Well well, this was a few weeks ago now! It’s a very busy time of year for me, with lots of shoots happening all over the place. I love being busy though, so I’m happy. And my tax return is finally parcelled up and mailed away, so that’s a huge relief. I’ve been putting it off since July…
Me: “Im going to get it done as soon as possible. End of July, easy.”
July 1st me: “Yep, this thing is definitely going to be done before my birthday.”
August 22nd me: “Ok, end of August. I still have plenty of time.”
September 1st me: *panic!!* “Crap, was I meant to have this done before September?!”
September 2nd me: “Phew, still time. 30th September, absolute deadline.”
Monday: “Holy moley this thing has to be in the government’s hands in 3 days!”
I’m confident the exact same thing will happen at the end of next financial year.
Financials aside, a few weeks ago I played teacher and had students from Photography Studies College come to visit the studio. I used to study there, and the tutors had asked me if the final year students could come and visit, and listen to me talk about myself (#funtimes)
I remember being in this class and having lots of photographers come and visit the school, some of which were more engaging than others. So I wanted to ensure that I wasn’t boring for the students, and they wouldn’t hate me forever. One of my old tutors suggested doing a lighting demo, and that then turned into a mini fashion shoot (because I mostly shoot fashion, and it would be a bit more exciting than just photographing a flower ontop of a box or something.)
I’m lucky in that I have spent the last few years testing and building up my contacts, so I was able to pull a team together pretty quickly to make this happen. I wanted to give everyone involved a chance to play, and get some new images for their folios, so that it would be worthwhile for them. I’m a strong believer in everyone benefiting from any collaboration- whether that be financially or with images as appropriate- so I just opened the shoot up to anyone who wanted to come and play.
I borrowed some garments from Joseph Jang- a designer I have worked with a few times and whose collections I adore, and then had Melanie Kirby from Scene Model Management come in to wear them. Marlene Olsson was hair and makeup artist, and seemed excited that she was allowed to do whatever she wanted with the hair an makeup. She had been doing a lot of commercial work in the previous weeks, and so a little creative freedom was an exciting prospect.
We got set up, and then the students arrived. I won’t bore you with details, but I talked about my photography career path thus far (with no script or preparations, so I was a bit all over the place!), and then when the student’s eyes began to glaze over, I started shooting.
We had set up two ‘shooting areas’ in the studio, and many lights and modifiers to impress the students. Of course, that included using the Bron parabolic umbrella with a ring flash inside, purely because it is big and looks fancy. I showed the students what each light was doing, and how I normally go about setting up (working with one light at a time so I know what they are all doing.) Then I let the students have a go, using my medium format camera. They were both thrilled and terrified to touch it!
Next, I got the students to be a little more hands on. I had them do a lighting set up for me, shooting as they developed it. Earlier, I had taped a tree branch to a c stand, and put it behind a white paper roll. I then set up a picolite behind that, pointing towards camera (ie: shining through the screen.)
This was the result, and also the students’ starting point.
I then asked them to light the model, however they wanted. They worked really well as a team, moving around the lights from the studio, and pulling out cutters and reflectors to tweak their lights. I shot a frame after each change, so they could see what they were building up.
They did a great job, and solved lots of problems. It was great to see their enthusiasm.
In the afternoon, there was another group, so I repeated the whole thing again. This group was a little less enthusiastic because they had mostly photojournalism students, whereas the morning class had mostly commercial major students (so they would be more likely to be in a studio environment.)
We changed up the hair, makeup, and clothing, for some variation (also so Marlene and Melanie had some different images for their books.)
Here are some of the retouched shots. More to come!
After the second group had gone home, I took Melanie out into the carpark behind the studio to do a few extra shots. I wanted to make sure, once again, that she had a few more variations for her book.
We shot for about 7 minutes. I shoot quickly, and also I didn’t want Melanie to be late for her train!
Some of the retouched shots from outside…
Such a fun day! I love teaching and sharing my knowledge (however limited it may be!) Thank you team for making this happen!
MODEL || Melanie Kirby @ Scene
HMUA || Marlene Olsson
DESIGNER || Joseph Jang