Dec 15, 2009

Anatomy of a Shoot: Kaitlyn & Anna

This is an "anatomy of a shoot" post that I previously wrote up for Fred Miranda, but I thought it would make a great inaugural post for this blog as well. This dates back to October or so, so don't get confused by the seasonality of it!

I wanted to get a little bit of outdoor shooting done before it got too cold out, so I lined up a couple of models from Ford Models and Basic Model Management for a test shoot. I blocked out one model for the morning for the location work, then another for the afternoon so we could overlap the two on studio looks. We set an 8am call time at the studio so we could do initial hair/makeup and pre-sort the wardrobe, then hit the road out to Jones Beach on Long Island.

Continues after the jump!

As per usual, this is where things start to go off the rails a little bit. Jones Beach doesn't have the sections that I'd scouted the week before open to the public, so we end up on a different section. And the lovely, perfectly overcast day that I'd hoped for (so that we could shoot cool Autumn looks) turned into a bright, hot, sunny, summery day as soon as we arrived. And it turns out that my light meter has died overnight, leaving me feeling totally hamstrung and moronic. No problem, let's shoot!

(The images posted in this thread have gotten only basic editing and no retouching, so be kind!)

We start out doing some very simple natural-light commercial looks, more for myself than for the agency. Here's Anita, the hair and makeup artist, doing a little touch-up on Kaitlyn:

And one of the resulting shots:

That's just natural light with a small Lastolite Tri-Grip diffusing the sun landing on her face. Not going to post them all, but we do roughly 3 wardrobe changes and setups along these lines.

Then we move on to a more editorial look so that Kaitlyn's booker doesn't get pissed off at me. I break out the Profoto AcuteB and a large Softlighter, mount it to a monopod as a quickie boom, move up onto one of the dunes. I enlist Anita and Francesca, the wardrobe stylist, to keep everything from blowing away:

And here's one of the resulting shots:

Then we realize we're running late, so we make a quick pee break then hop in the car and head back to the city.

Anna, the next model, turns out to be running a few minutes late, so we unpack at the studio and grab a quick lunch, then start with the next setup. Anna goes through hair and makeup first while we do a fitting of the next looks on Kaitlyn, then I reset lights and start with Anna while Kaitlyn goes into makeup.

We're shooting a simple, clean, retro studio look of a pseudo editorial "story" using a bunch of vintage rock'n'roll t-shirts. Here's a quick setup shot:

Lighting was a 5' octa to camera left with just the inner diffuser installed, an Acute2 ringflash on the camera with the WideSoft adapter on it, some of the shots had another head with a 40-deg grid behind the models to camera-right. There was generally a fan on the models as well. Here's a diagram:

And resulting shots of Anna and Kaitlyn:

While waiting on a hair/makeup change for Kaitlyn I set up a quick second lighting scheme for Anna that didn't disturb the first (added a Profoto backlight with just Zoom reflector, kept the ringflash at the same setting and just removed the octa from the previous look):

These are the kind of images that I know may not work at all, but the 10 minutes it took to setup for them is more than worthwhile - between an additional setup and a cigarette break for the team I'll usually pick the additional setup. We were getting close to running out of time on Anna after a couple of wardrobe changes, so we did one last change and ran outside to do a quick natural-light look in the same hair and makeup:

And a behind the scenes on that:

That's Francesca again, holding a large piece of white/silver foamcore to get a little more light in Anna's face. After that we called Anna a car service and sent her packing. Kaitlyn had no other plans for the afternoon, so she stuck around. We finished out the rock look and decided to do two clean portrait looks for her agency, which required another hair/makeup change, one of which I don't have samples yet for but one I do. Here's one of the shots:

And here's a diagram:

After that we called a couple more car services, cleaned up the studio and went home for a later dinner!

All said, about 900 exposures were made of 8 setups across 3 locations with about 10 wardrobe and 6 hair/makeup changes.


Matti Vaittinen said...

Very informative and good post.It's nice to read how the shoot goes on and also see the resulted photos :)
Looking forward to other posts like this one!

Stefan Tell said...

Really good, as always. Nice to see that you have started with this blog, I have only seen your work on Flickr the last year or so.

And thanks for the diagrams, I try to do the same, but mostly with studio portraits. This made me want to take the AcuteB outside more, but I need an assistant first...