I’ve been busy with the holidays and commissioned work so I haven’t been doing as many personal tests as I would like. I have one long term personal project in production but it requires shooting outside which can be difficult in the winter in New York City. I finally had a bit of downtime so I sought out to do a shoot for me with no client expectations or goals. I wanted to try something different than most of my other work so I decided I would do a shoot focusing solely on primary colors. Much of my portfolio is muted and desaturated so I knew this would be a good experiment. I reached out to a stylist (Kelsey Olivia) and hair/make up artist (Shannon Rodriguez) and pitched them on the idea -- they were in. The model from the shoot was Rute from Industry Models. For this shoot, I used a 3 light setup using all Siros heads. I wanted to get a really flat background, so I used large soft sources on both sides. For one side I used a 150 Octa and on the other side I used a large umbrella with diffusion. For my key light, I used a Para 133 and had the focusing rod fairly defocused, ranging between 1 and 5 depending on the shot.
On one side, I let the backdrop lights feather off to hit the subject slightly to create a little bit of fill so the keylight wasn’t as dramatic. The shoot was a blast and since it was a test shoot, there was plenty of time for experimentation. Often times on commercial or editorial jobs, you need to come in with an idea of how you are going to execute and stick to it, so it’s nice when shooting a personal project to have the ability to experiment.
After the shoot was the post production process. The first part of this process was choosing what tone of red, yellow, and blue I wanted across all of the images. Since the wardrobe and background were all different shades of the primaries, it took a bit of tweaking to really get the colors dialed in. Here are my 3 final favorites from the shoot:
At the very end of the shoot, I photographed a clean black and white portrait for the model to have for her book. This was lit with just a beauty dish.
Photographer: Justin Bettman
Stylist: Kelsey Olivia
Hair/Make Up: Shannon Rodriguez
Photo Assistant and BTS photographer: Andrew Mixter