On general I shoot in the studio, it gives me all the control I want, I can set up my lights to create an effect I have in mind. I can use colorgels, play with shadow, have a nice short shuttertime.. quite perfect actually.
But that’s also the thing, I know what to do, I’m not easly surprised by shooting in the studio. I get excited with the results of course, I’m not likely to get tired of shooting in the studio, but I wanted to challenge myself a bit. What if I don’t have all the control, what if I let myself be surprised and force myself to problem solve in conditions that are not perfect?
When I started out with photography, as a moody gothic teenager, I didn’t have any studio lights, I did everything with daylight. I eventually started shooting with an unwieldly construction lamp from my parents garage (my dad is an avid DIY-er) and then promoted myself to a set of basic studio lamps.
So, let’s go back to ‘my roots’! I took my beautful friend Layla out for a day of shooting in nature. She has this amazing red hair, and I wanted to go for a Pre-Raphaelite feel, so for styling we kept it relatively simple; my mothers wedding dress (I love that dress) and some babiesbreath flowers. I had made a crown and collarpiece to go with this set but we didn’t end up using it for a lot of the shots. For once, keeping it relatively simple worked rather well (usually, I’m all about more is more!). We walked around the location a bit (an amateur gardeners association thing my parents are members of) keeping an eye out for nice spots and good light.
Because we were working with available light some spots looked perfect, but I didnt want the sun shining directly at her face (harsh shadow, squinty eyes). In a perfect world you’d be doing your shoot on an overcast day, so the clouds work as a huge softbox. Because the sun was out we looked for locations in the shadow to get some soft light, or with her back to the sun so we had a nice hair light from the sunlight coming from behind:
You can see here, the sun is at her back, giving us some lovely highlight on her hair.
Or using patches of light coming through the leaves of the trees:
We had a little gust of wind here for extra fancy-ness!
Long story short; shooting outside meant dealing with difficult circumstances, nosy passers-by, super bright sunlight.. But it also gave us a result I would never have been able to recreate in the studio. Unexpected things gave us new ideas we wouldn’t have thought of ourselves. It’s something I really want to do more now that the weather is getting nicer, so keep an eye out for more outdoor shoot results coming up in the next weeks!