Turning Friends into Rock Stars

Here is an update on the request I had a while back to find a model for my latest photography assignment.

A couple friends stepped up and offered to help and I managed to find an hour with Sarah last week to shoot some photographs.

I chose to shoot in London as I am fortunate enough to work on the bank of the Thames in the City of London.

I scheduled the shoot for magic hour and was lucky enough to have a mild sunny day in December (quite rare).  The light from the sunset gave me plenty of opportunity to try various, poses, locations and lighting to maximise the limited time we had.

Sarah was really keen to help and we had plenty of conversations leading up to the shoot about the theme, what I would like Sarah to wear, the options we had with the location plus any props etc.

As it could have been chilly (and it is always breezy along the Thames), I opted for Sarah to wear a black outfit of boots, trousers, roll neck and jacket.  The jacket would allow me to try a few different poses and adding in sunglasses and headphones allowed us to extend the ideas.

It did get warm enough that we didn’t need Sarah’s jacket for some of the shoot.

I was nervous doing this shoot and found it hard asking people to participate.    Sarah however, was really keen to do what she could to help and I could not have asked for a better model.  My training (I think) has paid off as Sarah took direction well.  I didn’t spend time chimping (checking every photo).  I had confidence in my photography and didn’t get flustered when things didn’t work as  expected.  I like to think I managed to handle the situations well and Sarah didn’t pick up on me amending the camera or trying to work out the best way to get what I wanted.

It is not easy thinking about lighting, composure, composition, exposure, focus etc – especially when shooting everything in manual AND when you have lots of people milling around.

My task was to photograph a portrait which would be used to feature on the album cover of a music artist.  The style of music was up to me and I had to shoot photographs that fitted this style.  The final image was to be square and I had to demonstrate the use and my understanding of composition, lighting, pose, props and direction to get the shot I required.

The Artist/Musical Style: “Sarah” is a pop princess!

Her musical style is urban electro-pop.  It is lively, energetic and high tempo.
Her image is down to earth rather than a diva!

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A selection of the photographs captured during the session

In 45 minutes I managed to shoot 488 photographs.  There was a good range of poses plus different locations and examples of lighting etc.

It took some work to make my selection but I  managed to get it down to 4 (which I had to critique) and ultimately to my favourite chosen image.

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This is the final image and Sarah’s “album cover”

The second part of the assignment was to demonstrate my understanding of how to use post processing. Amending the image to create three different styles.  I chose Lightroom to help achieve what I wanted.

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The final three photographs

Thanks so much to Sarah for participating… I look forward to shooting more portraits 🙂  (Feel free to contact me – it’s all good experience!).

The assignment is now written and submitted – fingers crossed.  Now onto the next assignment…

I am really enjoying the course and have decided to upgrade the course from the entry level certificate course to the Diploma.  This will give me a broader selection of topics to learn and will further increase my experience and understanding of photography.

Here are some more shots from the shoot:

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You can see more in my Portfolio, Flickr and 500px.

Let me know what you think of the photos in the comment.

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