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.
In Palmerston North there is an old brick kiln that I was shown a number of years ago, and which I have always wanted to shoot in. I had a shoot set up about 2 years ago but the model flaked. Back then the site was fairly open and as a result there was a bit of graffiti and vandalism to it.
So when Whanganui model Samantha wanted to do a lingerie shoot I suggested the venue. As it turned out access to the site is now a lot more restricted, however I was able to track down the right person to contact and access was arranged.
Unfortunately when I turned up at the arranged key collection place at the arrange time, no one was home and I was unable to raise anyone on the phone. So I drove back to kiln where I was meeting Samantha and her boyfriend Ben, who I had been assured was well versed in the fine art of holding reflectors.
We waited around until the schedules time for the shoot hoping that the key would show up. However when it didn’t we made our way through a hole in the fence as I figured that I has permission to be there. Unfortunately once inside we discovered that steel bars had been installed on all of the entry points into the structure.
Rather than the whole shoot turning into a bust we decided to use the building and accompanying area for the shoot. While it did not have the same impact as the look I was going for I am still pleased with the resulting images.
We started with simply lingerie looks and then built them up with masks, capes and lengths of fake sur. In the end I tried a drape of material.
I received a text later in the evening apologising for the muck-up with the key which was caused because the guys wife had forgotten to put it outside when she left the place. I hope that on the third attempt I will manage to shoot in there but that won’t be until next year now.
Late last week I answered a Facebook post from model Alex Hunt looking for a photographer to shoot on the weekend. I discovered that she wanted to expand on some lingerie images that she had taken previously and I suggested that we shoot at Palmer Head gun emplacement as I thought the contrast of soft fabrics and the graffiti covered walls would create dynamic looks.
We arranged the shoot for Saturday afternoon but left it until the morning to confirm as the forecast was for gale force winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms. Saturday dawned fine and while a little breezy was not anything that we could not handle. We therefore decided to the do the shoot.
I picked her and her friend Lillian up and we headed up the hill. To our shock and dismay we discovered that the whole site had been treated to a new coat of grey paint. Our urban look was therefore replaced with industrial.
Despite being inside the opening in the building and how exposed it was meant that the wind was a constant issue. We shot in two locations in the building and used a combination of a single flash in a bounce umbrella as well as natural light.
We started with the lingerie that Alex had brought with her and then we moved onto using one of my drape material. I even incorporated a fake fur that I bought sometime ago.
We even tried some of my longer drape materials out in the wind but didn’t really achieve the look that I would have liked. The strength of the wind made shooting outside quite difficult and some of the places that I may have considered just too dangerous.
At the end of the shoot I managed to get a shot of Lillian who had the most amazing eyes, but didn’t consider herself photogenic. She could not have been further from the truth.
Editing the images was an absolute breeze and I was able to deliver them to Alex the next day. We plan on doing some more shoots together.
I met Ali through a casting call she had placed on Facebook. She had wanted to have some lingerie shots taken, and I generally make it a rule to never go into a shoot like this without meeting the model first. It helps build up a rapport and a trust which is really important.
We met at a local cafe on a Sunday morning. She had agreed to shoot with another photographer the day before and had not enjoyed the experience at all. He had constantly pushed for her to reveal more than she wanted and she had found the whole experience sleazy.
I promised her that that I she would have a much better experience with me. I thought that it was a great opportunity to try put a new studio in Upper Hutt run by Paul Maka-Kea. We arranged the shoot for Friday night.
The studio is based at Trentham Racecourse and is huge, offering a seamless backdrop, a small bed set and plenty of other space.
Once Ali arrived we discussed the various shots that we were going to do and then selected the outfits for each. Given her first experience it was importantly to take the shoot slowly so we started with fully clothed sequences against the white seamless and then using some of the furniture.
Part of the area includes a very large powder room with full length mirrors and so I knew that I wanted to incorporate those. Having a room with mirrors presents interesting challenges when it comes to placing the lights but not impossible.
When I meet a model for the first time I always ask them what they do not like about themselves. Ali said her feet so it became a little bit of fun throughout the shoot when I said that I would break her of that phobia by having lots of the them in the shots.
By the time that we moved to the bed set Ali was very relaxed and it came across in her images.
We had planned to do a series of high key images but simply ran out of time however we did finish with another series against the white but this time with Ali only wearing a white shirt.
She tells me that she really enjoyed the session and we are planning on doing another one early in 2015 to get the shots we didn’t get around to.
The studio space worked out really well and I intend to use it again next year.