Different photographers have different work styles. Some photographers prefer when every shot is planned for in advance and in great detail, and therefore only need to carry with them the exact equipment they need for any given shoot. There are also photographic minimalists that only carry around one camera and a few extra batteries. I, on the other hand, tend to bring everything. Of course I have a very good idea where the shoot is going and what I will probably need to achieve the desired results. But I also like the ability to improvise and play and love having access to various gadgets, modifiers, lenses, etc. For this reason the perfect camera bag for me is the Professional Roller bag 70. It fits everything that I tend to carry around (and then some).
This particular photoshoot was for the model portfolio of a talented young model – Morgan Shayne. I have photographed her in my signature dramatic dark setting before, but this time around we wanted to do something a lot more simple and playful. Since this was being shot for a model portfolio, the emphasis was on the model and not the makeup, hair, wardrobe, or my lighting techniques. Since Morgan is young, we decided to make it more commercial than edgy, in order to keep it age appropriate and to show her in the type of setting that is most often used in advertising featuring younger models. For these reasons this shoot was all about simplicity and playfulness.
The lighting set-up was simple – two strobes behind v-flats to light the white cyc-wall background, one strobe with 48” octabox as key light and a large white styrofoam reflector for fill. White background is somewhat atypical for me, but when the concept calls for it – I can shoot on white too.
In some shots I used CTB color gels on the two strobes that light the white cyc-wall, to give the background a light bluish hue that would contrast with Morgan’s red hair.
And of course on occasion I would switch off the background strobes completely and enjoy a neutral gray background, which is significantly more comfortable for me.
If we stepped away even further from the cyc-wall, the light fall off from the only remaining strobe would increase and we wound end up with a beautiful black background, but I decided to keep stay away from the dark shots this time around.
During this particular shoot I only used a fraction of what I brought with me. But personally I’d rather have something with me and not use it, than wish I had access to something and lose an opportunity to follow through on some mid-shoot idea. Of course the luxury of bringing things along comes at a cost of having to haul things around, but with the Professional Roller bag 70 my back was spared the pressure of carrying countless kilograms of equipment – that’s where the “roller” part comes in.
Model – Morgan Shayne.
Make-Up, Hair styling, and behind the scenes photography – Jill Clark (jilleclark.com)
Wardrobe Styling – Blaire Ballard.