It was our pleasure to be a part of this beautiful girls formal day. Keelie’s mum arranged for us to photograph her sons formal two years ago. Megan got in contact with me around about a year ago to start planning her baby girls formal day. Keelie is bit of a superhero fan and her favourite character is Captain America. We managed to track down a Captain America shield from a local gaming supply store, Brutal Deluxe for a life size version. It was exactly what I was hoping for to complement a movie poster idea I had. Keelie added the Superman earrings as a very cool subtle touch.
I did a bit of scouting around for locations but I knew time would always be a factor in what we could and couldn’t do. I found around five possible locations. All suited a fine day but I also selected a couple of sites that could be used if the day turned bad.
We started with some nice family photos to get everyone warmed up and relaxed. I can tell Keelie doesn’t like getting her photo taken, but with a bit of time and fun, she became very relaxed and started striking some amazing poses and killer looks.
With the family portraits done, I took Keelie and her partner, Aaron aside and stepped it up a notch. We went to a location under a new bridge. The brick work looked like it’s cartoonish, which suited my idea for a movie poster. The dark colour also worked perfectly for making Keelie and Aaron stand out.
I needed to run light and portable on my lighting setup so I ran with only one Enstein 640ws strobe. I had Haden (Keelie’s brother) helping out on lighting when he wasn’t in the photos. I used the natural light as a rim light, separating the subjects from the background, and the Enstein through a large octobox on a boom extension as my main light. To keep colours balanced, I added a 1/4 CTO (Colour Temperature Orange) to the main light, giving a slightly warmer light from the main.
The rest was up to Keelie and Aaron. I got them to pick a dominant leg to stand on and setup the base of the pose. I then placed them so they look together, and most importantly, comfortable looking. Ironically, looking comfortable in the image does not translate to looking comfortable when the image is captured. That’s where you can have some fun… playing Twister should be my clients warmup session.
The captured image was perfect to work with. Plenty of dynamic range meant that I could bring it into Photoshop and really push it how I had imagined the final result. I did the usual corrections to levels, sharpening, dodge and burn and removing distractions. Superhero posters will typically have a de-saturated look so I pulled some of the colour out of the channels I felt were giving to much. I added a few layers of dust/grit to give some more atmosphere which really boosted the image. A slight vignette also helped to centre your eyes on the subject.
Summing up the day. It was fantastic working with Keelie and her family. Megan (mum) did an amazing job planning and testing ideas with me and removed any questions on the day. Preparation is key to producing an amazing artwork for your client. People get stressed because they hope they will get a good shot but when you know exactly what you want and how to get it, it removes a lot of the worrying. Things will always go wrong but when you know your equipment and limits, then you should be able to achieve what you need. Also, it’s amazing what you can do if you just ask. The location was an issue to get access to and is also off limits to the public but a few words with some workers allowed us to get the shots we wanted. The shield was also another item that wouldn’t have happened unless we asked around. The $4,000 shield was key to producing the look we wanted… and also why we were very very careful not to damage it in any way.
Mum had a tear in her eye when she saw the final images of her baby girl. That’s why I love photography.
I met Bec a few months back after she heard about me through a previous client. Bec wasn’t to sure if she should go with us for her special day so we met for a coffee to discuss what she requires. I always meet with my clients because I feel it’s important to meet and form a relationship with them.
After a few minutes chatting with Bec, I soon realised that Bec and Ricky were planning a wedding just like ours. A low key wedding that included their closest friends and family, with a casual laid back attitude.
A part of my wedding packages includes an engagement shoot with gives my clients a chance to see me in action. It also gives me a chance to see how my clients act in front of my camera. Working with professional models makes things easy, but in reality, the majority of my clients are not models and don’t know how to “perform” in front of the lens.
Bec gave me plenty of warning about the fact that she doesn’t feel comfortable in front of the camera and she was afraid Ricky didn’t want much to do with the photography side of things. I had the pleasure of meeting Ricky on the weekend, and I must say, what a fun and easy going couple. Ricky is the real life Derek Zoolander. He can pull off a true Blue Steel!
We had cancelled the photo shoot the weekend before due to bad weather and this weekend wasn’t looking any better. We decided to go for it anyway and it worked out beautifully. We had plenty of umbrellas and towels to keep the camera dry, but we achieved what we came to do. Amazing photos of the beautiful couple and the assurance that they have selected the right photographer for their wedding day.
Until next time.