About the image
This advertising Beauty project was shot in a private home near Atlanta, GA. On this project I did not know for sure what the light/weather was going to do, which is not uncommon for summer in the southeast USA, so I brought a wide selection of lighting gear: A Sunbounce roller bag with reflectors, silks, boom sticks w/grip heads, a case of Lumedyne strobe gear, 3 1000 & 5 500 watt hot lights, 2 with softboxes, several "C" stands, sand bags, apple boxes, a bag of cameras with 7 lenses, plus a fluid head with CF sticks. In other words, a lot of gear.
I walked into the home and said hello to Emily, the model, and Sav, the make up artist and hair stylist. When shooting any image with models, it is important to make the model feel comfortable with everyone on the set. However with any close up image, like when shooting beauty photography or directing a beauty video, it is really important as facial expressions are critical and fleeting. If the model is the least bit uncertian or uncomfortable with the situation... you as a photographer or director, may be unable to overcome these emotions.
After saying hello, I then looked to see where I wanted to shoot. Knowing that I wanted dramatic light (High contrast), I noticed in the living room there was a French door that had great soft light washing into the house.
So after dragging a mountain of lighting gear to the shoot's location, I only needed 4 small items: The tripod, the fluid head, one camera and one lens. Oh, the chair we were going to use for the model to sit in, it was too high making the hair "Hat" even with one of the picture frames in the background, so I used an apple box of the for the model to sit on and I used another apple box for me to sit on. There was a table with a lamp and shade plus another decorative item on the right side of the photo/video, so I asked a crew member to move them out of the frame.
I directed Emily for each clip so I could have a selection of different looks: Lean forward, roll the head to give different angles, put her right hand behind her neck, slowly look to her left of the camera and to avoid looking into the camera. Fortunately for us, Emily is primarily an actress so she takes direction very well.
The stylist had her in a strapless black dress and I shot about 100 images and I was not thrilled with any of them. After stopping and analyzing the images, I realized I just did not like how the dress made her shoulders and arms look. So the stylist changed her into the fabulous little black dress you see in the video. After she sat down to shoot with the new dress, Sav checked the make up and hair and gave me the go ahead: 155 still images, 6 video clips and 13 minutes later, we were done.
THE GEAR: Canon camera set to 1/30 shutter speed, 640 ISO and a Sigma 85mm lens set to f1.8 shot handheld. THE LIGHT: Window light.
If you would like to use this image, or any of my images for mock or comp use, please just ask. There is never a charge for this service. Educational use is permitted without charge, unless published, but please ask first. All commercial use is available only with a limited copyright release prior to use from the copyright holder, Steve Thornton. Thanks for looking!