Behind The Scenes, Shooting Sarah

Behind the scenes photo shoot with fitness model Sarah Parker, with details on how it was done.


On my last shoot with fitness model Sarah Parker, we captured some behind the scenes footage showing one of my more common setups, how some of the shots were taken, and the final results as well.  Along with the high def footage, I also included some notes (at the bottom of this blog) on some of the geeky photo stuff for those interested in the equipment and such that was used.


So without further adieu, crank up your volume, sit back, click, and enjoy!


On this shoot, the two main lights (key and fill) were Paul Buff Einsteins, with key lighting using an Impact 22" beauty dish and fill using a Flashpoint 2'x3' softbox. Back-light/rim was just a simple Yangnuo speedlight with a mini softbox diffuser.


On shoots like this, to get dramatic shadows but with just a touch of fill, I tend to put the fill at about a 90-degree angle from the model, which also provides just a hint of rim and can help put a light flair on the background as well. Note that I often point that fill down, to either reflect off the white backdrop, or to help fill in the lower half of the body by separation from the background (via rim lighting, but lower than normal).


And, you may be asking, why use a speedlight for the other rim light? I can zoom with speedlights, making them work like a spot light, especially with a tiny softbox on them to help concentrate the light in one area. In many shots, I used this to give just a touch of rim lighting on Sarah's boots, which tended to get lost on the black-on-black shots.


For cameras, I used two: a Nikon D600 and a Nikon D610. Each had a different prime lens, one with a Nikkor 50mm f1.4 and the other with a Nikkor 85mm f1.8. I am a true believer of putting glass over cameras. Although the D60x series are good quality cameras (full frame sensor, 24 megapixels), it's the lenses that really make the difference. Also, cameras wear out, so I'd rather only spend just $2000 a body and then spend money on really good glass that will last through a lifetime of cameras.


Cactus triggers were used for wireless flash remotes. I also used a Polaris flash meter in-between takes to try and get between f/8 and f/11. I know many may wonder why I'd shoot a single subject at f/11, but as you'll see in many cases, I wanted to get TONS of detail, especially with the hair flippy stuff we did. Also, those Einsteins can emit 640 Ws of power, and at f/11 using ISO 100, I wasn't even at half power on the strobes...plenty of light to spare.


For backdrop, I like to use Savage's seamless backdrop paper. It's durable, with a slight bit of reflection to it, which gives the black just a bit of kick (with sometimes a little lower Kelvin) when I need it.


Special thanks goes out to Heather Donahue for makeup, Ben Musser for video, and of course Sarah Parker for being so patient, and working it like a BOSS!



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