Shooting for the Folio

It's ben a few months now since I have started at Platform Eight. I joined the creative team not too long ago as a photographer and had an awesome time. When the opportunity came up to shoot some folio work, I jumped at the chance to step out side of my comfort zone and experiment in the lower pressure environment.

The post-production guy Sebastian has the most magnificent head of hair I have ever seen. It's incredible. I had the opportunity of getting a model in or working with anyone, but for as long as I live, I'd regret it if I didn't use Seb for at least one shoot.

 I ask Seb to channel Questlove. No photo-shoot can go poorly if Questlove is involved. #industrysecrets

I ask Seb to channel Questlove. No photo-shoot can go poorly if Questlove is involved. #industrysecrets

Above is the final shot. We were working in a smallish space but had enough room to set up some white seemless and stack some records around. His style really went with the 'vintage' era of vinyls so with the help of some local op-shops, I managed to load my entire boot full of old LPs to use. 

 A boot load of vinyl ... Literally.

A boot load of vinyl ... Literally.

 There was something strangely relate-able to this ...

There was something strangely relate-able to this ...

After a full day of shooting and going through a bunch of different looks and styles (I was also teaching a work experience student, but that's another post all together) we finally sat down and worked out our floor plan. I had originally intended Seb to stand among the vinyls but due to time and furniture constraints we winged it and got him to prop himself on a small step ladder for a more 'relaxed' look.

I decided to instead reach for the Broncolor kit than my go-to speed light kit. More power a different set of modifiers suited the shoot more and meant that I could over-power the afternoon sun coming in from the rear window completely.

I used the small square soft box as my key light and the strip and zoomed bulb as my fills. Once we had the lights setup, we tweaked the records some more until we got the right amount of chaos. Because I had originally envisioned Seb standing, the stacks were to be neater but with his more relaxed posture I wanted to shuffle them around a little to add to the casualness.

 I set up the 3 Broncolor heads with a strip for the fill, bare head with a zoomer as the background light and the key light came down from above out of the mediumish soft box. The main light was set to 8.0 power (6.0 is the lowest on their odd arbitrary scale) while the fill lights were at 6.0.

I set up the 3 Broncolor heads with a strip for the fill, bare head with a zoomer as the background light and the key light came down from above out of the mediumish soft box. The main light was set to 8.0 power (6.0 is the lowest on their odd arbitrary scale) while the fill lights were at 6.0.

It took around an hour to do the full shoot and everything went relatively smoothly albeit a toppling stack of wax or two (thankgod for assistants). That said, after a good 7 hours of constant photo taking, I was starting to wear out and missed a crucial fault in Seb's suit. 

After changing the position of his arms, his suit collor folded in on itself and created this horrible shadow. I didn't even realise it on my first pass of selection when editing. I blame the lack of coffee, but it gave me some good practice at retouching the suit back in.

Below is a before and after of my editing. I started by duplicating in the right side to the left, then cloned and stamped in the correct texture. Once I had rebuilt the collar, I burnt in some shadows to give a more natural appearance. I'm not a retoucher by any means and would have preferred taking 30 seconds to fix the collar then and there than spend a good hour fixing it in Photoshop but sometimes things don't go as planned and my slip of concentration ended up costing me some valuable down time. I'm grateful though that it was a straight forward fix and that even though it's not perfect, it saved a shot from the 'rejected' bin.

 Before and after of the work done on the collar, I'm not a 'Photoshop' guy but I'm pretty proud of how it came out.

Before and after of the work done on the collar, I'm not a 'Photoshop' guy but I'm pretty proud of how it came out.

This was by far one of the most exciting shoots I've done. Despite the uber-long day, just being able to take my time and play around with a variety of different shots and bits and pieces of gear was well worth the effort.

I'll be posting the other shots from the day as well as the stuff I went through with Harrsion the (friendly neighbourhood) work experience kid in a blog post to come.