Fresh back from a little shoot. Thank Cod for my friends who keep me busy with “jobs” – and who help me when I encounter problems. The job came courtesy of my friend M___ of Locks and Lashes who needed some of her make-up work documented for her portfolio. I jumped at the chance and offered my services. After all, I need the practice and the fun of photography. Or should I say “challenge”? Because shooting on location is never straight-forward. Especially when you know you will be shooting in a petite shop – or is the correct term for that actually “boutique”? Never has a job sounded so fancy and yet so adequate…
So location work. In a shop full of colourful items, choc-a-bloc with distracting and space absorbing articles. Now imagine not only a
fat-arsed photographer in that, holding a massive camera, but also a set of lights avec soft box, not to mention the model. Yeah. Tricky. But this is where my friend K___ comes in, who is my saviour when it comes to equipment and who jumped into the breach, presenting me with what basically amounts to a portable studio. K___ lent me a collapsible soft box that folded down to a black bag the size of a yummy layer cake which came with a contraption that you could mount on an equally collapsible stand and which was operated with a speedlite. Thank the gods of photography for my Yamaguchi no-name flash! At least I had that on my own. But add to that two triggers from K___’s stash, and I was good to go.
Good thing I practiced at home first. (One of the lessons of photography that I have learnt through bitter experience – never use unknown equipment without trying before. Let’s draw the veil of silence over the fact that I nearly crashed at the first hurdle – inserting the batteries the wrong way ’round… *duh* Took me aaaaages to work that one out. I was already on the phone to Yamaguchi, complaining about their “500 ways of wonderful”…) But after that it was a cinch. Even in the confined space of the shop, I was able to set up my make-shift studio in a corner of the premises. With a few test shots under my belt with a massive stuffed cheetah as stand-in, the lighting was sussed and the scene was set. The challenge – as anticipated – proved to be the background. With clothes horses full of vintage costumes and a wild array of furniture and bric-a-brac lining every surface and wall space of the shop, I had to commandeer a portable screen from the furniture corner as a backdrop. With my models sat in front of that, I was finally able to shoot the ladies and their 1940s style. Mind you, I had to hunch down underneath the soft box-beauty light – my thighs were killing me with the strain and it is a miracle that the shots did not suffer from camera shake, so wobbly did I crouch and slouch.
Amazing what a little portable studio can do. I will put it to the test again tomorrow on a sweet little shoot. Meanwhile, I’d be obliged if anyone could recommend me some thigh-strengthening exercises. Ouch.