This is my trademark pose, they say it’s cute.

Working with a two year old model has its pros and cons. The greatest benefit is that I get a ridiculously cute model that immediately makes all my photos look better than they really are. The other side of the coin is that the model in question has a knack for unpredictability and the attention span of a goldfish on crack. So, as you can imagine, getting her to cooperate isn’t always the easiest of tasks.

The fighting started even before I had her in front of the camera. I thought she would look nice in the dress above but she was of a different opinion. After some coaxing I finally got her ready and it was time for the moment of truth. Even though I had done some tests of the light before this point, I still needed a couple of frames to finalize things with the model in place. During that time I had pretty much already lost her.  I was using my trick of having her stand on my wife’s scale to get her where I wanted (still the best way I’ve come across to get any kind of consistency) but she was distracted by pretty much everything. Between all the squirming, jumping, running away, sitting down and looking in the wrong direction, it was a small miracle that I even got the single usable shot you see at the top. I gave up shortly after getting that one.

The light was a setup I’ve been wanting to try for a while; a LP160 in softbox through a Lastolite trigrip from camera right (my now standard way of faking a bigger light source) and a second LP160 with CTB gel and a tight grid from behind and camera left. Perhaps I should have tried without the trigrip because I had to push the power quite a bit on the flash since I wanted an f-stop that could give me focus throughout the frame. That meant slow recycle times and that’s not ideal when the right moment will come and go in an instance. However, I really wanted the softer light that the extra diffusion gave me.

It might be interesting to know that the grid I used was made from a piece of a cereal box, a whole bunch of straws and some glue. It works really well and it’s a lot tighter than the Honl grids I have. It’s not a modifier you would see me traveling with though, something tells me it wouldn’t hold up very well if you crammed it into a suitcase. You could probably get a similar result with a wider grid in combination with a snoot though – just in case you’re not the DIY-kind.

That’s pretty much all I’ve got to show you today. I’m happy with what I got and this light is definitely something I’ll use again. I also fiddled around a bit with the tone curve in Lightroom and I think the colour I arrived at works well. Let me know if you have an interest in the editing and I’ll send you the preset.

I’ll be back…