team effort!

One of the nice things about setting up a little fashion shoot, is the satisfying collaborative aspect. This photo I made yesterday for work is a good example. We had great success last year, advertising an exhibition of fashion and textiles work in March, with a beautifully contrived photograph that we spent a bit of money on getting “just so”, and featuring some of the work from the exhibition. So, we decided to do it again!
But the photo is only one part of it all – we start with the fabric – a striking silk print, designed and printed by an emerging artist: Camilla Stirling – this in turn has been expertly cut and sewn into a mode-ish frock by my work colleague Jo Lawson, then modelled effectively by the suitably “Twiggy-like” artist Sophie Perillo, whose hair and makeup had been skilfully applied by Kate Radford, and then lit and photographed by me!! A bit of preplanning and some good creative underpinnings, and an art direction that makes sense to all the participants (we want it to look mode-ish and 60’s… like Twiggy!).
As you can see from this picture, I set up my roll of paper (Colorama Arctic White) in the foyer of my work – which presented an interesting lighting challenge – with the low office ceiling, I just couldn’t get my key light high enough to get my favourite loop shadow, and so I was ending up with really odd shadows around Sophie’s nose. The solution seemed to be to move the key dramatically to the side, as you can see from this diagram, which gave a wraparound sort of lighting – a bit like a sports ad, but with a more pleasing softness I think – and with Sophie looking directly into the key as in the top photo, the shadows are sympathetic, and really work well with Kate’s great makeup.
And all with only two lights – my 80’s Bowens monolights, bouncing off umbrellas for nice round catchlights (I am not a big fan of the square reflections from softboxes – they seem so defiantly artificial), and triggered by pocket wizards to allow easy wandering about. And while most of this shoot was with a Canon digi SLR, I did manage to sneak in a few shots with the Fuji 6×8 camera – which I’ll process in the next few days – everything was at ISO100, f14ish and 1/160th of a second…

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