Sourcing Locations On a Limited Budget
So I want to talk a bit now about starting out about locations about when you haven't got access to all of thes ingredients as you might do like to run in your career but when you're first hunting ground for how you can shoe outside of a studio not just use a studio or a time or two think more imaginatively when it comes to the places that you set your models in so I want to talk first about abandoned buildings I don't know why I've jumped these ones first, but this for me is is just, um really fascinating place in which to stage fashion images this is an example of just a self portrait from years back where matthew and I went in and I would be wearing a vintage dress very similar to what the what tori on the low fi set up today is going to be wearing so they're in line with that and so it's not it's not really about fashion but by using these dresses you're kind of getting used to the idea of shooting someone in outfit and trying to end and seeing how outfits are represented in the im...
age how best to capture them is like your little self education was learning about how to make the outfit look good in a picture because I think it's photographers something that does frustrate er's is when we see something with our eye on we're trying to replicate that in a picture and even just the act of replication is difficult. The last picture I showed you of the girl with the antlers, you know, looks like a beautiful outfit. It looks like an effortless picture, but it was really difficult just to get a simple picture of her looking amazing. So it's a good practice for that abandoned buildings are full of texture on dh on interesting light as well. This image here I shot of natural light we just literally used the reflector bouncing in that sunlight in this case, back into the model's face on also really nicely lighting the strange abandoned car seat behind her as well. So I really like the way this turned out, especially for a natural in the picture. The picture on the other side is where we've got flash coming in from the room just coming in out onto the model but emulating the direction of natural light. Eso it could be possible that we might have achieved that without light without the flash that we were using. It just helped bring it up a little bit. Yeah, and to make that two bit stronger on make one half of the face a bit more contrast in that kind of cinematic way um and I really liked how it throughout the detail in the ceiling as well of all the pipes also, some couple more shots from the abandoned shoot that I did with the model that you saw there prior. So I've shot her here again, using a reflector to bounce light into the corner of the room that she was standing in reflectors of really brilliant tool that you might underestimate first, but especially when you're shooting outdoors in situations where you go, you obviously need some light to bounce back at the model. It can give you anything from a soft phil to a really powerful over the top light, so in this case, because she was standing in the corner off this route, this shack natural light outside, bursting in, but then we directed it, bounced it back into a face so she becomes illuminated against that dark corner, which I thought was really effective and nice, and I also shot this other images, part of telling the story of her being there as well, it's something that I don't really do very often, but I think it's certainly good direction for someone who's interested in storytelling over a sequence of pictures, not necessarily all in the same picture here's some examples of images where I've shot just in outdoor locations, so not getting anyone's permission or just going out there and shooting. Usually that's an easy way to work unless you're shooting in the busy city with a big team you might could get stopped by people or even you know I asked what you're doing but usually if you're quite low key in local situations as I was in this both these cases you khun just get on with it and enjoy the scenery of wherever you are in this case a little town called lewis in the sussex in england and in this case in hackney marshes in london you can find interesting things to juxtapose your model against you see that model on the end there you've got this beautiful outfit juxtaposed against the graffiti it's just one example of lots more images we took of her wider shots where she's standing in the street with these puddles and graffiti so it was interesting tow have that contrast between you know her looking very done up and they kind of downtrodden surroundings this is an image in taken in lavender fields um in place gold hitch in england on dh you know places like this could be really good for interesting shoots a swell we had to pay to use these lavender fields because we wanted that she charged us for commercial usage of the pictures but we shared that thing about fifty pounds we share that between the team of us that were out that day of all the photographers I got invited along and you know, we kind of just paid partly each because I knew that I didn't want any strings attached to me if I wanted to use these pictures commercially but to be honest it's not often that you're going to get necessarily charged a fee like that but fifty pounds was very small amount on well I could say shared that but just finding these interesting botanical locations like this could be really good for you know the day on a bit of experimentation take a long model and take along some interesting outfits that you can either get from easy places like charity shops, thrift stores or from may be emerging designers that are interested in seeing there designs using pictures for the first time ah there's a couple of examples of where I have got access to a location by quite easy inexpensive means uh the picture on the left is um a manor house that I got was lucky to get to shoot in but it was simply because a friend a few weeks earlier had introduced me to a friend of his that owns this manor house on dh you just said you know, I know you like shooting nice pictures maybe you can ask my friend john if you're gonna shoot in his house and I'm like okay let's go and have a lot but I want to see like two cheeky coming in and having a look around your house but um, forget and then this fashion shoot came up a few weeks later and I've had this installed in my mental references for, so why don't we ask him if I could go back there and shoot a fashion shoot there and they let us do it just for you? A few bottles of wine in return, so no, their charges, so that was really kind of them, and it sounds, you know, very you know, I could opportune thing, but every one of us has these situations where we just need to be on the lookout, especially once people start to know thatyou your photographer or you're getting into photography and people start to spread the word, and they think of you when they see interesting locations and they'll tell you about them and just keep just keep them in mind because they'll be I always find that a situation comes up a little bit later where you suddenly that location and everything kind of falls into place and surprising number of times it's happened on the picture on the other side, there is a hotel by shock quite a few pictures in on this again was from someone just recommending a location to me because they saw there in my images on flicker on and was a manager of a hotel on dh he just said, you know, come along and shoot pictures there one of you like and I just you know it's just nice toe help you along and see what you create and that was strange kind as well. So situations where people just are interested in seeing what you're going to create or don't just literally just don't mind you using their location on another interesting scenario was when we were in brooklyn couple years go I got introduced to a little lady that owns this really interesting apartment and it was just threw a woman that we'd met there she introduced me to this lady and the lady was very open to us shooting around her quirky little apartment. So when we first had a look round we saw it was literally like a mini museum you had always strange contraptions and old posters and clothing and props I was instantly interested with these two stuffed pelicans I wanted to shoot something with them it was a little tricky because it was a very tight small apartment but I was determined to make it work so I had the model kind of plodded between them use my friends hate to my lights I think you like that one on then also just had opposing in and around the weirdness of the other props around the house and yeah, so just a nice, nice little adventure thanks to the kindness is that lady so another example of that also, this one has taken on the roof, a studio during a workshop, but to me, the rooftop was really interesting because in the studio, you've just got, you know, kalorama, maybe some interesting natural light coming through the windows, but I really liked shooting something on the rooftop because you have the's interesting things going on in the distance. You've got buildings, in this case, a big red crane, which might seem a bit odd to put in a fashion image, but for me, I had her styled in a way that I felt would would work well against that. Justin, this red swimming costume, it wasn't supposed to be a big stylistic ethel, it was just a levitation workshop, but I wanted to make her look very simple, very kind, stark, red heels, red outfit on dwight fabric, and this is just one of the weird images we talked that day, but I really liked how, even though in a studio, there was the opportunity to find something interesting in this case on the roof, and also I've taken pictures where you don't necessarily see a lot off the location on dh these are taken in locations that of cost money to hire, but there are pictures I do take where it's not so apparent as part awful, the selection I do take so these pictures could potentially have been taken really in a studio, the woman sitting on couch and the woman girl just in dark corner these examples of where you've just got the the hint of a location behind them so that hint could be something you can manipulate when you are shooting in a studio on dh also theirs, plenty off scope for composing someone out of a studio picture and into another image, not something that I like to kind of work by generally, but the opportunity for that is always there. I joined this retouching group on facebook lately and it's just so amazing to see that things that people do with their pictures and how they've planted a model into a different image even crazier than some of things I've done so and even just doing things like that, you know, looking at other people's retouching and being inspired by what they've achieved not necessarily out of intention, but sometimes just out of experimentation and these are just a couple pictures I've added in here shots taken in my garden so my garden full bloom outfits I've sourced from a designer who just allowed me to use her outfits and returned pictures a songs I paid the postage so just little collaborations like that and I paid the model to do the chute with us because I wanted to pay for a time and just know have her waiting for images but then when I did make the images I sent them to her and as a bonus from the shoot so I wanted to make sure that my bases were covered with that in terms of hera makeup we just had very simple hair makeup done by the model herself on it was just a case of using something that really went with the outfits in this case of the flowers in the garden I've also added a bit of a, um not necessarily texture but kind of like a floral um overlay to this picture as well to bring out more splotches of purple round her just to exaggerate that even more so there's less green behind her and more purples and pinks to exaggerate that final look and that's the end of that presentation. So I really just want to talk about that because that's examples of where I've been self portrait it's collaborations with models images that don't necessarily utilize a grandiose location showing how you can start the building blocks off to when you eventually do get, you know, bigger budgets, bigger opportunities to work in locations and certainly as I showed you earlier with the with the manor house on the hotel, you know there will be opportunities where you the word is spread enough for people to recommend locations to you that you can get inexpensively offers for a small cost so yeah there's a way that you can learn a cz well how to master the ingredients when you're working with them because it's no good having all the grandiose ingredients but then you don't feel like you're confident enough to direct the model you want to experience directing model you want to really know your tools you want to know that when you do get grandiose location or grandiose styling or whatever you're able to really get the best of them and commandeer the best of them so don't underestimate the experience you get from shooting on these smaller projects because by mastering those lower levels you will master automatically the next and the next left and that's how you get to the next level by just simply trying to get to grips with what's in front of you now we'll make a show that you give yourself opportunities to be able to work with these aspects like models, hair and makeup so that's the end of my presentation I'll take any questions if we have time on anything I mentioned here we absolutely always have questions daniella anybody here in the room? Yes we've got one in back samuel and stand up so I have ah time management question so when we do a shoot we have very clear constraints about how much time we have to shoot in so often we have an hour to ours and we know it's it but when I find is when I get to the compositing stage I can get totally lost for weeks and weeks just on one image so I was wondering if you set yourself any time constraints for getting an image finished or whether you are or how you overcome those kind of issues that you can just keep going on and on and on tweaking and tweaking and tweaking and image um I would say I know I don't don't set myself any deadlines I do find that sometimes I revisit pictures I've taken a year ago I mean, I've just done that recently revisited pictures I took in new york last year on dh being doing things like the picture I showed you earlier of the girl in the atlas that was taken over a year ago on a year ago on dh that was from a picture that I didn't don't even think it was any good I just went back and started touching it we've kind of new eyes so I certainly wouldn't close the doors on a shoot that you've done and that you might go back and revisit, but what I do have is a tendency to call a picture finished when I feel like it's finished unless I want to do some some quality remedying to a picture in order to make it good enough for print if I feel like I've used to really like a low resolution stock image, and I want to replace it or rework something when I think I've degraded the image, but so I don't usually go back and start artistic playing with images that I've finished, but in terms of tips for that, I don't really know how to advise other photographers because it does come down to your taste. I would certainly for sanity sake, I would say aimed to be finished with a picture by certain point, not necessarily according to time restraint, but just, um, wanting to get to a point where you can call it the picture finished it's not something that is easy to state when that is, um, but there's, nothing wrong with playing with a picture because you also don't want to call a picture finished if you feel unhappy with it. So if you feel unhappy with, I would just leave it, maybe for a bit and come back to it, which sometimes I have done most of the time I work to the end of the picture, and most of the time I don't spend more than a day or two on a picture, but then again, you know, there's always possibilities for that happening, it's just a case of you being honest with yourself, and if you feel like it's worth working on a picture a long time sometimes it's a case of seeing what the vision the end result is like cutting out the girl with the red dress and putting it on the beach took a long time because you've got all these little details around address, so I did spend a long time doing that but that's because I knew I could see the outcome I knew it was worth it it was just a technical job I had to make sure I took a lot of care doing, but if I didn't think he was gonna work then I might be liking it depends if there's a spark of excitement, I generally use that as a barometer unless it's something you're doing for someone else in the case of, you know, submission the way other people are waiting for you to finish images or a client job, but if I don't have a spark of excitement that that makes me like I'm not sick to the bone or thought of doing a long job in folk shop, then I wouldn't I wouldn't bother that has bean images where I had an idea, for example, I shot a girl in a piano once and had an idea to cut out lots of little hers and have them around two at the bottom and I knew that I wasn't excited enough to do it because I never got round to cooking out, so I just knew that my heart wasn't in it, so I didn't bother. So, yeah, your heart is a good barometer in situations where you're making something for yourself predominantly.