About 6 years ago I discovered some amazing graffiti art in the streets of New York, it was a collage involving a woman, some plants, and graffiti. I took a snap of the poster, saved on my phone and have kept it ever since. I have been planning to do a shoot inspired by this art for a long time. When the magazine published the brief for the upcoming issue, which was “pastel colours” I knew the time had come! I wanted to combine my love for beauty, dewy skin and colour so the concept of the graffiti meet beauty was born.
SETUP AND LIGHTING
I used a main light I have a Profoto Beauty Dish (white) camera right, a small 2” Octabox with grid camera left as fill, a zoom reflector to the left back of the model to pick out the model’s right side of her face, 2 silver reflectors on a stand underneath the model’s torso and a large black poly board to her right.
During this shoot I shot tethered to a laptop right next to my model, shooting through a large glass panel didn’t come without its challenges, the glass had to be held at the exact right angle in order to avoid reflections. By having the laptop in my peripheral vision I could make sure that no reflections were spoiling the images while the make-up artist could check that her precise, geometrical eye lines stayed in perfect shape throughout.
The reflections coming from the glass panel. Even a small movement to the glass would make a massive difference to the outcome of the image. Apart from that, I’ve never used a spray can before. Turns out, their fumes make you crazy!
I tethered the pictures straight into Capture One. In there I do my Raw processing including exposure, contrast, highlight, shadow, levels, white balance adjustments, white balance as well as rough crops. I make my selection within Capture One. Once processed I edit my images in Photoshop which will be roughly about 1 hour per image of skin clean up, dodge and burn, tones, colour corrections and reshaping of hair and clothing.
LOGISTICS AND GEAR
The team consisted of 8 people. We had planned for and achieved 5 looks in 8 hours. Each look had its own colour backdrop and glass panel. With team sizes like this, it’s had to coordinate everyone throughout the day, so I make sure people know the goal days before the shoot, as well as in the morning, that way you can guarantee that the team runs smoothly alongside each other to create a final team effort picture.
For this shoot, we had myself as a photographer (and later on as a retoucher), a female model, a makeup artist who also did the hair, a nail artist, a fashion stylist, a styling assistant, my photographic first assistant and a behind the scenes videographer.