I was recently hired to do a photoshoot for Jacks Von Liria Cosmetics. I've worked with the creative force behind the cosmetics line, Jacks Von Liria, a few times previously. He's a cool guy, fun to talk to, a good makeup artist & hair stylist. He has a good sense of style, so I was happy to work with him again.
His plan was for a high key look with both male & female models to use on packaging, promotional information for his line and banners for a float at this years Gay Pride parade. Since Jacks was doing the MU, hair and hiring the models it made my job easy. I only needed to set up my studio and lighting, and then push the camera button. OK, there is more to it than that, but you get the idea. I could focus on the photography side.
Still, being a control freak, I got shoot details / concept and put together the call sheet. Since I had an agency shoot for earlier in the day I wanted to make sure everything was coordinated.
Jacks hired the models, and eventually went with Jade, Brandon & Brittany. Jacks was going to be in some of the images so I planned for at least 4 different people to photograph. The goal was high key so the focus would be on the makeup and the model with no distraction from the background and shadows.
In anticipation of this look I set up a single Super White Savage seamless. The key (and only) light was an Elinchrom Style 1200 RX monolight (1200 W), mounted with a Rotalux Midi-Octa 53" octabank. The light was mounted on a large Kupo C-stand. I killed most of the shadows with a large white reflector placed camera left next to my models. The key light was placed slightly camera right about 6' high. All images were photographed with my Nikon D600 with either a Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4 or a Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.
When everyone arrived my earlier client was just leaving. Jacks started right in on Brandon. It didn't take long until I was taking photos because, well, guys don't require much MU for a shoot. I started with my normal settings of 1/160, ISO 160, f/9. I metered my lights with this setting. I adjusted from there.
Brandon has skills in front of the camera so it didn't take long. Since Jacks wanted a very specific look and style we nailed the look in about 15 minutes.
Next up, Jade. While I was photographing Brandon, Jade was getting MU & hair. This took some time, but we were soon shooting. I've worked with Jade previously so I know it was going to be easy. No directions needed, just say go. We knocked it out in about 15 minutes. Routinely showing both Jade & Jacks the images since Jacks was going for the specific look.
Next up Jacks wanted to get some photos of just himself. No issues, step up to the plate son. Like Jade, I've photographed Jacks before, so I know he has a sense of how he looks and an ability to give me good expressions. Finished this set up in about 30 minutes. I did a few different looks with Jacks, with a suit jacket, without, portrait, 9x12, full body.
I'm going to jump ahead a bit (by about 2 weeks). We had to switch up one of our models so Jacks & I met up a couple of weeks later to shoot Brittany. I hadn't worked with her previously so I was looking forward to shooting with her. Brittany does competitive fitness, so I knew she would have good body sense. I set up lighting for this shoot the exact same way as before, so we got the same look. Although this was a different shoot on a different day I consider it part of this shoot.
OK, back to the original shoot. Finally we did some group shots. We did some with Jacks, Brandon & Jade standing, some sitting, some mixing it up, some laying down...we just played around. This took a bit of time because I wanted to get the lighting even and the mood / look just right. The only lighting change I made was to lower the key as the models sat or laid down.
I really enjoyed this part of the shoot, and everyone was having a good time.
Before I knew it we were done. Things actually moved along pretty quickly and since Jacks had the looks in mind we were able to capture the photos without overshooting. Overall, it was an enjoyable shoot. BTW, several of the images were used for the float, for packaging, and for promotional purposes. I'm glad Jacks got some images he was looking for.