Steven Brokaw Photography

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I recently photographed new model, Katie Willock, at M10 Studio.  I met Katie a few weeks previously when she joined me during a session with Caroline & Emmy.  She just wanted to check out this modeling thing.  During the shoot I told her to contact me if she wanted to do a formalized TFP (time for photo) shoot.  She did, so we arranged a B&W fashion centric shoot.
Since Katie is a new model I made sure she was fully aware of all steps and plans for getting together, who the makeup artist would be, what style we were going to shoot, and what clothes to bring.  Also, as always bring a friend if she wanted to.
For this session I was doing 3 backgrounds.  One a fashion grey sweep, one against a black backdrop and one against a DIY backdrop.  I simply cut apart a bunch of fashion magazines and taped the pictures on the wall.  It created a really interesting backdrop.
Katie & my favorite makeup artist, Sasha Star, arrived and we got going.  I set up the studio the evening before, so I didn’t have tons to do until Katie was ready.  Since the shoot was to be processed in B&W I set my Nikon D600 monitor set to monochrome and asked Sasha to apply makeup with B&W in mind.  I’ve worked with Sasha a number of times so she has muscle memory on what I want for this type of shoot.  So easy when you have skilled operators.  I spent my time getting my camera set, chatting with Sasha & Katie, and talking to Katie’s guests.
Lighting for this shoot was a standard lighting kit that I’ve used recently.  An Elinchrom D-Lite 4 with an Elinchrom 27” beauty dish reflector with only the diffuser sock.  Also, for the black and magazine backdrop an Elinchrom D-Lite 4 with a 30 degree grid in-front of the bare bulb.  Both studio lights were mounted on integrated Manfrotto boom arm light stand.  During the shoot I used only my AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G prime.
Makeup and hair done so off we go.  I started off using my Sekonic L-358FlashMaster light meter to meter to f/11.  I set my camera at 1/125 & ISO at 160.  Pretty standard setup that has worked well for me.  I had Katie in a simply tube top and a very large t-shirt for the first shoot.  The idea was to direct her on some standard poses with the t-shirt pulled down over her shoulder or just hanging loose.   I directed Katie for about 15 minutes and then had her change into a simple white sleeveless top.  Again I posed her for about 15 minutes while shooting her from a standing & sitting position (me, not her).  During the process I showed her what we were getting so she could see what poses and expressions she liked the best.  She was doing very well.  Final shoot against the grey sweep was to have her put on a very loose cabled sweater.  I wanted her to get the feel of having to do multiple changes during a shoot.  Most shoots were done with a 9x12 crop in mind.
After this shoot I asked her to change into a black dress and moved her in front of the black backdrop.  These were primarily head shots.  She brought a pair of sunglasses and I had her wear them for part of the shoot.  I switched to the gridded D-Lite for this series and once again I metered the light power to f/11.  We cranked off about 30 minutes worth of images with different poses.  Again, I showed her what we were getting along the way.  
We got some really nice images against the black backdrop.  I moved her position from the backdrop a number of times achieve different lighting effects.  Also the light was moved around a fair amount.
Final set was against the fashion magazine DIY backdrop.  For this shoot I asked her to put on a blue scarf she brought and start off with the sunglasses.  Again, posing, moving and changing up the light.  This was really fun, but a bit more challenging because the studio light created a fair amount of glare on the backdrop.  We simply lowered the light power and moved it around to minimize glare.  I had Katie pose for about 15 minutes while taking shots from various angles and moving the light around to get different shadow effects.
OK, one in color!
And with that we were done.  Katie was fun to work with and seems to be a natural in front of the camera.  We talked the entire time and after the shoot about my knowledge of the modeling and photography business – of course, constantly reminding her that my main gig was a business guy, not a pro photographer!  Anyway, as always some after action comments:
·         For a new model be very specific about pose instructions.  I’ve become fairly good posing models (at least in my own head) so I enjoyed working with Katie on her posing,
·        Show your model your images, but be careful about showing images that are no good.  The idea is to make sure they are comfortable that you are making them look nice,
·       Try DIY backdrops.  A photography friend of mine had done the fashion magazine backdrop idea first, so I take no credit for it, but it turned out great.  I’ve got to put my thinking cap on to come up with other ideas,
·       Remember not everyone is comfortable in-front of a camera.  Talk and encourage your subject throughout the shoot.  This isn’t really a problem for me, because….well, I just like talking to people!

Expanding !!

Model Photoshoots Galore!!