Recently I was lucky enough to be asked to take photos for a collaboration project between the Costume design, Theatre and make-up departments. Overall I was asked to take photos of their costumes and designs. I was 1 of 2 photographers asked and I was given the black studio. My role was to be secondary to the photos being taken in the infinity curve studio, this made me less nervous as there was less pressure to be right. My photos were to be more experimental and looking at them now I am really pleased with how they turned out.
I learnt a lot from this photo shoot. As this was a new experience for me I wanted to be as prepared as possible, I did this by looking online for photo inspiration and previous workshops in the back studio meant I was slightly more familiar to the lighting and therefore able to get the best image. My main source of online research was Pinterest, using key words such as Elizabethan, portrait, photography etc. I got a wide range of styles and positions I could later try in the photo-shoot. Below is a selection of images I found that I was able to draw inspiration from…
Despite the models being later getting ready than expected, the day with ease. To beginning with the models came slowly and individually, giving me time to alter lighting and get my camera settings right, this also boosted my confidence quite a bit as I was really pleased with how the images were looking at that point. The first model is one that sticks in my mind, he was as nervous as I was; however after a few minutes of taking some test shots and chatting about his costume and getting to know one another, he noticeably loosened up and hopefully enjoyed his first modelling experience.
It’s like they say when you wait all day for a bus and 2 come along at once, apparently this is also true of models on a photo shoot. The models all being finished at pretty much the same time, we had a thick and fast flow of people. Despite there being 11 models in total and wanting to get as many photos and positions as possible, I also wanted to get to know them each a little bit so they felt more comfortable and would have a good time. Some were more nervous and camera-shy than others, but they all gave it all they had. As well as the models becoming more relaxed I also became less nervous and just got on with the job.
Photo from my photo-shoot (above)
I really enjoyed the process and I am very glad I got to work with these incredible people. I tried to keep the talking up and we had a radio positioned between the 2 studios to help create a happy atmosphere. Questions I asked included: Did you make the outfit? How long did it take? How do you know the designer? Due to the personalities of the models I was about to slip easily into conversations with every single and even had a laugh with most of them.
For me I usually find it difficult to talk to new people, I’ve always been shy but in the last few years due to personal circumstances I’ve adopted a more free and less shy way of being, this definitely helped me when I came face to face with a large group of people who all knew each other and I didn’t know a single person.
Photos from my photo-shoot above…
My advice for anyone about to do something similar, or in fact doing something out of your comfort zone, I’d say just do it. It may be scary and you may lose a little sleep but if you don’t do it you’ll regret it. I know I would have always been wondering if my photography style would have been different if I had done the shoot. I am very grateful I had this opportunity and I will always be able to look back at the photo and know this was the first time I took photos for someone else who I didn’t know before.
For more photos from the day and information on how I found post-production stay tuned for my net blog post!