It’s getting close to the end of the year now, and I’ll admit I’ve been very slack with my blog posts. There has been a lot going on, and I’ve done numerous exciting shoots, and it’s not even winding down yet. Currently, I’m booked all the way up until Christmas, at which stage I’ll take one week off to visit my family in Tasmania, before coming back and facing a January that already has numerous appointments. Exciting times ahead!
In any case, a few weeks ago I shot some editorial-style images for the graduates of Pivot Point hair academy in the city. I shot their final collection last year as well, in the studio, but this year, we decided on a location shoot.
The students had to come up with a theme, organise models, outfits, and decide on a location. They decided on the theme of ‘Glam Rock,’ and wanted to shoot it in an alley way nearby to the school. I had gone in to meet the students a few weeks before the shoot, and discuss any ideas or concerns that they had. They seemed stressed about it then, but on the day they were all very focused, and once they began styling the model’s hair, they seemed to be doing ok. Of course my knowledge of hair styling is very limited (I can do a ponytail or a bun, and that is pretty much it), so anything they did looked impressive to me.
The students had a timeline and schedule of who was shooting when, but they ran behind time (as I suspected.) But eventually the first person was ready, and so the shooting began. The lane way the students had chosen was quite good, because it had lots of different colours and textures, not too far apart. That meant the shots wouldn’t all look the same. I had two battery heads, with a softbox and a shallow dish, so I was able to move around quite easily. I decided to make the images a little punchy, to go with the ‘attitude’ of the models and their look. So I used the softbox as a key light, with the dish as a hair light from behind.
I photographed each model for about 15 minutes. There were 7 students to get through, so we didn’t have that much time. But they only needed 2 shots each, and I work quickly when I have to.
It was really interesting to see how each student approached their shoot. Last year, everyone was in the studio together, and the students’ tutor was also there watching. They seemed a little timid and unsure then. But this year, the students had a bit more of an idea of what they wanted, and how they wanted their image to look, which was great. I’m not sure if this was because their ideas were clearer, or they weren’t being scrutinised under the watchful eyes of their tutor and peers.
The shoot went pretty smoothly, aside from the times when trucks wanted to drive down the alley, and I had to move all the gear into a side street and squish up against the wall. Lots of people walked past all the time and thought that we were doing something really flashy and important. Some tourists even wanted to be in the shots.
There was one group shot to do at the end, which required a bit of shuffling around. I really had to think on my feet here, because everyone was down on location at that stage, and looking to me for direction. So I arranged the models in mini groups, and had them posing like a kind of tough girl motorcycle gang. Obviously the shot below does not convey the feel and mood of the series.
Once we were done, the students all looked very very relieved. I went with them back up to the classroom where they had been doing their prep, and we were faced with a scattering of brushes, bobby pins, and hair spray cans. They began tidying their stations whilst I loaded the images onto my laptop. I didn’t bother shooting tethered because I was moving around a lot, and I didn’t want to have too many valuables down in that street without an assistant/ second pair of eyes.
Well done to all the students! The shots look great, and they are in the process of being submitted to a few magazines. Keep an eye out!