An avenue for my day to day finds on all things photography and design



Walkthrough: Indoor Pin-up Photoshoot

Category : Photography, Videos April 8, 2012

Alright, long story short i received a msg via whatsapp asking if i was interested to help out do a Pin-up shoot. Without any hesitation, i said hell yeah! After a few calls and messages, i roughly have an idea of what to expect and what is needed of me for this shoot. I gathered the team from latenightproject and got cracking

This is very important to me as a photographer when collaborating with others, and in this case im working with both 2 makeup artists, where one of them did double duty and did the wardrobe and hairstyling as well. I quickly went to Pinterest and went online to create a moodboard for all of us. This helps us to narrow our ideas down so that everyone involved will have the same vision and idea of what to do and expect. Its also good to share your moodboard to your talent, be it male or female to have a look at what kind of poses and expressions are to be expected.

The first stumbling block i came across was not being able to have the session done in a studio. And all of the decisions of deciding which focal length and which lighting setups to use would have to be done on site. Upon reaching the location, the team and i quickly took out our camera gears and tried mounted our varying lenses of different focal lengths to see what kind of composition we might get. Unfortunately, due to the space constraints we can only use our 50mm f/1.4 most of the time. Which we den swapped out in favour of the all time favourite 85 f/1.8 for the close up shots nearing the end of the shoot.

A quick test to see how the room reacts or rather how the lighting setup reacts to the room.

Being such a compact room, a single key light source reflected into an umbrella is more than sufficient to light the subject. The usage of the reflected brolly instead of shoot thru or softbox is on purpose, i wanted the light spill to light up the curtains behind the subject. Here, its pictured with the 2nd curtain drawn. We didnt have the luck of it being overly bright and sunny that day, it could have mede the blowing out of the curtains a whole lot easier. The kicker light or rim light is placed diagonal to the key light, and off to the side of the subject to achieve that slight glow on the side of the face. Once we have the light looking how we wanted it to, its easy peasy from then on.

The image of the header/teaser poster at the top is actually a composite of 2 images put together.

With the help of the stylist, we identified a single prop and work around it. The picnic basket is the first to be laid out, we then just added as much items that we could around the house to compliment the era…… dont nitpick on that though. Its the best we could do on such short notice :D

The first set was fairly simple, most of the images were going to be on the floor. The talent had to be mostly on her knees or sitting down with her legs prim and proper by her sides. Just like any pinup girl.

The second set we tried to do some full body shots. Again the room size was to our disadvantage. 50mm is just enough to do the job with such a tall model.

The third set made us go tighter and closer, its not very pin-upish, but its what the makeup artise requested for so while the talent had a quick change and a few mins to touch up. We changed our lighting setup a bit, this time we opted for the clamshell light setup. Such is named for the way how the light modifiers are placed and directed at the talent. Lights are placed infront and above the talent, but still close enough to overpower the talent. I was using Nikon speedlights here which could go down to 1/128th of power so a shoot through umbrella was opted. The low power helps with quick recycling time too. The other light is of course in front and under the chin of the talent. I love how this lighting setup brings back a lil bit of light to the underside of the chin and chest area.

As you can see from the photos, the lighting ratio changes as i change from one focal length to another. Make a guess to see if you can find out which photo was taken with a 50mm and which was taken with an 85mm.

And that my fellow imaginary reader(s), is how one does a quick on location assessment/shoot with little time to prepare. One just have to be prepared with the lighting setups. Bring all the gear that you can carry, especially if it was a commisioned shoot. You have to be professional enough to make sure you have the best options at your disposal to make an informed decision, even if the said decision was a wee bit late or on very short notice(as most are)

Stay tuned for more photos and walkthroughs



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