Wow, November already and no posts since August!  I did say these would be occasional, but I didn’t quite plan it to be that occasional.  Sorry about that!  Last week I had the great pleasure of having Sam Bialan in the studio.  Sam is just starting out on a modelling career and so we spent a couple of hours trying different poses and lighting setups to give him a few more images for his portfolio.

Apart from being a handsome young man, Sam was also natural in front of the camera taking direction well.

He brought a variety of outfits with him although we only had time to try a few different looks.  We started easily with a simple pose on a stool.  As you can see Sam was very relaxed.

I thought we would try something different with the lighting and actually include the rear lights in the shot.  Adding these lights helps to separate the subject from the background and creates a lovely rim lit effect.  Using a single 80cm beauty dish to cross light his features gives a Rembrandt style effect and adds character and definition to his face and clothing.

It would be great to have a wide selection of painted canvas backdrops to use.  Sadly the cost is prohibitively high (for me anyway) and so I use techniques to emulate this effect using photoshop when I am processing the image afterwards.  Shooting against a mid grey backdrop makes this easier however it can also applied to almost any surface that isn’t pure white.  Personally I prefer to retain and augment the original surface as this adds more realism to the shadows.  However it is possible to cut the subject out, completely replace the background and recreate shadows if required.  It’s just a bit more time consuming.

On the stool image I deliberately made the effect less obvious, whereas on some of the other images I made it more apparent such as in the header image.

For that one Sam, who is learning to play, borrowed my guitar and posed in front of the white wall.  The cracked texture and slatted lighting effect was added in photoshop to give some additional atmosphere to the image.

We then tried a few shots against the white wall adopting a few relaxed poses, reminiscent of catalogue fashion shots.   It is my preferred style to shoot with low key lighting, however if the brief called for something brighter this is a simple matter to adapt to.

The full length shots were lit with two strip softboxes to provide wider coverage of the light.  This creates a double shadow effect on the rear wall.  It is simple enough to remove the shadows, but I quite like the effect.

Towards the end of the session I focussed (excuse the pun) on Sam’s face, getting him to lean on a makeshift surface so that any agency can clearly see his features.

To see more images from the shoot click here.