Visit The Dark

Working alone can be crazy for some setups. The smaller and more specific the lighting the longer the setup takes.  It can limit the models movements forcing them to pose  This is when a helping hand is invaluable or a model that is extremely patient.  When I start a shoot I often don’t know where the shoot will be going, I fumble and stumble into shoots.  One small thing will set me off in a direction not originally intended.  I feel comfortable with some models taking longer than usual and they are high on my list for testing.  They know from experience that I will eventually come up with something.

This is a back wall in my studio which has trash and treasures on it.  The small chandeliers are hanging from pipes I lay on the permanent pipes that run along the buildings ceiling.

The floor has a stack of magazines holding a slide projector, she’s aiming the remote at my camera.  I’m using grids and flags to keep the light where I want it and just as important where I don’t want it.  To make the background more interesting I’ve gelled the light and raked it across from the the left and gelled the model from the right.

This is definitely not a style Stephanie would normally shoot for her book but when testing I don’t feel as restricted in my choices.  When I shoot a commercial model I’m very sensitive to their image.  Having her legs like this would normally be a no-no for a commercial model.  I made sure to shoot that area dark and downplay it.  The image is more about the styling than anything else.

I find it more fun to shoot when models can move around which bigger light sources allow you. To show commercial clients you have control over your light it’s good to add small specific light source images to your book.  To put light only where you want it you need lighting accessories like snoots, grids, scrims, flags, extension arms, stands ect. This can also signal to a commercial client that you have skill and the equipment to perhaps do a job for them.

When I first started out I was just concerned with general lighting, as my skill and budget increased I became more and more fascinated with smaller and smaller lighting.  I think this is a natural transition for most.  Your style might not end up being that but you at least want to visit it…just sayin

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