Sometimes you have to work with people who just won’t take directions. There are some serious divas out there in the modelling world, people with such huge egos and disregard for others that they are nigh impossible to work with – and don’t think the ones of smaller stature are any easier, often the opposite is true, they seem bent on making up for their size by over compensating on attitude. I’ve met one of the worst and this is the story I’ve lived to tell; the story of a model so bad she had to be physically constrained on the set; the story of my daughter, the crawling menace. Hit the jump to read more about this nerve wrecking shoot. 

The above image didn’t quite live up to my vision for this shoot – it’s getting there but doesn’t reach the finish line. I know I shouldn’t be blaming what I’ve got to work with since I know there are a lot of photographers out there who can produce amazing results with the same limitations as I have. Still, I would have loved to be able to place the background farther away, making the floor stretch out more behind the subjects to get a better sense of isolation. The spotlight on my wife’s face actually work pretty well with the background close like this but a similar result could also be achieved with the background farther…well, back. That aside though, the main issue here was (as usual) time and cooperation, or rather the lack thereof.

My daughter is currently enjoying her new-found mobility by rolling, squirming and crawling her way everywhere. While this is a lot of fun for her, it’s not ideal for a photo shoot. My wife handled herself very well, always in the right position with a good pose but by the time she had put the little one down and gotten ready, the little weasel would be long gone, only giving me her bum in the frame. The result above was the best that could be managed, the closest we got to having the little one sit and look up in awe.

I'm watching youFase two: restricting movement. I took matters into my own hands and put the unwilling model in her place. This made the posing a whole lot easier but unfortunately my girls were getting impatient at this point (I need to get myself some kind of super powers so I can work faster). With only enough time for a few quick shots, this was the best I could get. I like the posing but the light is all over the place. The gridded lp160 I used for Miss all-over-the-place needs to be taken down a bit for starters. I’m fairly happy with the light on my wife though, the rim light (bare lp160 with ctb gel) gives pretty much the effect I was after. A bigger problem is the shadows: they’re not supposed to be there.

Even though I was more or less just stressing through some shots I think this is the most important lesson I learned from this session. I have to be mindful of the surroundings, especially since I don’t have the luxury of a big space where I can control the background completely. The square shadow poking out from behind my wife is from the tv, which caught some of the rim light despite my attempt to gobo it. The dark shadow at the left edge is either from my wife or the fact that the spill light on the background didn’t reach that for, I’m not sure which. Last but not least: the shadows at the bottom of the frame (from the legs of the chair and the little one) aren’t very pleasing either. That could have been solved by tighter framing (which I might have attempted, given more time). Next time I’m working with hard, restricted light, I’ll definitely pay more attention to what’s going on in the shadows.

Once again I’ve blamed a lot on time constrictions but it really is difficult to learn this stuff when pressed for time. I guess it’s good practice though. When I finally get more time to shoot I’ll be able to try lots of different things since by then I’ll be like the Flash.

With this post I’ve more or less caught up with my backlog, so from now on it will probably be longer between posts. Please be patient (if anyone is actually reading this).


A watchful eye I'm watching you