Yesterday, instead of surrounding myself with shoots of little ones, I took gear into the woods…by myself…and practiced a particular lighting technique for two hours. Yes, two (and a half, actually). It got me thinking…when was the last time you gave yourself the chance to practice ANYTHING for two hours?? It meant that I left a list of edits at home…a dirty apartment at home…a growing “to-do” list at home…but it allowed me to hone part of “my craft” that I all too often ignore – artificial lighting.
I learned from the crazy-talented Zach & Jody Gray of Nashville, TN in 2010 how to basically overpower the sun using artificial light, but have never actually used it. I love the dramatic look and think it could be perfect for headshots, engagement photos or a very well planned corporate shoot. Thus, enter my practice time. I pitched a corporate client for an awesome outdoor concept, but wanted to set aside the time to go out and actually see how it would play out (how many lights do I need for this particular shoot? what type of lights are strong enough to overpower the sun in this exact location? what time of day is best? what is the ideal location?). Clients often think photographers are paid an exorbitant amount of money for “just showing up and clicking the shutter”…that our fancy cameras do all the work. What is easy to forget are the hours (and hours, and hours) that same photographer spent coming up with the concept, figuring out the logistics (outdoor/indoor/location/time of day) and envisioning the entire storyboard ahead of time so that, when the client shows up, it looks exactly as they see it…easy.
Alas, I digress from our subject of the day…Chuck the Dump Truck. My 2.5 yr old loooooves Chuck. Fortunately for me, he left a big one in our car that I could use as a model for the forest concept I wanted to test! Two things to note for these photos:
1) They were taken in broad daylight (9:30am)…it’s the lighting that makes it appear dark outside
2) I haven’t touched them in post-production…these are straight out of camera (SOOC), which is due to the “perfection” of using lighting appropriately (that and the fact that Chuck didn’t mind if his skin tones were a bit uneven and didn’t have any blemishes I needed to “assist”!)
Anyways, just wanted to share a bit of what I was working on yesterday since it’s a little out of the norm of newborns and baby bumps! Now…go ahead and set aside 2 hours (or even 30 mins) to hone something for you!