I am a self-taught photographer who has an instinctive approach to photography. Maybe for the more technically advanced photographer I may be lighting my subjects incorrectly, but I feel this is what works for me! Technical know how is very important in how to handle your camera but if you want to discover your own niche in this competitive photography world you need to shoot whats true to you!
When I started photography I was petrified of lights! Always told everyone I met I’ll be a natural light shooter, didn’t want to touch any form of light. Then I met Joe McNally and did one of his courses which changed everything! As they say, I had an AHA moment! For those who don’t know Joe, he has been described by American Photo magazine as perhaps the most versatile photojournalist working today and was listed as one of the hundred most important people in photography. There isn’t a light scenario that the has not dealt with from lighting planes to telescopes to people! I have been privileged to help and see the genius at work and he has given me so much insight into how I light my subjects! Now I use an assortment of lights, mix flashes and studio lighting (I know the technical ones out there are thinking HUH??) the crazier the better. Sometimes with surprising results no less.
I try to experiment with various lighting setups in my shoots to try to bring out the best in the subject. This would involve setting up various scenarios but sometimes those ideas and plans do not always materialize in a great shot. That why it’s so important to experiment, experiment, experiment! Some photographers tend to stick with one lighting setup for the shoot but it would not always works if you are working with different textures, materials even makeup and hair! If you are working on a clear background you could work with one setup but sometimes you need to think out of the box to create some interesting looks. Ideally not on site when you are shooting for your client but if there no other way than improvise!
We did this conceptual look last week and I must say was pleased with the results. Used different textures, feathers, bandages, more props ( more tk in a later post). As this was a head & shoulders shoot I wanted to have an uniformed look without the photo looking too flat. I also wanted to diminished the amount of shadows as we working with objects & materials that were framing the models face! The lighting setup consisted of a beauty dish, Strip light, 1 medium Westcott sofbox and a backlight for fill in. I didn’t want major separation in color and tone on the background.
Marie was my lovely model for the Dubai. She is from Munich, Germany and is doing a brief modeling stint here in Dubai. An absolutely joy to work with! She is now with Bareface, so if you want to book her go to their site! Sonia Merlo was our makeup artist for the shoot. She has got back into the makeup scene after timeout to start a family. As this was an experimental shoot we discussed different ideas what would work for the look!
Thanks to these lovely ladies who made it a great day!
PHOTOGRAPHY & ART DIRECTION Belinda Muller
MUA Sonia Merlo
MODEL Marie (Bareface)