Wednesday, 19 October 2011

'K' head shots october

K is a model and actor that I have done some work with in the past. (check videos at the bottom).

A lovely girl studying in Edinburgh. She is half American and half Norwegian and grew up in Oxford and Scotland, she is a whole pile of things and was even a hurricane that battered britain this year!

Now first things first, let it be said loud and clear "K" is a laugh!  She is full of creative ideas and mad about comedy, she does sketch shows and even does stand up comedy (that takes balls!).

You meet k and you laugh. Getting comedy shots is easy and she pulls faces at any moment that she gets. So this was the first photoshoot I have done with her where we have been doing it a bit more serious.

This proved to be a very interesting shoot.

So the start of the shoot I arrive at her house and get my camera ready to find that I don't have any CF cards for my Nikon D700. This is not much of a problem as we are going to go to my friends photography studio and I can just borrow his cards while I am there.  So in the mean time I resort to using my Canon 550D which is what I was going to use just for getting some during the shoot video.  This proved to be a great thing.

Firstly, using the canon, it really challenged me. Not only did I not have my trusted D700, I had to resort to manual focusing as my lens is a nikon fit and is only attached via a mount to the canon, 
I also couldn't use my nikon flash so I had to shoot with just available light.

I kinda think that this was a first for me. A first portrait photoshoot where I have not had the safety net of Flash to help me control my subjects exposure! I felt naked!  I almost always use flash on every modelling shoot I do.

notice the slight colour and saturation differences.

So we went for a walk from her house to the studio where we were going.  On the way we found a nice little walk way with a nice old stone wall and took some shots there with K facing me and the sun behind her to the left.  This meant the sun was giving a nice rim light but also meant that to expose her face I was going to have to shoot a little brighter than normal and also work with the sun flare in the lens.

The day was surprisingly warm for October and in the editing of the shots i have added a little bit of purple to the camera calibration of the shadows and warmed the images up a little in the white balance to give it a warm slightly vintage feel to the shots.

After the alleyway we went to the studio where Neil was meant to be letting us in, and I was going to use his CF cards.

Neil didn't turn up!

So we shot for a while in the stairwell of the studio again just using the natural light in the stair and the light falling on K from outside.

I liked this shot with the strong window flare and felt that in a cool colour it worked quite well, as a series in this blog it sticks out like a sore thumb but individually it is kinda special.

Then just outside of the studio K and I were on our way to the car when we saw this very graffitied wall and thought that that would look cool as a back ground. K quickly changed out of the pink number and got a bit more edgy with a leather jacket.

Then just opposite that cool wall there was a tiny grave yard where the sun was shining through the railings in a way that looked lovely, this was a great shot for video.

Just before we were about to drive away to Arthurs seat for the second part of the shoot, Katia spots this old car and we try out a few shots of K still in her rocky leather jacket.

After a couple of photos with the old school car we head off to Arthur's Seat, (the big hill in Edinburgh, (not the one with the castle on it))

As we walk around the lake where you can look up to St. Anthony's Chapel, an ancient ruin perched on the side of the hill.    I spot a stone and get K to sit on it. Now she is wearing a cosy looking wooly top leggings and skirt. This instantly took on a look that reminded us both of a 'Visit Scotland' advert or poster.  Warm, cosy, friendly yet historic, and beautiful.

 We then go for a walk up to the chapel and on the way we both get strong urges of visit scotland.

At the chapel I Position K against a wall which is a sight in itsself how seemingly a whole chapel was built with this mish mash of stones and concrete.  Here there was the idea of the contrast of the old crumbly wall with its jaggady rocks juxtaposed against K youthful looks and smooth skin.  Accurate colour I didnt thing was nessescary for this shot so a black and white and also a retro bleached image I thought may work well.

Just to the side of the Chapel is a real mound of massive rocks each one the size of K (I suspect they weigh a lot more though).  Again I was shooting into the sun so had the settings up high and worked with the in lens flare to give the shot a real sun kissed look and also give it a vintage feel.

In the end this shoot was a first for me to shoot without the aid of flash, it was also a first for me to see K not as her goofy comedy alterego but as a beautiful killer look model.  Both took me by surprise and both have given me some fantastic photos which I think we can both be very happy with.

here are examples of K in her acting

and helping me out with my critiques

My new photography book. click below




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  1. I love the stairwell pics the most. Such nice light. As always, impressed.

  2. I wont comment on the images Dom coz there are so many excellent shots there...BUT I loved the slo mo video of your model with the "American Beauty" soundtrack....I was completely captivated and moved by that.