I was recently asked to participated in a location shoot for local fashion boutique, Lucky B Boutique in the Broad Ripple suburb of Indianapolis by a MUA friend, Danelle French. I was happy to help because I enjoy working with Danelle, and I wanted to meet Brandi who owns the Boutique. I also had a chance to work with Anthony Perez, a local hair stylist that I've worked with several times.
The goal was to shoot outside of the studio taking advantage of the fall colors & vibe of the area. The photos were going to be used for Lucky B's social media & online catalogue. Lighting would be fairly simple. No studio lighting, although I did bring plenty of lighting if needed (i.e. if we decided to do some shoots in the store). Therefore, the lighting was primarily natural, speed lights & a reflector.
Starting around 5pm and with MU & hair taking 30-60 minutes we wouldn't have a lot of time to work outside before it started to get dark. I figured we would have 2-2 1/2 hours at most. We started the first look in an area close to the shop with moderate shade & sunlight and lots of fall colors. The lighting made the fall colors pop & gave us the opportunity to use the reflector. For this shoot I did use a grey card at each change, but I didn't use a light meter to set my camera. This is different than what I do in studio.
I used Aperture priority for the first set. I set ISO at 200 increasing it to 400 as needed on my Nikon D600. Aperture set at f/2.8 to start opening it to f/5.6. This allowed my speed to stay around 1/200. We spent about 30 minutes on the first look at the first location. I started with the reflector, but only used it a few times.
The next look was across the street on a patio bar. The setting sun was in the back of our models, so I used a single unmodified Nikon SB-910 speed light as a fill light. I put the speed light on a simple light stand and set it to manual. The speed light was triggered with a set of Elinchrom Skyport triggers. Settings for the camera were about the same, except I changed from aperture priority to manual. We shot here for about 30-45 minutes. Back to the shop for the final look.
This setting for the final look was to have our models simply walk along the sidewalk in a street photographer type of vibe. For this set I used no lighting except for natural light. I set my camera to aperture priority routinely changing my aperture and fired away. It was starting to get "darker" so my camera's speed was becoming to slow. I was having my models walk into the camera so I was getting a bit of motion blur. This was expected and again, because we were going for a street scene look; tack sharp focus wasn't critical. We did do a few set poses during this set. Also, for a different look, we ran into the middle of the street did a quick set in a turn lane while traffic was stopped. A fun look.
Bottomline, this shoot was completely different from a very controlled studio set. We dealt with changing light, kids running behind our models, cars in the street, a crowded neighborhood, and a fairly tight time line. However, we got plenty of good shots for Lucky B's social media use.
Here are some photos posted on Instagram of the shoot & BTS (click through).