I recently did a photoshoot with the theme, "Wind Blown". The concept was to combine an editorial fashion vibe with pages torn from fashion magazines blowing around my model. The model part of the shoot was pretty straight forward. The requirement for my model was the ability to move / dance without direction & had long hair. Caroline Anne, who I've worked with several times was the perfect choice. Easy.
Next decision was the best way to deliver the magazines in front of & around Caroline, Use a fan, or have assistance throw them from out of frame. I have a moderate sized hair fan in the studio, so I gave it a test. I set it up in the studio, threw some pages of a magazine in front of it and it worked perfectly. Easy.
Finally, the lighting. Since I was shooting in an unfinished portion of the building where my studio is located I had access to a large bank of windows. I timed the shoot so the room had plenty of window light, but at a time that the sunlight didn't cast shadows on the white unfinished wall. The sun was my key light. Next I wanted a diffused light to pop my model off the background & properly illuminate the paper & easter basket cellophane without casting shadows against the wall. I wanted the camera speed fast enough so Caroline and the paper froze.
Therefore, my second light was an Elinchrom D-Lite 4 studio strobe. I used a Rotalux 53" Midi Octabank as the modifier. I set the light about 5-6' away from my model both camera left and right. It worked well. At the beginning I metered the light using a Sekonic L-358 light meter. I used my normal settings as a start. Nikon D600 set at manual mode, f/9, ISO 160 & starting speed at 1/160 second. I metered my light to this.
I also arranged fashion for this shoot so we could get some nice looks as well as the Wind Blown concept. Makeup & hair styling was also done professionally in studio. Unless I shoot a test I always hire makeup & a stylist for shoots.
Once we got the lighting set we cranked up the music and started going. I had my assistant, Ashley Adcox move the fan around (we had it mounted on a large Kupo C-Stand) to get the right effect. We then counted down and about a second after she threw a stack of magazine pages in front of the fan I snapped the shot. It was really lots of trial and error. During the session I simply had Caroline dance. We got lots of good shots, but at the same time lots of fails.
We shot for about an hour. Throughout the shoot I adjusted the light power & location to get the best look. Lots of fun, and ultimately a really easy setup.