Learning the art of... - DaveHayward

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Back in October I booked a Photo session with Jody to try out some posing and general head shot styles. More for some real time practice and see what I could do with simple  lighting setups.

The Lighting setup would be 1 light, monolight of 600w dialed down to 1/8 power with a softbox.

I was using my dining room so I had some height restrictions.

Metered my camera for 160th sec at F8, but ended up with an aperture at F10 - F11 ISO 250

Camera I used was my D3s.

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Thats the Technical stuff,  as Technical as it gets as I'm not trying for an award winning picture.

 For me it was about communicating with Jody  finding out what comes naturally to asking and directing to see what happens.

When I photograph normally the scene is always set as it is a bike race or a wedding. with a bike race there is no or very little interaction with the subjects, I have a few seconds and they are gone.

Now I have to think about what I'm going to achieve.

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I could hire a model, but they are going to know what to do and do it, exchange a few pleasantries get some great shots for the hour, then realized,  "well what have I learned from the session?"

At least with Jody we can work things out, and have a laugh at the same time.


The funniest time was trying to get the "posed" empty look you see in the fashion world, sultry, moody  which ended up with us in fits of laughter.

I got some photos of Jody standing this way, and that, we tried sitting down so I could try some different lighting positions. We then took a break as a cup of tea was needed, as well as reflecting on what we had done so far, we both agreed it was not easy, but very funny.

I swapped my popup background from its white side to the black side and repositioned the main light back to it's original position, but instead of it being at a slight angle to camera right it was dead center beauty dish style. 

So, we had our practice session I guest  it was time to see if I could get a photo with a bit of "boom Wow".

We tried repeating some poses from earlier, but something just was not hitting the mark.  Struggle time begins, this is where the learning starts in my opinion, problem solving.

Jody had long blond hair, which was great, but I could see a good style that would help shape her face. We tried centre parting, side parting, but it didn't seem to hang right. What ever we did made her look sad,  aggressive, or as she was trying too hard.

Enter the cheap hooded cape.

I bought a cheap black hooded cape  a couple of years ago for a photo session with someone else wanting to create a halloween look.

Once Jody put the cape on the lightbulb in my head exploded with in a few seconds I arranged the hood to shape jody's face, she then as if by instinct  gave me the look that suited, bingo and we got a photo with a boom Wow.

Couple more shots then we were done, Jody was gone  I got on with  editing some shots.

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