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Monday, January 21, 2013

Capturing Children personality

I have shot a few models under the age of 17 and as always I speak directly with the parents or parent. However, I have learned that speaking with the child star normally gets me a much better rate because the children never mind spending top dollar for their photo shoots. They will also attempt to pay with monopoly money was well. However all kidding aside, I have yet to see a child come into the studio and not be bashful in the beginning of the shoot. I have been around Trinity on an occasion or two and she would always ask me questions about models and tell me how much she wanted to do a photo shoot. Finally her parents agreed and we arranged a day to shoot. She arrived to the studio with bright eyes, but I watched her nervously put her hand on her face when her dad told her to put on her game face. Sort of like that first day of school when you're the new kid. I figured I could bring her out of that shell a bit, if I showed her around and let her find her comfort zone. After a tour and a few small conversations with some working professionals and upcoming recording artist that happened to be in a recording session in the studio across the hall, I started to see her become herself again. It was time to take her in that big room with all that strange looking equipment she had never seen before.  As I set up lighting, I also answered all ten thousands of her questions about what I were doing or I started the conversation about it. She became intrigued with the flashing strobes and pocket wizards and how they worked, apparent by her blushing at her parents every time the light flashed. I knew we were just about there. A final quick coaching to assure her that she did not have to worry about making a 

 mistake, and she looked quite confident. Trinity was no longer standing in the shadows of the equipment. She was taking charge of her spot on the seamless, and she pretty much just became her normal self and were no longer even bothered by the flashing light or anything in the room. My job suddenly became quite simple. I only needed to push the button and capture the series of personalities she displayed. I would give her a small instruction and just let her be herself, ensuring to give her frequent breaks. A child star was born indeed. Between breaks we made small talk and ate delicious cupcakes.  When we finished the shoot and pulled the photos up on the large monitor I only needed to glance at her and her parents faces to see that she approved of her photo session. Her dad said she is very anxious for her next shoot, and I am as excited to make it more interesting for her.
 How was it done:
I had previously done a couple of test shoots for lighting and so I knew pretty much how I wanted to light the set.
28 inch gridded beauty dish with sock camera left about 3 feet from subject.
Strip box to subject left front at a 45 degree angle.
White bounce reflector  about 2 feet off subject  left rear
gridded strobe on backdrop.
Camera settings:
Aperture: F/9
ISO: 250
Shutter Speed: 1/250
Lens: 70-200 f/2.8 

Parabolic Umbrella approximately  5 feet from subject front Center
Aperture: F/16
ISO: 250
Shutter Speed: 1/125th

Good luck Trinity. You'll make a great Gap Kid.

The Model:
Age: 8

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