So many factors contribute to a shoot. What is their personality? What sort of clothes did they bring to the shoot? I can tell as soon as I see the selection of outfits someone brings to my session, how they want to be photographed. But as you know I always ask “How do they want to be photographed” Then there’s unfolding their personality and their desires, this is the most fun, watching them transform with makeup and confidence and trust. When you know they trust you and you can keep pushing them to that next level of posing and connection. Watching poses turn into direction and connection. Finding magical light and manipulating it.
Then I have little trends that I throw in. Like shooting in the dark without reflectors and bringing the highlights up with Photoshop (Both layer mask and dodge tool does this) I do this because it’s a look I cannot achieve the opposite way, shooting lighter and burning in. It creates an almost painterly effect. Then I drop the image into B/W and add lots of contrast – I call this look Film Noir. After I shot George in the Dark GQ style for his Man Portrait session, I used the same treatment with todays shoot. She had a beautiful set of lingerie to finish with. I had 5pm window light in Banff. Low light and shot a little under exposed, one metre from the window, no reflector just like the film noir but instead of B/W keep the colour slightly desaturate and a hint towards green. For George’s portrait shoot I had no reflector, nice hard shadow for a masculine face and for Jaime today face turned into the light, I personally never leave shadow on a woman’s face.
My preshoot process is has two patterns, I access the visual part of my brain that has shot for 22 years and draw upon what I have done and what I know, and I draw little Shoot lists. Visual ones, stick figure cartoons. When I teach photographers I teach them to map shoots visually using my posing cards. This helps not only plan out a shoot but helps you move through it efficiently and not miss any great shots in the heat of the moment. Then I incorporate different variables of ‘this will look good with that’ and I’ll try adding this look and so on. Then I have my little map of creative options and my client has finished Hair and Makeup I’m ready to go. When I start one of the visual ideas and my client is moving in another direction I go with it, everybody brings something new but it’s always great to start confidently. Your client will trust you if you take control first and then let a pose/scenario evolve. If you are shooting like mad telling them to just do their things you may happen upon 2 good shots out of 200 but if you direct and take charge you will get 50 out of 60.
This beautiful sequence is A little bit boudoir and a whole lot beauty, with lots of mood and sexiness. Perfectly Jaime. As I was finishing the shoot and the day and light was leaving, I couldn’t move far from the window so when I got bored with the corner we went down to the floor. I shot this sequence all in Landscape, because with it I shot the sexiest fusion video I have ever done to date. But you’ll have to wait to see that. I know I am such a tease!