Sunday, February 28, 2010

Full Day Workshop - Outdoor Session - sisters

I have already blogged about the behind the scenes and indoor practice session of my portrait photography workshop last week.

I have been so excited to share the outdoor session which was longer than our indoor shoot. I was a bit distressed by the black clouds that kept rolling in, but between the grey, there were bursts of heavenly sunshine that allowed everyone to work their manual settings without too much chopping and changing to forget about all the other key elements.

The models are three sisters and they blew my mind with how well they posed and how different each of their looks were - so fun to shoot - it is always an added bonus to look at such beauty through the lens.

When we first started shooting, it was sprinkling, so we sheltered our models under the terrace of the fabulous property at which we were kindly given permission to borrow.

Thanks to Charlotte and Andrew, who generously allowed me to swipe this gloriously colour coordinated carpet from their home when I popped in just to show them the new puppy.

As soon as the shower passed, we moved outside to the lawn which was divinely overgrown with clovers.

Do these photos of the girls look at bit like something from the virgin suicides? My intention was for the sisters to be more snuggled together, but I was so swept up in getting their hair just right that I didn't place them close enough. Nevertheless, I think the images are surreal and dramatic instead which is also great.

I love love love the dress Skye is wearing. It is actually mine but I have not worn it yet and now that Skye has shone so brightly in it, I doubt I ever will dare myself. And Florence's boots just make the shoot I think.

The sun came in and out which was tricky for when I had placed the sisters, it had been overcast and so I could not see what was in shadow and what was not. When the sun came out, we realised they were not ideally positioned, but I didn't dare waste time moving them. It was good practice for everyone to try to shoot in the changing conditions when the light conditions were far from perfect - much closer to what happens in real life anyway.

I had gone over the the girls' house to help pick out the outfits and I am so thrilled with they way it all turned out. The colours and fabrics are so rich and vibrant.

Once we were sure the grass was completely dry, we had to incorporate the rug one more time. I love the picture it paints of the beautiful carpet in an outdoor setting. And those colours - oh I love those colours.

Now I know I am known for capturing glee and happy children, but that usually takes a lot of work and so I focused on talking about my different settings and what you can do with your camera so as a result, the subjects were just left to their own devices and the results are quite serious faces. I have to say though, it is a lesson for me for I actually ADORE the expressions in all their faces and think in future shoots for clients, I will need to remind myself that I do not always need to be the entertainer, for these unsmiling expressions are raw and real and beautiful.

A little back light magic combined with using the reflector for the first time and I am thrilled with the results. Why did I never use one before? I borrowed it from my friend, Becky Spencer, but as you might have guessed, one is on order from B & H right now. No more desperate searching for the perfect light - I will just make it!

Look at Skye's eyes - are they not mesmerising?

And Florence's look so intense - she is such a cherub.

I couldn't decide between these two versions - the colour of Alice's eyes is so unusual and I love the similar colours in the trees and Skye's shawl in the horizontal above, but when in black and white, I adore the focus of the shot when it is just cropped in to her face.

Ok - the light was awful at this stage. I loved the setting, but no light was getting through so not ideal. But it was fun to set up and show how fun it can be to incorporate props.

I could look at this child's eyes all day. I had to wrap the scarf around her to emphasise their colour, but frankly, they are so intense on their own, I could have wrapped her in a rag and she would have still looked like an angel.

I brought this mask back from Venice years ago. For my 30th birthday, I have a masquerade ball, just so that I could have an opportunity to wear it. And could it go more perfectly with that dress? Maybe I should have another masquerade for my 40th in a couple years!

More amazing eye shots - sorry to be obsessed, but tricky not to be with these models.

Florence is one of Oslo's best friends and I was slightly concerned she might be a bit young for such a long session but she was so professional the whole time.

The three girls were simply inspiring subjects. Everyone on the workshop took the most beautiful images of the sisters and I cannot wait to share some of their work in a future post. For now, hopefully these will inspire future clients with how fun you can make the clothing and different locations. Skye, Alice and Florence - thank you so much for being so cooperative as I bossed you around to do this and that - I hope these images make it all worth while. xxx