I have been shooting a lot of model work, over the past 2 years or so, in hopes of creating a portfolio that I am happy with and also to continuously improve my skills as a photographer. When I say that, I mean all aspects of being a photographer, not just taking the photos. This includes a wide array of things such as: lighting, direction, editing, networking, marketing and promoting. I always want to be improving my work and making it the best it can possibly be. If you’re familiar with my work at all you know I usually just photograph one person. Overall, the majority of the type of work I want to be doing does indeed only have one person, but sometimes you have to work with more than one. For this shoot I really wanted to incorporate some pairings along with the individuals… many more images after you “continue reading”
The makeup artist that I had worked with for The Halifax Sessions (Craig MacMillan) was coming to town to pick up some prints I had done for him. Since he was coming up, we decided we would plan a shoot for that day. Except this time we weren’t going to shoot a massive amount of people/looks, just 2.
We decided to do 2 looks with each model (Sophie & Jessica) and 2 different locations. Ever since I moved into my studio in June, I have been itching to do a shoot on the roof. When I finally had something in mind I talked to my landlord and he said it would be no problem. He took me up to show me how to get there and when he opened the door to the stairwell I knew I HAD to shoot there as well.
I decided I would shoot the first look in the stairwell and the second on the rooftop. The stairwell has this grungy, gritty look with various things scattered in there (as you can see). It also had a lot of brownish tones which I thought would be a good compliment to the models and the wardrobe.
I hadn’t done much in the way of posing with more than one person, and it is something I’m looking forward to exploring more. It is a much different dynamic because you can’t pose them independently, you have to pose them in a complimentary way. After looking through these images extensively since the shoot, I know I need to explore many more poses than I did for this shoot.
Jess & Sophie are 2 of my favourite models to work with and they had never done any shoots with anyone else before this. They worked together extremely well, and I think their looks worked extremely well together. They were a very good compliment to each other.
It rained off and on the entire day of the shoot, and I planned to shoot on the roof with the last of the daylight. The entire time we shot in the stairwell the rain held off. When we changed the makeup and wardrobe for the second look, the rain held off. So I thought I had defeated it. That wimpy rain, I showed it who was boss. But later on, it showed me…
When we stepped onto the roof there was a light drizzle, which was no problem. I was shooting with a speedlight so I didn’t have to worry about extension cords or anything like that getting wet. Honestly I didn’t worry about any of my gear getting wet, I rarely worry about my gear. If it breaks, it breaks, I’m not going to let the weather dictate when I can and can’t shoot. Not to mention Craig was only up for the day and I really wanted to make it happen.
I wasn’t really worried about the hair or makeup either. It’s like anything else, you play the cards you’re dealt. You make the best out of the opportunities at hand. With all that said I didn’t stay on the roof for an extended amount of time (I’m not stupid) and I would regularly stop and wipe off my camera and flash.
As the rain picked up we kept shooting, and the girls never complained once. It was one of those bitterly cold rainy nights as well. Even when I asked Craig to come out and hold my light stand because my assistant had to leave early (and the wind had picked up), he didn’t flinch. When the people you work with will do whatever is needed to get the shots, you know you’ve got a great team.
We wrapped everything up and headed inside. We were all cold & wet…. but we weren’t quite done.
When we got back into my studio I really liked the look that the rain had given to their hair. One of the girls had inadvertently messed up her hair a bit (I think you can guess which one), I really liked it and told her not to fix it. I set up a quick 2 light setup and we took about 20 more shots in the studio.
Overall I am extremely happy I didn’t shy away from the rain. It gave me some very different looks, and the shots at the end would have been non-existent without it. I learned a lot from this process of posing more than one model, and look forward to more shoots like that soon.
There will always be reasons why you shouldn’t do something, and sometimes those are out of your control. Push through those times and work with the things that may go wrong. Instead of finding excuses, find solutions.
Makeup: Craig MacMillan
Hair: Francine Benoit
Assistant: Maurice Veniot
You can view some behind the scenes photos on my Facebook Page
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