It’s 2AM, or “a day in the life”…

…and I am back from an impromptu shoot. A friend and student needed some help with a commercial shoot for a high-end hair salon. 11AM-7PM they did the hair; 8-11pm my friend was shooting. Except it didn’t go too well. So I drove up to lend a hand.

The salon owners are extremely creative. And Italian. That made this a very pleasant shoot. Here you go; Medusa in a straightjacket:

I had to first pack my portable studio into the car. Then drive 60km. Then quickly unpack, and quickly ask my colleague to set up a backdrop: I had brought the grey paper backdrop, because grey can be made anything from white to colours to black. Time was short by now.

Then the lights. I brought the strobes, but decided to use the speedlights. Lighter, smaller, quicker. A hair shoot means a main (or “key”) light shot through an umbrella, and a reflector for fill.  And, very important, a hair light through a snoot or grid for “shampooey goodness”.

For consistency, I used Pocketwizards and manual settings on the flashes. If this had been an event, I would have used TTL.

Here you see the setup:

Then, metering – flash set to half power gave f/7.1. At 200 ISO and 1/125th second. Done. Now I can concentrate on shooting the fabulous creations!

Part of the skill that goes into a shoot is in areas like problem solving and technical knowledge. But a larger part goes into deciding on the positioning. The people skills, in other words. My colleague is very good at those, so I am looking forward to seeing her work.

In any case: including the drive, five pictures took me about seven hours altogether to make; and that is not counting the post work – the pictures above have had minimal editing done. So now you know why pro photography costs money.

I would add more here, but it’s 2:15Am and I need some sleep!


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