Yellow Tulips

On March 13 and 14, I worked with Gretchen and Brett Bartlett respectively.  These two shoots were inspired by spring, yellow tulips, and Lindsay Adler’s yellow themed photoshoot.  

For this shoot I went with a more beauty shoot/make-up ad inspired look and stayed  away from doing full body.  I made a headpiece from tulips and daffodils, and used a yellow tulle top that I made for a shoot last summer.  I kept it simple for the background and used colored plastic tablecloths in purple, yellow, and pale yellow.  The disposable plastic tablecloths work great when you don’t have rolls of seamless paper or a place to store seamless paper. Only downside is you get creases where the plastic was folded, but you can eliminate that in post or by blurring the background in camera. Let’s hear it for bokeh.  I unfortunately did neither of these items and lived with the creases.   For the first session with Gretchen I used two strobes, one with a beauty dish and one with a square softbox attached.  I also used two speed lights to light up the background.   For the second shoot, with Brett, I simplified even more  and just used the second largest umbrella we have attached to a strobe. I kept the two speed lights to light up the background. I also shot tethered during both sessions with my Canon 80D with the 18-200mm lens attached. 

Let’s now talk about some images from the first session with Gretchen. First off Gretchen is a great model to work with, has high energy,  can do her own makeup extremely well, and has a wide variety of facial expressions and poses. I shot her session in two different ways, one with the beauty dish  and the background fill lights only. Then switched it up by taking the beauty dish away and only using the square softbox, which was about 45 degrees off center  and the fills.  I did all the standard edits, and then applied a yellow/purple split tone to about 90-percent of the images.  The yellow/purple split tone worked perfectly with the overall colors of in the image, since I was staying with complementary colors.  The only thing I had to watch for was ensuring I did not turn the model’s skin yellow or purple.   My absolute favorite image from the session is one using just the softbox and the background speedlight fills.  I feel the image portrays softness and vulnerability.  I also just love how the light spills across her face.   This image is in direct contrast to my second favorite image which to me shows a feeling of ecstasy, and being lost in a moment.  I also feel like it is very close to some type of beauty ad.   This final image from the set with Gretchen I had her lay down on the floor on a deep yellow tablecloth and put the beauty dish directly above her.  I like how this image came out and it is hard to tell she is laying on the ground.  Several images from this session were published in the April 2021, Spring, Issue #321 of Edith Magazine.  You can see all the finals from this session here “Yellow Tulips on Purple”

ISO 100, Aperture F8, Shutter 1/80s,  Focal Length 32mm

ISO 100, Aperture F8, Shutter 1/80s,  Focal Length 100mm

ISO 100, Aperture F8, Shutter 1/80s,  Focal Length 50mm

For the second yellow session I worked with Brett Bartlett, who is studying to do voice acting. She was also a very nice model to work with and has a soft young look to her. I shot this session with a large umbrella and two speed lights that lit up the background. I also changed out the background color to a pale yellow, instead of a purple or bold yellow.  Two images stood out from this session; the one where we filled the frame with lots of tulips and a very soft almost old master’s style pose.  With the image that reminded me of an old master’s style painting, I actually applied additional Photoshop techniques and tools to the image to make it come closer to resembling an oil painting.  On all the photos from this session I applied basic edits and some yellow toning to the image to make the yellows pop a bit more.   Images from this session were published in issue No5 Arrow Spring Edition of  Arrow Magazine.  You can see all the final images from this session here, “Yellow Tulips on Yellow.”

ISO 100, Aperture F8, Shutter 1/80s,  Focal Length 135mm

ISO 100, Aperture F8, Shutter 1/80s,  Focal Length 50mm
Oil painting effect

Overall, I’m very happy with how both sessions came out.  It is great to be able to use the same pieces (headpiece and top) but be able to create different images with different feels just by changing out the backgrounds and working with two very different types of models.  The images while using the same general idea are very different in feel and overall look. So don’t be afraid to reuse items or shoot the same thing again, with different models because the images can and will turn out different while maintaining an overall overall style.


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