Once I had placed my lights, I consulted with my model, Karlie Thornton. I love to include my models in the creative process and embrace a collaborative approach to how I shoot. I let her know that I was planning on shooting with gels and I asked what the best colors are for darker skin tones. She simply replied, ”In the moonlight, black skin turns blue.” and then continued to suggest how reds and purples work really well on darker skin.
I continued to switch up my gels and setup two additional times. My usual process involves having all my lights set up for my first scene and then I switch things up by removing lights until I have only one light on my subject. As I removed lights, I was left with one light paired with my Para 133. I flagged off half the Para so I could control how the light fell on Karlie’s face and hair. The result was great, I had nice even lighting across her face and as an added effect I threw in some atmosphere to bring a bit of drama to the scene. This time around Karlie’s expressions were more reserved, the scene felt golden.
After playing around in studio I always feel liberated, I like to compare it to that feeling you get when you finish a Lego construction for the very first time. There’s a sense of fulfillment but you’re also really excited to move to the next one. In the future, I’ll be doing a lot more research on how certain colors work better with different skin tones. I think finding the perfect pairing is really what made me love the results of this shoot.