Steven Brokaw Photography

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Photoshoot For Submission - The Lighting

I recently did a photoshoot with model Katie Jo for an online, contemporary fashion magazine submission.  For the complete shoot I did 4 lighting setups for different looks.  Here are 2 of the looks & lighting setups.  One was outdoors using natural light, which I would like to do more often.  The other was studio lighting on location.

The first look was right outside the studio using a set of metal outdoor tables & chairs.  They are painted pastel colors, and with the backdrop of the fall colors I thought it would be a colorful location.  

Lighting for part of the shoot was natural light using the sun which was high but off my left shoulder (model's right shoulder) and slightly behind me (in my model's face). I had my assistant use a large reflector to fill shadows as they appeared.  I decided to use the gold side of the reflector to warm up the look.  The challenge was the reflected light was strong and caused my model to blink and squint.  That coupled with bees that kept flying into Katie's hair made for some challenges.  We had to adjust the reflector throughout the shoot to get the right look.  I used my Nikon D600 set in aperture priority. Normally, I shoot in manual mode but that's easier with controlled studio lighting.  I set my shutter speed at 1/500 second, ISO 100 and aperture at f/4.5.  I wanted a fairly fast speed and and a shallow DOF.  I used an AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G prime lens.

Here's a BTS look.

The results

Throughout the outdoor set my MUA & hair stylist kept an eye on our model keeping things in check.  That's always helpful especially for submitted looks.  We shot outside for about 45 minutes and then headed inside for a new look.  The next location was shot in an auto restoration shop in the Circle City Industrial Complex (where M10 Studio is located) after a clothing, makeup & hair change.  I wanted to go for a grittier / darker location.  We shot in several locations in this area and against several cars as a backdrop.

For this part of the shoot I used a Paul C. Buff Einstein studio strobe mounted with a 24" Paul C. Buff beauty dish and a white diffuser sock.  This key light was mounted on a manfrotto boom arm lightstand. The Einstein was triggered with a set of Elinchrom EL-Skyport triggers.  My camera was set in manual using my typical settings of ISO 160, 1/160 speed and aperture at f/11. I continued to use the 50mm f/1.4 lens.

I shot in against different cars, different poses, different vibes, sitting / standing, set the lighting in different locations, different lighting power, etc.  Here is one look.

For this look I set the light straight to my model and raised the light high, several feet away.  The light was aimed down to my model.  I wanted to get the light to spill down onto my model evenly lighting her hair & face as well as part of the car.  Since I was only using one light I wanted a fairly broad cone of light.  Here's the setup.

We shot in this location for about 1 hour.  Besides this location and the outdoor portion we also did 2 additional looks in studio.  The entire shoot took about 4+ hours including all the hair & makeup time.  I'm finishing the post processing and then will be submitting the set in for consideration.  That's a completely different activity!  

It was a fun shoot, and I enjoyed working with the the team I put together.  BTW, here they are, model Katie Jo, MUA Jen Lee, hair by Rebecca Zirkle and James Walters assisted me.  A Polaroid I took of the team.

I'm Not Always In A Studio

Simple Lighting Setup & Grey Studio Wall

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