On October 10th, I got the chance to work with two lovely models; Tabatha and Jacqueline, in the White Studio at Something Old Dayton. This shoot was inspired by the color pink and the French Rocco style.
For this shoot I used:
- Canon 80D
- Wireless Transmitter
- Two Phottix Indra500 Strobes with Battery Packs
- Two soft boxes
- Speed Light
- Beauty Dish
- 2 C-stands
- Standard Light Stand
- Colored Jells
- Sand bags
- Fake cupcakes
- Hoop skirts
I did two session, one with each model around the same theme but with variations in the headpiece, outfit and make up. For the first session I used ISO 200. My aperture varied from F5 to F11 with most of the shots being taken at F5.6 and F6.3. My shutter speed ranged from 1/50s to 1/250s with most of the frames being shot at 1/200s. My focal range varied from 18mm to 90mm with the most common focal length being 18mm. For the second session I used ISO 200, with an aperture of F5, and a shutter speed of 1/160s. My focal range varied from 18mm to 90mm with the most common focal lengths being 18mm and 20mm.
The first session was with Tabatha and we used a pink flower headpiece, a hoop skirt, tulle, and a two side ‘bustles’ made of flowers. The model provided the shoes, corset, and undergarments being white hose and ruffly panties, all worn over a nude dancer tights. For Tabatha’s session I focused on using two strobes with large soft boxes for the first part of the shoot using the couch and chair as set props. Then when we switched to using the bed, I only used one strobe with a soft box and some window light from the giant windows in the studio. I did use the windows as used as a background in some of the photos, which gave nice high key affect.
This is my second time working with Tabatha, and she is a fun model to work with. Even though this shoot was a little bit outside her norm; she rocked it. If you look at her portfolio, it tends towards darker colors and low-key lighting. So, a bright pink headpiece, pink ruffles, and high key lighting are a bit of change for her. I love how she used her pin-up experience to bring a bit a fun and flirtation to overall concept.
My favorite photo is of her, is her laying on the bed with her feet in the air. While I know this is a bit of cliché pin-up pose it really works here. As for full disclosure, I did not take the shot, my husband did because I was just a bit too short to get the right angle and everything in the scene. When editing the photo, I did brighten up her face a little bit, due to some shadows coming from the headpiece and I did apply a little bit of frequency separation just to make sure the skin tone was even. I then when in and added a few soft highlights, and light vignette to finalize the photo.
|(Focal Length 18mm, Aperture F5, Shutter, 1/160s)|
I also love this close-up of her. There is a large paned window behind her providing back light while I used the two strobes with soft boxes to ensure she was properly lit from the front. When editing I purposely cropped the image tight to the headpiece and the upper body to bring the focus to her eyes. I did bring up the exposure just a touch to blow out the windows. I then did a little frequency separation to even out skin tone and remove any minor blemishes. I finished the image by adding a slight vignette.
|(Focal Length 90mm, Aperture F5.6, Shutter, 1/250s)|
The second session I did with Jacqueline. For her session I used a pink ‘Marie Antoinette’ wig that I got off Amazon that I improved the styling of and then modified with flowers. A hoop skirt, tulle, and a pale pink corset. The model provided the hose, shoes, and undergarments. For Jacqueline’s session, I experimented a little by adding in two speed lights with red gels on them to the light set up. These lights were used to turn the background pink, while I used the two strobes one with a beauty dish and one with a soft box attached. For those that don’t know, a beauty dish, which is a bit of a misnomer, will highlight any and every imperfection on a person’s face and is very harsh light, thus I don’t use it a lot. When we switched up the background to the windows and the bed, I went back to just the two strobes with soft boxes.
Jacqueline was a great model to work with, and really understood the concept. My favorite image from the session is a head shot that shows off the wig nicely, and I feel her expression is perfect. This shot was taken against the white walls of the studio with the two strobes in soft boxes. I used the white wall to bounce light back, to give the image a nice high-key look. When editing I bumped up the exposure a bit more to make sure the wall was nice and white. I did have to go in a fix a few minor areas on the wig due to her natural hair peeking through, which was no fault of the model’s. It is a cheap wig, so I was expecting to have to fix minor hair problems. Jacqueline has beautiful skin, and I only ran frequency separation to even out the skin tone in a few areas. I did not add a vignette to this image, because it actually made it a weaker image and lost that clean high-key feel.
|(Focal Length 50mm, Aperture F5, Shutter, 1/160s)|
This second image I’m going to talk about because this is where I used the gels. To get the lovely pink background, I used two speed lights mounted on light stands placed on each side of the model. I then placed a red gel on each of the speed lights and aimed them the wall, while trying to ensure there would be very little to now light spillage onto the model. Infront of the model at about a 45-degree angle were the two strobes with soft boxes attached. The strobes were pointed directly at the model and were set to only light her and not the wall. When editing this image, I used the color balance from an image without the gels to ensure the skin tones and other colors in the image stayed accurate. Usually I would white balance off the white wall, but in this case that was not possible. I then followed my normal editing flow, the final vignette added to the image really helped the pink walls pop by darkening them slightly.
|(Focal Length 24mm, Aperture F5, Shutter, 1/160s)|
Overall, this was a very good shoot, and the models really understood the vision and look I was going for. Also, Something Old – Dayton is a great studio to work with, and I thank them for getting the furniture into the “white studio” for me to use, it really helped tie the concept together. Finally, some of the images from the shoot are featured in the annual “Pink” issue of Philocaly Mag, in which a portion of the sales go to breast cancer research. You can see all the images from the sessions here and here.