Family Portraits & Holly, Dark Lens (12/4/13)

Busy, busy, busy day at Dark Lens Studio today! Daz had three family photo shoots and the lovely Holly Alexander Blair in the afternoon for me to do a studio shoot with!  And so to gather footage for my professional experience video I recorded the family photo sessions on a small video camera. I arrived in time for his second customer.


The first family photo session consisted of a little girl and her baby sister. The parents wanted some images of them individually and together.  The tips and tricks used in pervious family sessions came into play. We got the parents involved to make the toddler more open and relaxed. We had her growl, laugh and dance around as Daz shot away.  At first we had her father stand nearby but eventually she was comfortable enough to stand-alone.  I then set up a space for the baby to have her photos taken.  I filled a basket with a cushion and blanket for support and some set pieces from Daz’s dress room. Daz then photographed the baby alone and then brought her elder sister into the set. Daz had them kiss and cuddle one another, making for some really lovely shots.

The next shoot was with a very large group of brothers, sisters, cousins and their parents. The images were meant as a gift for their Grandmother’s birthday. Again, we got the parents involved to get the younger children more relaxed. Some of the children were older (6-10 years old) and so directing them was far easier (or maybe we just got lucky) compared to the younger that needed convincing. Daz got a range of shots including individual shots of the children, sets of just boys and girls and the babies. We used blankets and cushions for the babies to create a nice cuddly backdrop and for support. I held up the back of blanket during these shots.  For the baby girl we placed the blanket over her fathers lap and placed the baby on top. This was really effective tool it created a nice background and comforted the baby. After an outfit change, Daz took some more images and wrapped up the shoot, making sure the parents signed consent forms. An important thing to remember and is something done after each and every one of Dark Len’s shoots.

In the afternoon I got to photograph commercial model Holly Blair. This was a chance for me to become more accustomed with the studio and gain experience in communicating with a real life model. I wanted to create images that were very clean, bright and crisp. I had two soft boxes either side of the model, one soft box lighting the background and the other lighting the model. This made the background completely white whilst lighting the model entirely.

Holly wore a long purple wig, black crop bra and tight black trousers with heels, quite an alternative look so I wanted to create quite alluring, sexy images. I had a computer nearby filled with images and poses I wanted to emulate which I showed the model. The fact model works professionally as a model made communicating with her and sharing ideas really enjoyable and less stressful. When asking her to pose, lye down, turn and so on, she did without hesitation. Holly also moved without direction, meaning I also had to keep up with her! We tried a different range of poses, which meant moving the lights also in order to maintain that bright, crisp light!

Overall, the shoot went really well as far as experience goes. Whilst the photos didn’t come out the best, the experience boosted my confidence in communicating with the model and directing a shoot.  However, I do really want to start planning out photo shoots more thoroughly so I know exactly what I want, including clothes, make up and styling. I plan to create a few different mood boards of different styles and images I’d like to emulate and start doing more studio work. This photo shoot was more for me to get used to directing a photo shoot but now I want to start getting more creative and bring in different types of people to photograph. Whilst I feel I’m getting better as understanding of studio lighting, I feel I could create a lot stronger images and feel this will only be done if I have a clear idea before hand. Something I’m going to begin doing.

I recorded the day’s antics and myself shooting Holly. However, I made a rookie mistake. I used Wonder Share, a video converter programme, to convert my MTS video files to MP4 so I could start bringing my video together. Once the videos converted I deleted the original files, ready to use the just MP4 files. Dilemma. Each video suddenly had the Wonder Share logo on them! Urgh! I now have to record more video footage, which I will do immediately! How annoying!

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