I was overdue a shoot and wanted to give my portfolio an overhaul, something a bit more exciting and bold. I always liked black and white for art nude work, it automaticaly tells you to think differently about the image. So at the start of January I posted a casting on PurplePort for a fashion nude shoot and got a great response that led me to choose two models. I thought the first shoot would be me figuring things out and the second shoot would then benefit from those lessons.
For the first shoot I enlisted the talents of Scarlett Fox who's portfolio showed me that she had experience of this style and had offered a few of her own ideas when I made initial contact. For the set-up I played safe -
Speedlight through a softbox on a boom arm high and to the side.
With a strip box below for fill, but not alway necessary.
As we progressed and Scarlett got used to me and we both grew in confidence I switched the overhead light to a beauty dish. Now most people use a 22inch dish, and one day so will I but my trusty 16inch dish has never let me down. With the diffusion sock fitted I could easily shoot 3/4 length. I just had to adjust the lights angle to balance the coverage with the shadows. The only problem was when the speedlight started playing up.
One light or two, it does not have to be complicated !
A week later it was time for shoot two with Robyn Brooke. The first thing I changed was the speedlight. I put my Bowens 250 studio light on to the strongest light stand I have and I shot with the bare beauty dish. No diffuser or grid. No fill light either.
This gave me a very classic high key beauty look that also does amazing things for a models complexion.
Later though we needed more drama so the grid went onto the beauty dish and I angled it down to more of a rakish angle.
Robyn was brave enough to let me pour water over her head so we could shoot some wet look images. The entire shoot was shot at 100iso F5.6 with my 24-70mm 2.8 lens. I don't think I ever adjusted those settings !
Visit swrdigital.com to see the complete set
Importantly there was never a weird moment due to the fact that I was photographic a naked woman. When you know why you are there and are focused on getting the bast results and honouring the models time and commitment your entire objectivity changes for the better. If it doesn't then you need to stop and re-evaluate your life !
Myself, I intend to shoot more like this with improved styling maybe some more custom processing.