have been mulling over a concept that involved a model and a lot of books. Fortunately each year Heretaunga Rotary Club hold an annual book fair and my wife and I help out. Through this process I was able to grab six boxes of books that were either too old or in too bad a condition to be sold, and therefore were destined for scrap.
The books sat in my garage for a couple of months while I tried to come up with the idea. Eventually the concept emerged of a person who was so engrossed in the books that she became part of them. I had seen an image of a girl covered in print and so I showed it to Tiffany Williams who is a very talented makeup artist. Once she agreed to come on board we set a date and I cast for a model. My call was answered immediately by Grace who I have worked with on a number of occasion as a makeup artist but this was to be the first time as a model.
I had initially envisaged that we would cover her whole body in the print but then decided that only her upper body was needed in this way and that I would make a skirt to cover the lower half. I made a simple skirt out of calico and then glued pages from an encyclopaedia to it. In order to create the look of a library I moved a bookcase into our entranceway so that it could line up with another one that we already had there.
We made up a simple paste out of flour and warm water and Tiffany spent the best part of an hour gluing strips of paper to Grace. While she was doing this I built a throne out of the books and fashioned a crown.
The images came out pretty much how I had envisaged them. In photoshop I fixed up and extended the backgrounds to come up with a selection that I really liked. A couple of them will now be entered into upcoming photographic competitions.