Don's Photography Blog: One a Day.
Fashion Shoot with Model Alina Surdu.We had a fantastic time learning all about studio photography with some wonderful people in East London. The Model for the day was Alina Surdu, we had a MUA on hand to touch up and apply for the day. What a wonderful way to spend a cold Saturday in a warm studio environment.
Studio Work:When we arrived the studio was just an empty community hall. We chatted, had coffee / tea and biscuits and met the model and make up artist. Then we discussed what we may try and achieve from the shoot.
Then it was down to business as we unpacked the light stands, background, umbrellas, lights, etc. We tried different lighting set-ups and were encouraged, by Richard Dawson (our group host) to set-up and position the lights ourselves, which was a steep learning curve for most people in the group. We tried various ways to trigger the lights, and using both studio flash and speedlights to see the various effects produced. We tried soft boxes and umbrellas and also switched from black to white backgrounds. All basic stuff, but it was great to get behind the reasons why photographers make the choices they do. Also to do it ourselves rather than have it all set up beforehand was a brilliant way to build our understanding.
We also had some fine instruction on metering with different light meters. How to colour balance in camera and then the shoot began.
Model / Photographer Communication: What fun we had trying to communicate with the amazing model, Alina Surdu. Richard explained that communication is vital, so we needed to learn to build a rapport with the model and encourage her into the poses that we were after. That was fun and hard, for few of us had done that before in this kind of situation. The model was nervous because it was her first shoot since having a child and one of our members said, "I'm nervous too, I've never done this before". That's a wonderful confession and admission. It is quite a strange feeling when shooting a stranger and trying to take photographs of them. People photography is a personal thing and reveals the inner being, so to try and capture the essence of a person and do them justice is an awesome responsibility and privilege.
As the shoot progressed, we laughed, joked and really did begin to find friendship with each other and the model and MUA, as a result we all came away with some amazing shots of Alina.
My Steep Learning Curve: What I learned was much more than imagined when I set out yesterday morning. Not just the practical aspects of setting up a studio and arranging the lights, but real communication. I'll certainly be more confident next time, but I've learned that we do need to have some clear ideas of what we want to achieve and be able and ready to communicate it to our models in a way that is fun, enjoyable and treats them as real human beings rather than objects. They are not just a mannequin with amazing looks, models are real people, with real feelings, real lives and amazing attributes.
More Images of Alina from Saturday's Photo Shoot.