Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hot Imports Night - The Pre-Party

CorissaAll I can say is WOW! Well let's first explain how Sean and I even got this gig. On Thursday a casting call went out on Model Mayhem (modeling website) looking for 2 photographers to shoot TFCD (for free) for the Hot Imports Night (HIN - car show) pre-party. If you look at these girls like we did (considering we've only been shooting for 8 months), we thought, "wow, these girls are totally out of our league." But what the heck. We'll throw our names in the hat for this casting call and see what shakes out of it. Sure enough, we land the gig just hours after we replied. SWEET....I mean SHIT....we don't have nearly enough lighting equipment for this = one quick trip to PENN camera to rent the Monty Kit (lighting equipment). It's only 50 bucks to rent the lighting kit, and it's something we'd been wanting to do anyways before we seriously considered buying it. So we figured it was money well spent. Take a look at the pictures and tell me what you think.
Overall, we had a great time and got some great photos. The place they had us set up for pictures was definitely less than ideal. The bottom half of the wall was white reflective plastic, there was a wooden trim, and then the top half of the wall was bright orange. Yikes! I'm already thinking....these shots are going to take a LOT of photoshop (PS) to get the backgrounds looking alright. The women on the other hand took little if any PS....well...because they were all freakin gorgeous.
But I'll get down to the nitty-gritty and post our lessons learned:
1) Go for it! You can't get better if you don't try and push your limits. Sean and I had never shot a club scene before, we had never used a real soft box (other than my ghetto home made one), and we definitely had never worked with models as experienced as these ladies. All that being said, we knew our limitations/ capabilities, felt confident we could get good shots despite our lack of experience in this arena, and consequently put ourselves out on the line to get the job. Worst case scenario - they say no, or you start sucking with the shots and you flip your camera to P mode and get busy. So know yourself and seek opportunities for improvement. Just please keep in mind that I don't advocate completely getting in over your head - this goes back to knowing yourself.
2) Renting is good. The monty kit (CFLs with soft boxes) worked well enough for this job, but I would never buy them. The put out enough light for a small group (3 people or less), but the lacked the power to do anything larger. Sean and I found these lights brought out some weirdness in our subjects - ie enhanced veins and made what at the time seemed like flawless skin appear rather splotchy. The guy we talked with at Penn Camera seems to think this might have more to do with people being flushed from dancing, drinking, general clubbing. There's probably some merit to this line of thinking, but I wouldn't think these problem would effect EVERYBODY the same. However, if you ignore the CFL and power component, I LOVE softboxes! The difference in the quality of the lighting is HUGE. I can't wait to own one (or more) Bottomline - These lights were great in a pinch, but like I said earlier, I'm glad we rented before we just bought them.
3) Clubs are hard to shoot. The hard part was communication. It's dark and the music is so loud you can barely hear yourself think. I loved the DJ, but trying to get a model to slightly turn her head or otherwise change her pose when she's 10 ft away from you is darn near impossible except for body language. Sean and I think that if we were to do this style of shooting regularly, we'd have our own sound set up with a wireless hands-free mic so we could direct models better.
4) Be professional. I know this sounds like common sense, but I wanted to hit on a couple of things from the business aspect. We were well prepared with model releases and took our time explaining them to anybody that was interested in hearing the details. These are agency represented models and it could have made things very complicated to post their pictures without a written release. Also, we took studio style as well as photojournalistic pictures throughout the course of the evening. This was a fun and lively bunch to work with. There are some pictures we've posted that are provocative. I'm ok with that. These are very sexy women whose purpose at this party was to have a good time and to be sexy. There are some moments of this party that I chose not to capture. There are other moments that we did capture that would get great internet fame, but probably at the embarrassment of my subject. Those photos will never be published/ distributed (if I haven't deleted them already). Use your professional judgment at all times. Make your subjects look good.
5) Corissa, Baby_T, Linda, JP, Justene, Randi, etc FREAKIN ROCK! I'd highly recommend any of these models. They're amazing and they really know how to work the camera. I sincerely hope to work with them and the rest of the HIN crew again.

1 comment:

miyabi-na said...

hi sarah!

thanks for taking such awesome pics. The models look so GOREGOUS!
and I had a lot of fun doing the couple shoot with my bf. (wish I had dressed up more for it though! LoL I was totally unaware that there would be an opportunity like that...we kinda just showed up to chill for our friends bday..)

it was a lot of fun with you guys though. I hope to see you and sean doing more stuff like this around DC in the future! Keep up the great work!