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Thursday, 12 April 2012

My Shoots

Hours before any shoot I always set up my studio using a friend and make sure my lighting is how I want it, you would never leave the lighting till last, because of the effect it will have on the style or quality of the picture. I have 6 standard favourite setups which I develop to suit each shoot on a variety of backdrops (I always prefer to use black or white) 99% of the time I style and do the hair and makeup, I am lucky to be able to do this as it gives me quite a lot of creative control. (although I wouldn’t mind a team of stylists at hand!)

I always prefer shooting outside, I believe it puts everyone at ease and it is much nicer having scenery in the background and even foreground, I have done a few shoots in the studio which look like they may have been taken outside, these are nice because there is more going on in the picture and you have complete control of light.


I have known Jimmy and Jill Since I opened the studio, Jill was one of my first clients and my first repeat customer, I first photographed her and her little boy in September 2010 when she was pregnant. She was told there was only one baby but she was convinced she was having twins, as she was dreaming about them. Jill went for her scan and they only picked up one heartbeat, Jimmy thought she was going mad but then she gave birth to two babies a boy and a girl!

STUDIO LIGHTING
Jill and Baby Joshua
Jimmy and the twins

This photograph was taken on the twins supposed due date (they were born 2 weeks before)


I show you this photograph because it is a good example of studio lighting. There were three lights used in this picture on a Black background, one high performance reflector directly over him catching his hair, back, nose and muscle definition. Then two soft boxes one on each baby, the soft boxes were covered in cardboard with a slice in the centre of each creating a thin strip of light which fell onto each baby. I think this photo works nicely just because of the lighting, obviously the subject matter is great you have the contrast of the tattooed man and the new innocence of the sleeping babies. A lot  of people say different things about this photograph a few have said it looks symbolic  others just say it is a strong picture with emotive imagery. To me this photograph is all about protection, loyalty and fatherhood, guiding your child by the hand and protecting them with everything you have. This setup took 3 hours and the picture itself took 45 minutes to take. (we had to get the babies asleep in this position)


OUTSIDE INSIDE

Taken in the studio with my Nikon D700 50m1.4
I held up blossom on a tripod and shot through it to frame the picture, there was a large
Soft box behind me and a high performance reflector behind them in front of a white backdrop
In Photoshop I added a pink and yellow gradient at about 18% to get this sun kissed effect.
                 

Modelling: Paige Hartley and Edward Chitticks
Styling Hair and Make-up: Becky Long
Photography: Becky Long

CREATING A SET

There is nothing more fun than creating a picture, not just the hair and makeup or clothing but to be able to convince the viewer that everything fits, this is a shoot with an equestrian theme. I am using an old fashioned painted backdrop that my grandparents used with a snoot directed onto the soft yellow paint the model is away from the background to prevent her casting shadows, she is being lit with a long soft box to the right hand side of the picture; this is creating a nice fall off on her right side. Sitting on a saddle cage covered by malted fabric and saddle she is surrounded by an old smashed up crate, the woody textures really add to the picture and the soft traditional lighting gives a sophisticated atmosphere.


Modelling: Emily Hill
Styling Hair and Make-up: Becky Long
Photography: Becky Long

Sometimes simple backdrops create a brilliant effect, this background was made for a shoot called Lunacy- The bond between fashion and insanity. It is as big as you see it and cropped just in frame, ply board with padding and stapled fabric but the effect is quite overwhelming considering the subject and intensity of pose this was for Pearson and Clark hairdressing. The lighting creates lovely shadows to show how deep the padding is, the lighting also gives the effect that she’s locked in a room with just one window, the usual case if you’re in a padded cell.



Modelling: Hannah Cooper
Hair: Pearson and Clark
Make-up and styling: Becky Long
Photography: Becky Long

CREATING AN EFFECT

Shadows reflect mood and style; these shadows emphasize this dress beautifully. Avoid shadow when it’s not necessary because it can be a distraction, were as this adds to the overall feel of the outfit.This dress was made by Charlotte Robinson, a fantastic designer and tailor, these outfits were modelled at London Fashion week.

Modelling: Charlotte Luxford
Styling by Designer Charlotte Robinson
Photography: Becky Long 
                                                 
 
PORTRAITURE OUTDOORS

When I first started taking pictures I thought that everything had to be in a studio to look professional this is not the case. I thought I lived in a boring place because we do not have sky scrapers or mountains but we do have a coast, I have used this ever changing scene from its pebble beaches and white surf to its red and orange cliffs for so many shoots and always managed to get a different look, I am not a great lover of flash guns and have never left my reflector board at home, this is my all-time favourite way of lighting.

Beach shoot


Poppie against a breakwater

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