Monthly Archives: August 2013

Here we go… Again

So my blog is up and running again, for about the 5th time in the last eight years. This time, however, it has a purpose.

Those of you who know me probably know that I’m in the middle of a year-long transition out of nature photography into, in theory, commercial advertising and headshots. I don’t have the main site up and running yet, and probably won’t for a couple months while I get some images together, but I wanted to start the blog at the very beginning.

Well, there are many beginnings. I could have started it once I realised I had to change career paths, or once I started building some skill with artificial lighting, or even when I first started learning to light. I could have started it even further back, at the beginning of putting together a studio, into which my wife put a good amount of time and money before I took over once I arrived on this side of the Atlantic.

The process I want to document, however, is that of an artist who’s only just created his first showable work. Out of the education stage- there are many sites where that can be gotten, I work for one for a start- and into the process of putting it all together into a body of experience.

While I’ll always be showing and teaching here, I can never seem to put that down, the point is that I’m learning as I go along just as much as anyone else, so some of these learning experiences I’ll have to share will be on everyone’s part. Should be exciting!

I had my first “real” shoot last weekend, so now I have something to show for myself, and now this record of growth begins.

First up is Brittani, a first-time model with aspirations. That’s not a course of action I’d recommend unless you’re a nerdy obsessive sponge of a learner like me- if neither of you are entirely sure what you’re doing, the shoot’s going to be awkward, unproductive and discouraging. I knew what I wanted ahead of time though, so I shot that while tossing out direction and titbits of Modelling 101. This is a major improvement over my last headshot shoot a couple years ago, where I was very quiet the whole time, and naturally didn’t really get the best images.

It went well! I didn’t clam up, quite the opposite in fact (a shocker for those who know my quiet tendencies), and Brittani took direction well. I didn’t panic when the lighting wasn’t going to plan, just figured it out and kept talking and joking and generally not showing my doubts. Which to be fair were minimal, I wasn’t really put under any pressure at all by the minor tweaks required, but this level of sociability-on-cue is a milestone for me. Long may it continue!

The image itself is less than perfect, but for a first-time-ever shoot with a first-time-ever model, I’m quite content for the time being:

I love me some high-key.
I love me some high-key.

The setup was pretty straightforward, I just put her in a cage of V-flats blasted by horizontal clamshell:

"Back into the cage!" Hilarious, not terrifying, right?!
“Back into the cage!” Hilarious, not terrifying, right?!

Next up was Lane. While he had a very hard time taking hand direction, his head direction was excellent, and the planets aligned for a split second right here:

Badass commercial-music-style is what I was after, and I think I succeeded?
Badass commercial-music-style is what I was after, and I think I succeeded?

Again, simple setup, a staple of most commercial studios as I recall:

Blow out the background, and I got the beauty dish look with a speedlight zoomed into a shoot-through umbrella.
Blow out the background, and I got the beauty-dish-type-look with a speedlight zoomed into a shoot-through umbrella.

That’s all for now!

~Rob