Friday, 21 December 2012

Learning A Whole New Type Of Photography

Bonus post - lucky you!

In January (a couple of weeks from now, for you readers from the future) I have a couple of shoots lined up with the somewhat famous Bex Lendon, and Harley-Dee - both of which will be something entirely new for me. I'm writing this blog post ahead of time in order to record some of my thoughts on what are two mini-projects for me, and to hopefully get a few thoughts, comments and bits of advice ahead of time. (I should also note, to begin with, that none of the photos in this post are mine...)

The dates ain't nailed down just yet, so I'll go alphabetically - starting with Bex.

Bex is very well known locally, so this is quite a step up for me. I think I've known of her almost since I first moved to Sheffield - god knows when we first became 'friends' on Model Mayhem - so it was nice little success when I finally built up a portfolio good enough to earn a free test shoot with her. The initial plan was general fashion type stuff, the kinda thing I'm used to, around the University and Weston Park... all well and good - but I was wracking my brain trying to think of something to make it original and special - something to make me stand out from the crowd. Then suddenly, Bex saves the day - a question to the whole Facebook world about GIFS. I can do GIFS... I actually did my Masters project on modeling galaxy interactions with a series of GIFS to show my computational results... so that's it - we are going to try to make some cool .gif videos to go on Tumblr and whatnot.

Now, for these we have 2 options:
1) Individual frames manually layered.
2) Video with frames cut out.

Starting with the first, this is obviously useful for the more jerky, playful GIFs... and I think we are going to aim for the following kind of things...

The getting dressed theme:

and fun things like this:

The good thing about taking separate shots and layering together like this is that I can use my flash. I've just invested in two 24 inch softboxes, light stands and a second flash to give me my first taste of some studio stuff... and so they should come in useful to play with in the above scenarios.

The second option, video sped up, brings some different opportunities. Whilst I can no longer use my own lighting, we can hopefully make use of some more elegant, smooth processing and natural light outdoors... like some of these...

and also do some playing around with focus...

So I'll almost be a videographer... who would have known I'd end up with that! So much learning on the job here... from various lighting scenarios to the most efficient ways to make and process the videos and photos. I'll hopefully find a way to impress Bex and my many(???) fans... but any hints and advice would be very gratefully received! 

Now, onto the Harley-Dee shoot. This will be my first taste of lingerie (and some more general) photography. I know a few basics - diffuse light is good, I don't want it to turn too far towards cheap glamour type stuff and want the end results to be stylish and classy. So this one will be all about spending hours and hours researching posing and, again, the various lighting options available to me with 2 flashes (option of 24in softboxes) , a window and a plain 3/4 length white background. All squished into my little sitting room - I'm sure it's just about doable.

These are the simple(ish) things I'm hoping to achieve from this shoot:

Nice, simple lighting.

Again, nice, simple light... I'm afraid I don't know where this photo came from - so sorry for stealing it!
And a little more complicated... 

So, overall, a lot to learn and not all that much time. I really would love for any of you with advice to step forward and let me hear it... whether it be in posing/lighting/styling... anything...

Hopefully in a couple of weeks I'll have a few decent shots from it, and at the very least have learnt from them.


  1. I got a bit distracted by the pictures... what were you saying again?

    1. Haha - I would love to know who this 'Anonymous' is!.. I have to admit, it's a difficult job spending Christmas researching this!