every one of my photo shoots is carefully thought through. details planned out. clothing, makeup, hair for each set of images I’m working to create. there can be 3-4 looks that have to be built upon and choreographed so that we don’t start with dark heavy makeup and then ask for the next look to be neutral and fresh. everything is considered with this level of detail.
this shoot was a new approach on inBetween. I added a new challenge – a strobe light setup, and for “ease” I set up an additional backdrop on its own stand so that we could switch between it and the tent backdrop quickly. I invited a young photographer to assist us and shadow me while I photographed, and we had the regular cast with hair/makeup artist and my assistant. M recruited a few hands to help with set up and tear down of the all the gear, and I had 3 models scheduled. the day did not got as planned.
model one showed up on time, and excited to be a part of the concept. our assistants and extra hands all showed up ready to go and there was a cryptic text message about a car accident on M’s phone that we figured out later was model two. I’ve followed up with her to make sure she was ok – but no response. model three has never contacted me to say what happened to her. unreliable model mayhem strikes again! so, I had one excited model to get at least some of what I had planned accomplished.
we set up on the roof under cloudy skies. everyone came bundled up because San Francisco weather can be very unpredictable, and the element that proved to be the most challenging and unexpected was the wind. Mother Nature was in full swing and her gusts threatened to take the tent, the lights, the additional backdrop, earrings, dresses, everything and blow them off the roof.
it was all hands on deck! all hands that at first seemed extra, were needed and thankfully available. they planted themselves on the legs of the tent, and we used sandbags to weigh down lights and other stands. the reflectors I use became kites. the months of planning, the detailed shot lists, the ideas for multiple models all had to be adjusted on the fly to fit the situation I found myself in.
the process is what it is to get me to the day, and then it just acts as a flexible framework that I leverage when things I could not plan for become the reality. I got some shots I’m really proud of and wasn’t able to do all that I wanted with sculpting the light. the wind played a huge role positively and negatively and I think as with everything – take what you’re given, make it work for you and learn something!
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