I have, for a long time, wanted to work on bigger beauty style shoots with hair and makeup to produce magazine style high end shots - editorial work. Recently I have been fortunate enough to find a few beauty makeup artists and hair stylists that are keen to collaborate on portfolio work. I have now had the pleasure to work on three individual shoots with more in the pipeline.
It's nice that for these types of shoots you get to work with a group of makeup artists, hair stylists and models giving a variety of images from each one.
Let me introduce you to the models I have worked with on the three shoots I have done to date.
This hair style was delivered by Lisa Kennedy. We will be seeing a lot more of her fantastic styling in shots to come.
Lisa is also known to take the occasional photograph and is not too bad at that either!
Behind the Ice
Taking the look a stage further we used some clear perspex sprayed and glittered to look like ice. I cannot take all the credit, I was shooting in a friend's studio, Nicky Thomas, and he originally suggested the idea but he was already getting some killer shots down the other end of the studio so I nicked it!
This particular shoot was not like the others, it was just Laura modelling in my studio. This incredible look was put together between Kerry-ann Wells and Tarryn Gee.
Patience, you learn on these types of shoots, is an absolute virtue! Both makeup and, especially in this instance, hair take time. These curls of hair were stuck in place and really did not want to play ball!
For this type of work you are mainly showcasing the work of the makeup artist and hair stylist so I usually opt for a high key beauty setup - clamshell lighting. I use a light above the model which is the key light and then a light in front of and below the model to act as a fill light. The fill light prevents harsh shadows under the models chin that the key light could cause. The fill light is usually set at about half or even a third of the power of the key light. Too much fill light can cast upward shadows that are not very nice! If lights are at a premium, or maybe a softer look, you can use a reflector below the model instead of the fill light. A third light is then used, sometimes, against the background.
The low key shots of Laura were shot against a black wall in my studio with a octagonal soft box as a key light and a 30x90cm soft box camera right acting as a small fill as shown below. Keeping the key light as close to the model as possible makes the light softer and will drop off more quickly keeping the background dark.
The larger the light source relative to the model the softer the lighting will be, wrapping around the model, creating softer shadows. Remember the effective light size can be changed by moving it closer to or further from the model.
You will have seen a variety of background styles in these shoots. In the majority of them a textured grey collapsible background has been used but not always lit in the same way. In some cases it was not lit at all resulting in a black background. In other cases the same grey background has been lit with a gel over the flash to create different colours. This has been an extremely effective and cheap way to create a variety of backgrounds. Typically a collapsible background will be from £100 upwards and even paper rolls are around £50. I purchased 36 different colour gels for about £35.
Some of the shots of Laura were shot against the white infinity cove in my studio with the clam shell setup as shown above and no gel to give the white background.