Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Fruit Shoot

We have been getting some exciting talent coming to the studio meetups these days. Lots of people are realizing what a great opportunity these meetups are to hone in their skills. Not only do we get some great models to work with, but now makeup artists are also contributing. Everyone gets something out of it, everyone learns and everyone has a great time.

Now that I have gone on yet another tangent about how great the meetups are, let me tell you about this one particular meetup. I had been in contact with Michelle Tiffany, a makeup artist I met through Model Mayhem and convinced her to come to one of the meetups. She enjoyed it so much that when I asked her to come again, she agreed on the spot. I told her I wanted to do something a little off-the-wall. My idea was to shoot models with certain fruits and have their makeup reflect the fruit they would be holding.

Beauty and the AppleMichelle was even kind enough to bring along 2 friends, Amy and Alex, to be our models. This was a great move on her part since the model that I had "secured" through Model Mayhem was a no-show. I could do a whole post on bad experiences with the Model Mayhem crowd (and I may just do that one of these days), but I will not go into it here.

 Fruit NecklaceWe got right down to work. Michelle started preparing Amy for her shoot with strawberries and cherries. The rest of the group started brainstorming the lighting and poses. One of the great advantages of doing this in a group is that you benefit from the creativity of everyone involved. Dave, one of the regulars and assistant organizer of the group, came up with the great idea of making a necklace out of grapes and some fishing line. Apparently he tried to do it with strawberries but it did not work since the strawberries tend to "bleed" on the fishing line.

We decided to go with a beauty setup. Dave had brought in one of the excellent Paul C. Buff parabolic umbrellas and wasted no time putting that huge focused light source to good use. We placed it just above the model's head and then added white reflectors all around. This setup worked great to light up Amy's face, who needed no help from us what so ever to look stunning.

Cherry Anyone? (full)This shoot also called for a lot of color. Unfortunately the girls did not have very colorful wardrobe at hand. In comes our trusty studio owner, George, with a bright red table cloth! With the help of our creative makeup artist and some Home Depot clamps, Amy got a beautiful red dress to wear for her photo shoot.

To add even more color, we threw a nice blue gel on my flash and fired it into the background. The blue, I think, looks great with the red and green and makes for a very colorful and happy image. I'm very pleased with results from this shoot.

While we were shooting Amy, Michelle went to work on Alex. Her fruit was to be a green apple so there were lots of greens on her face. We picked the one colorful dress they had brought along to add some different colors to her green theme. Michelle also pinned her hair partially up to round out the look.

We wanted to do something different with Alex so we switched to a full body setup. Still using the parabolic umbrella as a main light we brought in a silk tree we had in the studio and started shooting. A flash was added to camera right to rim her on that side. We even threw in a red gel at one point on that kicker light just to add more color to the whole thing.

As usual, it was a lot of fun and another great learning experience. None of the lighting setups were particularly complicated, but we still learned a lot and got to exercise our creativity.

A big thanks to Michelle for doing a great job with the makeup and bringing the girls who were both fantastic subjects. 

Here are a few more images from that evening:

Strawberry Dip

Forbidden Fruit

On the Tip of the Tongue

Temptation hiding