Our daughter has quite nice hair but it’s a bit chaotic if left to roam free in the wind and whatnot. So I wanted a shot of her with her hair done up nicely, since it really gives her a completely different look. My wife was the day’s stylist, seeing how I’m pretty useless when it comes to stuff like that.
For background I used my newly acquired foamcore, though this one was white instead of black like in the previous post. They had white ones in twice the size of the black ones so it was just big enough for a full body shot of the little one. You can see the full setup below.
I put everything on a drawer so I wouldn’t have to be down on the floor; it also served to restrict my model’s movement somewhat, though she still found ways to make it difficult. As you can see, I set things up for a profile shot, with the key light (LP160 in a gridded softbox) coming in from camera right to light her face from the front. To camera left I had another LP160 in a small softbox to bring attention to her hair.
The final light, which brings it all together, is YN560 in a octabox, just behind and above camera. That lets me control the shadows to bring out just as much detail and contrast as I want. The goal was to have pictures with a light feeling so the fill light is just below my two other lights. We still get the shape from the lights but there’s detail everywhere.
I mentioned above that I had a grid on my key light and that was in order to keep as much of it as possible away from the background. You can still see that the background is brighter at the top though. I don’t think there’s that much that can be done about it, seeing how close my subject is to the background.
There are a couple of obvious things that could have been improved (no, not the photographer, though sadly that’s probably true as well). First of all I could have remembered to remove the muppet’s ugly pants. Those are the reason I’ve cropped as much as I have at the bottom. The second obvious miss was that I set up the lights in advance but then it turned out the most interesting part of the hairdo was on the other side. I was too lazy to change position of the lights though, so I just rolled with it because…that’s how I roll.
In order to give the hair some more attention I shot a few frames of the back of her head as well, same setup. The light actually worked surprisingly well here but it was difficult to get the little one to face the camera again afterwards, she seemed to like having her hair shot.
Not my best shots but I think they’re kind of cute. The foamcore also worked quite well again and it’s very nice to not have to worry about fixing the background in post.
I’ve been a bit lazy about shooting seriously lately but I’ll make sure you get a fix at least every two weeks, so don’t go away. Actually I’ve been shooting a lot more than usual lately since I now have a camera that I want to bring everywhere. It’s mostly crappy snapshots but if I stumble over something good I might share it here as well.