Fashion Photographer, Atlanta, GA Fashion Director
Fashion Photography and Motion Direction

Personal Work, Steve Thornton

About the Video

This advertising beauty project was shot in a private home near Atlanta, GA and is shot using natural light. This is the first time this model has ever worked on a video project and it was a big adjustment for her.

FYI: In my experience, this is very normal. Only on rare occasions can anyone new to motion perform to the camera like a top seasoned professional can. It does happen, but in the 40+ years I have been shooting motion, I can count the times it has happened to me on one hand.

The biggest issue is on video when we are shooting a close up, like this, the model or a stage actor MUST slow down and limit the range of their movements. Film actors know this because if you move "Normally" it looks, to the viewer, way too fast. There are exceptions of course, this is a general statement when you want the model's or actor's movements to be smooth.

I say "Film Actors" vs. "Stage Actors" as stage actors are taught to make large sweeping movements and facial expressions so the person in the rear of the balcony would still see the movements and mannerisms. This same movement on film would look comical at best and horrid at worse.

As a result the on camera person, model, actor or a "Real" person, must make a conscious mental shift to slow down their movements appreciably. It takes a while for most new talent to adapt, due to my asking them to do something unnatural and uncomfortable. In other words... I'm asking them to get out of their comfort zone and no one likes this, so it is uncomfortable. As you can see, Nina did just fine!

I am used to the situation and just know I have to watch for this issue when shooting a medium shot, a close up, or worse, an extreme close up.

Personal Work, Steve Thornton

For Photographers + DPs

The Gear:
A Canon full frame camera using 160 ISO and 1/60 second shutter speed using a 
Canon 200mm f2 lens set to f2.8, attached to a
Sachtler fluid head sitting on a
Gitzo CF tripod. 

I used f2.8 to give me just a little more DOF (Depth of field). I could have used a higher ISO, like 640, and stopped down to f5.6 but I like the look of a shallow DOF. If I was shooting an experienced actor/model who understood shallow DOF and knew how this limited their movements in relation to the lens, I would have used f2. Now f2.8 gives precious little additional DOF, but I think it did give me more footage that worked.

The Light:
An open sliding glass door light. I positioned the model close as I could to the door so the light fall off would limit the illumination of the room.

In the last 2 clips I moved the camera to the right about 18" (45CM) so I could have a slightly different POV and have the practical lamp in the BG as a nice warm glow.

Personal Work, Steve Thornton

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!

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