Wow, I’ve gotten behind on my blog posting. Busy, busy, busy. That’s what summertime will do to you. Time to update you on what’s been going on photographically, so to speak.
A month or so ago I had the opportunity to shoot new model Emily Nyberg who was developing a portfolio for an agency she was joining, LModelZ. I saw that a local makeup artist, Kelly Michelle Oswalt, had put out a call for a local photographer to help her photograph Emily. I was interested in working with Kelly, so I said yes. We arranged to meet over her house before 6am to get the action going. Yes, that’s right BEFORE 6am. This was Kelly’s theme and shoot, so I said A-OK.
Kelly wanted an outdoor setting with ambient light - kind of a Nature Girl look. The goal was to shoot with the early morning light using reflectors and sunlight. I arrived at Kelly’s house promptly in the morning equipped for several lighting conditions. I brought reflectors, various light modifiers, hand held diffusers and several speedlights in case I need to do some fill light. Like normal I over packed and could have packed only my camera, lenses and reflectors.
By the time I arrived Emily and Kelly were already at it and were ½ way through the makeup session. I knew it was going to be extremely hot outside during the day, so it was a good idea that we started early. Emily has very fine hair and fair skin so I thought heat / humidity wasn’t going to be our friend. After about an hour of makeup and clothes changes we set out for a field Kelly had picked out.
Upon arrival we walked about 100 yards into tall grass & wildflowers. We set off shooting quickly. I figured we would have about 60 minutes to shoot before it so hot either I was going to be drenched in sweat or Emily was going to have sweaty / shiny skin (and running makeup). Neither would be pleasant.
I directed Emily through the first series both standing and sitting in the wildflowers. Kelly put some flowers in Emily’s hair which gave a nice touch. I’m a guy and would have never thought to do that. I was very gallant however and was warning & keeping both Kelly and Emily away from the poison ivy.
All shots were taken using a AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED and a Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens (since replaced). All shots were taken in aperture priority mode so I could control the DOF, but allow the camera to control the speed. Aperture was set at f/5.6 through f/8. Lighting was bright so there was no problem with shutter speed.
After the first set, Emily changed into another dress and we did a series of full body shots while she was standing, walking and even jumping. Got some cool shots. The 3rd series we changed to head shots again, but this time with Kelly holding a 47” gold reflector. The reflected lighting was perfect as the sun was starting to rise above the trees.
We completed after about 1 ½ hours. Lots of fun, accomplished everyone’s goals, and gave the people driving to work in the morning a show (the field was right next to a fairly busy road, and I had taken the morning off). The downside was that it was in the high 90’s and by the time the shoot was over I looked like I just stepped out of a shower. I gave one for the team.
After action report:
· In a situation like this it’s best to bring a second. I really could have used the reflector in more shots, but it was difficult to hold myself and shoot. Kelly helped out in the 3rd set when it was most critical
· Bring a towel in all outdoor shoots. I did and wished I had brought a second. It was useful for setting my camera on mainly so I didn’t lose anything, but also to wipe my face.
· Watch the background. There were trees, power lines, houses, birds, etc. I spent a good deal of time in post cleaning up some of the shots.
· Watch the hair. OK, this shoot was unusual that I knew it was going to be a lost cause for the hair. Emily’s hair was very fine and the humidity was playing games, but again I spent lots of time getting her hair cleaned up in post.