Shelley had bought a range of lingerie with her and fortunately several of the pieces were from a similar set, so we talked Sam into taking part. While I shot the initial set with Shelley, Sam applied makeup in a similar style so that both girls were consistent.
By this stage the sun was really coming through and so I tried to place a large diffuser panel in its general directions to try to block some of it. This was partially successful. While the main light was still the Godox AD600 in the seven foot umbrella, I was finding that the light was a little uneven especially on Sam.
I initially tried to position a reflector to the left of the camera, and use the sun, but this was not working so I mounted a light on the other side of the fence and angled to to bounce off the reflector. At first this was done bare bulb, but that was creating too many shadows on the back wall, so I put it into a softbox so that I could control the spill better.
Shelley-Ann is a relatively new member of the Fashion Collective, who answered a casting call from me. We had arranged to do a series of shots and as the second one involved the use of my paddling pool, we started them all around my back yard. We roped in another member of the Fashion Creative, Sam Moredo to do the makeup for the shoot.
We have an area at the back of the section with a very large tree and our woodshed which provided a great location.
The weather for the whole day had been extremely changeable, with short runs of blue skies followed by rain. I initially started using my Godox speed light in a 24″ softbox for the initial shots but then brought in the Godox AD600 and out it in the seven foot Westcott umbrella. There was just enough room under the trees for it to fit.
Towards the end of this section of the shoot, the cloud decided to break and sunlight started to stream through resulting in very strong differences between light and shadow.
I have just had the most amazing two days of photography at what was called the Great Trentham Collaboration. Two Wellington photographer Shonty Rogan and Paul Maka organised a two day event that brought together 24 photographers and models, a dozen makeup artists, and six fashion designers, with clothes ranging from street wear to costumes. This was the second year that it had been run but this year was much bigger than before.
It was held at the Trentham Racecourse which is a very large complex with a multitude of rooms and areas to shoot in. It was so big that despite 12 photographers shooting at the same time there was very little competition for space, and when there was that was easily managed. We were originally told that we had full access to both of the grandstands but on the day the security guard needed to unlock the members stand was sick and so we only had the old grandstand to play in. I doubt that that caused much of an issue to anyone.
The old grandstand is four stories high including an amazing adandoned attic space, that practically everyone used at one stage. The windows faced the afternoon sun so were perfect for natural light, while other spaces were with easy reach of power supplies. All in all it was a great location.
The photographers were broken into two groups and each day was split into 4 1.25 hours shooting session. So at any one time 12 photographers and models were shooting, 12 photographers were on break downloading their images from the previous shoot, and 12 models were in makeup.
The two days went very smoothly with the only glitches being caused by models not being available due to illness. All photographers stuck to their allocated times and while the makeup in some cases took longer than allowed the time allocated for the photography was sufficient to make up the time.
It was a true collaboration of everyone’s effort with photographers also helping each other out either my being assistants or in allowing their gear or sets to be set up.
I have recently taken to wearing a fitbit and it told me that over the two days I walked nearly 33 kilometers, at lot of which was going between floors. It is no wonder that my legs were sore at the end of the weekend.
I have quite a lot of photos to process and keeping in my previous practise I will post about each separate session so that I can profile the images.
The second concept in the model series is based around the fact that fashion is very fleeting. I wanted to express this by having the girls piled in a box like the shops do with their end of line articles.
My friend Andrew operates a bike shop so I was able to obtain a number of large boxes that the bikes drive in. These were put together to make it large enough for the four models (Christa, Newala, Shelby & Kelly) to fit inside. All of the models come from Voda Model Management and with the exception of Christa were arranged by Donna.
There was a bit of fun when they first tried to climb in wearing their heels as they went through the bottom of the box, but we remedied that issue.
The lighting for the shot was a single softbox boomed out over the box and the second one angled down. As noted in the previous shoot my trigger played up and so I had to use a speed light to trigger the lights. As shown in the image this was aimed away from the box so that it did not affect the other lights. I stood on top of a small stepladder to get the angle I wanted. The top of the ladder is quite large and so it is relatively safe to be up there.
We tried a number of combinations with the way that Christa lay across the top the others before we settled on the final combination. The girls were having a great time as it was a very different shoot from what they were used to.
To get the background I sneaked my camera into a local shopping mall and shot the front of the one of the shops from the balcony. Then it was a matter of compositing the images together and trying to get the lighting consistent.
Generally speaking when I go to a shoot I have a pretty good idea what I am going to be dealing with. Last Sunday turned out to be the complete opposite to norm.
I have been asked by a model to help out by shooting her in some clothes that had been designed. She arranged the “studio” and I arranged to meet her there. When I arrived there was no sign of her and the studio turned out to be room in a hall. Shortly after the designated time the designers, who turned out to be four third year Massey university fashion students, showed up. As part of their degree they had to design a collection of clothes in the style of a well known designer. In this case it was Andrea Moore.
They had been told that the room we had booked had white walls and wooden floors. The room we were shown into had green walls and a maroon carpet. I had been told that we were shooting in a studio so had left my backdrops at home.
Eventually we managed to secure a better location at the same time as the model showed up.
They had sent the model some mood board images to pass onto me which she had not. Fortunately they had examples on their phones for me to see.
They had a range of outfits and wanted to have simple “look book” images, then some to use as campaign images and then to go outside and shoot more campaign images in the city.
As they wanted bright images for the look book I chose a simple two light arrangement as shown in the diagram below.
The soft box to camera right is the main light for the subject. The second soft box is there to light up the background. Both lights were set to f7.1.
The idea in a look look is to maintain consistency in the set so that the clothes are the focus. To help with this the camera was sat on a tripod and the model did not move much relative to it.
Once we had a good series of images we then moved on the campaign images that were allowed to be a lot more lively. The girls had brought in a number of props and I say the possibility of a fun shot using them.
We then moved outside. My daughter was assisting me and she noticed that the pattern on the hood of one of the outfit lined up rather neatly with Emily’s face so we took the following image.
Not to far away from the building was a park bench that I thought suited the theme. We then moved down to Caro Drive to shoot around a pedestrian crossing. I decided to use a little selective colour with this image to make it pop.
I ended up shooting 360 images in the 3 hour session. These were put up in a gallery for the girls to decide which images they wanted to edit further. They chose around 40 which were delivered to them.
A chaotic start but a good session non the less. To Jess, Amelia, Rosie and Miriam all the best.
I have for some time wanted to do a a shoot that incorporated autumn colours and fallen leaves. Over Easter Saturday I managed to set up such a shoot with Kat Kellock as the model and Grace Krishnan once again providing hair and makeup.
There were several locations that I considered as I wanted somewhere that had an avenue of trees, not too much in the background and with trees that would preferably have leaves of different colours. From several possibilities I chose an area in Maidstone Park Upper Hutt which I scoped out on Friday morning, as well collecting a selection of dried leaves from which I intended to make a headdress. As i was able to find the twine I wanted I entered up platting together several lengths of rough string until I got the look that I was after.
I knew that we could be running into an issue as the weather in the week before had been dreadful and the forecast for the weekend wasn’t great either.
Fortunately the Saturday stayed dry, although the ground and the leaves were wet. This was a shoot where I had decided the whole costume and it is quite amazing what can be achieved with a couple lens of fabric. We had a few issues with makeup but eventually we got to the park. As we were outside I chose to use my 70-200mm mounted on the tripod. This meant that I was able to get images that let let Kat pop out from the background.
I had wanted to get a shot of leaves raining down which ended up being a lot harder than imagined many due to the fact that the leaves stuck together so rather than falling individually they came down in groups. Grace and my daughter helped with the process as shown in this pullback scene.
With a little manipulation in Photoshop we need up with the final image.
I then had Kat get on the ground and I shot from higher us. We actually put a tarpaulin on the ground and then covered it with leaves.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the day and the shots turned out great.
Every two years the church we go to runs an all day event for women called “Body & Soul”. It contains a number of elective sessions, entertainment and inspirational speakers. I was asked to document to day for them.
This year it contained an additional item with a fashion parade by Upper Hutt designer Rasha Taylor, with a showing of day, ball and wedding dresses.
Now the main issue with photographing a run way show is generally light. In some shows there is too much and at others not enough. Fortunately with the show I knew in advance what I was dealing with and being the official photographer was able to bring in some of my own.
I initially thought about a speedlight but discounted it as it gives a very harsh light and the spread is very uneven. In the end I set up a strobe and umbrella on a boom arm. This enabled me to light up the last 2 metres of the catwalk with a reasonable consistent soft light head to tow at around f8.
In order the ensure a proper angle on the girls I brought in a small step ladder and shot from the top. I have been really pleased with the images shot.