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Lighting for Fashion – Tricks of the Trade with Jodi Jones

NYC fashion photographer Jodi Jones takes us behind the scenes for a recent photoshoot for client Oriett Domenech:

 

“I wanted to give you a “Behind the Scenes” look into creating one of my fashion images.  I am going to cover: LIGHTING, GEAR, TIPS for ON-SET, and how to get the BEST IMAGES from your PHOTO SHOOT.

My name is Jodi Jones.  I am a fashion photographer based out of New York City.  I have been working full-time as a fashion photographer for the past 12 years.  My work has been published in numerous magazines worldwide including: Vogue, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitian, and Time Magazine.

I have begun this year to start teaching the craft of photography to others.  Along with my workshops on breaking into fashion photography, lighting, and the business of fashion photography, I have also created this blog I call “CREATIVE SPACE.” Here I peel back the curtain and take you behind the scenes of many of my photo shoots.  At “CREATIVE SPACE,” I will show you how I create an image, and how YOU CAN DO THE SAME.

Here is a recent photo shoot I created for a client.  My client, Oriett Domenech is a very talented fashion designer from the Dominican Republic.  I have worked with her for the past two seasons.  Last season I worked with her in creating a lookbook for fashion buyers, images for her website, an advertising campaign, and a creative video for her runway show.

The images below were just shot of her latest collection: FALL/WINTER 2013.  Since photography is the art, science, and practice of creating images by recording lightI will show you how I created the light for these images.

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A lot of beginning photographers assume that to get magazine quality images, you have to do a TON of POST PRODUCTION RETOUCHING.  While this may sometimes be the case, it certainly does not always apply if you pay VERY close attention to the LIGHTING and all the little DETAILS on set.

The first step always when organizing a fashion shoot is to choose the best model you can get for the job.  For this reason, I like to be involved in the casting process.  It’s important that the model take good care of her skin, hair and nails.  All of these things will show up in the photographs.  For the shoot I will discuss with you today, we cast model Anna Fuller, of Muse Models in New York.

Secondly, choose a very strong supporting team.  For this particular shoot, the producer/stylist was Oscar Montes de Oca.  Oscar and I have worked together many times, and what I especially respect about his work is that he understands that it is not the retouchers job to “fix” the clothes.  A good stylist makes sure that the clothing looks as good as possible on set. Being a good fashion stylist is not just about putting an outfit together, it is much more than that.  It is important that the stylist understands proper tailoring and can work their magic quickly on set to show off the garments to the best of their ability under a variety of lighting.  I say this because many times, a moody side light can bring out details in a garment (good or bad) that we don’t quite notice with our eyes, but will show up on film.  Also, I always expect the hair/makeup artist to be standing just off to the side of the backdrop “set” with a few essential tools watching the model pose.  It is their job to make sure that when the model moves and the hair gets messed up, that they can step in and fix it quickly.  No shoes on the backdrop though, socks only!

Here is a “before & after” example so you can see what one of my images looks like straight out of the camera before ANY post production:

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For this particular shoot, I discussed the concept with the fashion designer, Oriett Domenech beforehand and we both agreed that we wanted the model’s skin to be slightly desaturated, but any colors in the clothing needed to POP.  We also chose the direction of having the model pose very strong as if she was a drill sergeant or captain. A very sexy captain indeed.  I also liked the idea of having the backdrop be a bit gritty in contrast to the elegant, sleek clothing.  One thing that was a must was that the clothing needed to be  well lit to show all the details without being flat or boring.  We still wanted some shadows.

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For the lighting, I chose certain tools that I thought would best accomplish the look I was going for.  I used a total of four lights to achieve this look.  Remember, MORE LIGHTS DOESN’T MEAN BETTER LIGHTING!  Many times I light a shoot with just one light.  Every time you add another LIGHT, you also add another SHADOW.

Here is a “behind the scenes” shot of me doing a lighting test with my model, Anna.  She is still in her street clothes for the lighting test.  Adam Rodriguez, my talented videographer is shooting some behind the scenes video footage of the shoot.  Shot at Loft-402 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

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Here is a lighting diagram my awesome intern Sam Bynens (from Belgium) created for me:

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The GEAR used for this particular shoot:

CAMERA – When shooting for a client that has such amazing detailing and texture in her clothing, I couldn’t imagine shooting any other camera than Hasselblad.  The Hasselblad camera that I used for this shoot was the H4D-50 with a Hasselblad 50 megapixel digital back, and an 80mm Hasselblad lens.  While the extraordinary detail in the garments may not translate here in these web images, seeing them in print and on my large iMac the quality is quite apparent.

LIGHTING – 2 Broncolor Scoro S 1600 Packs, 4 Unilite heads and a RFS Radio Transmitter.

The main “key light”: a Broncolor Unilite with a Para 88 light modifier was placed high above the model tilted down on her at roughly a 45 degree angle. I placed a silk difusser on the Para 88 to “soften” the light.

I placed a second light, my “fill light” also at a 45 degree angle to model.  This second light is in what photographers sometimes call position 2 lighting, where the light is slightly lower than the first position light.  I placed my fill light quite a bit lower, more at her chest level to fill in any hard shadows.  This second light is lower in power to the main key light.

The 2 “Background/Side Lights” are Broncolor Unilites with Umbrellas.  These were added to give a little more soft light on the background and also to slightly spill onto the model from either side to make her “pop” and give her seperation from the background.  I think these extra lights give the photographs that extra punch.

I chose Broncolor lights for this shoot because I find they give me the best quality of light and I find them to be really simple to use.  The assembly of the Para 88 lighting modifier is much quicker and easier to put together than most softboxes and this is the most diversified lighting tool I have ever used.  I can focus or defocus the beam to get the exact hardness or softness I want with the light as well as how much spread of light I want.

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Behind the scenes iphone shots taken by interns on instagram below:

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For more lighting tips and hands on training, come to one of my workshops.”

Thanks.

Jodi

 

Via Lighting for Fashion – Tricks of the Trade | Jodi Jones Blog.

Shoot NYC Recap

A packed house at Michael Grecco's Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait seminar. Photo by Mike Hill.

Hasselblad and broncolor wrapped up another Shoot NYC event at La Venue on October 25 and 26, 2012. Shoot NYC has become a photography staple, a place where people can network, educate themselves on photographic tools, and foster a community with their fellow photographers. Free seminars and workshops ran both days and included a variety of topics ranging from how to create and maintain a photography business, to learning about key lighting modifiers and copyright information. These free seminars were incredible in terms of the quality of information, and our speakers spoke to packed rooms of eager photographers that wanted to enhance their photo businesses.

The broncolor Para family lights up Shoot NYC. Photo by Andre Rowe.

Lara Jade's business seminar focused on online marketing and promotion using social media tools and networking. Photo by Kermit Mercado and Victoria Harrington.

Rick Friedman spoke to a full house, and taught how to light on-location, with the use of Sunbounce reflectors. Photo by Kermit Mercado and Victoria Harrington.

Bryan O'Neil Hughes taught the ins and outs of Adobe Photoshop with on-screen instruction. Photo by Mike Hill.

Sunbounce, Sun-Sniper, broncolor, FOBA, Kobold and Visatec products were on the show floor for anyone to get their hands on and use. Shoot NYC also featured new products including the broncolor Move 1200 L battery pack, the Hasselblad H5D, the Sunbounce Bounce-Wall portable flash accessory, and the Sun-Sniper Pro-II camera strap.

The broncolor Move 1200 L battery pack was featured at Shoot NYC

The new Hasselblad H5D was available to see for the first time since Photokina. Peter Stig, Hasselblad product manager for the H system camera, spoke about the new H5D, including its technical advancements and new product features.

The Hasselblad station at Shoot NYC. Photo by Mike Hill.

A live shooting sets with photographers Franklin Thompson, Thomas Liggett, Gregor Halenda, Jodi Jones and David Perkins (with two dancers and a Ducati) were a main focal point. With an array of broncolor modifiers and Kobold HMIs, they played with light to create some amazing images.

Dancers Aaron and Kristin. Photo by David Perkins.

Photographer Franklin Thompson with dancers Aaron White and Kristin Yancy . Photo by Mike Hill.

Photo by Franklin Thompson.

The Ducati. Photo by Thomas Liggett.

In case you missed it, here are some video compilations of the speakers who talk about their businesses, their seminars and a little about themselves:

Shoot NYC 2012: Lindsay Adler, Kawai Matthews and Lara Jade from Hasselblad Bron Inc. on Vimeo.

Shoot NYC 2012: Rick Friedman, Ryan Enn Hughes, Arash Moallemi, Andre Rowe, Michael Grecco and David Robin from Hasselblad Bron Inc. on Vimeo.

Shoot NYC 2012: Chase Jarvis and Vincent Laforet from Hasselblad Bron Inc. on Vimeo.

The student event ran on late Friday afternoon with photographers/directors Chase Jarvis and Vincent Laforet, and was an informative Q&A session that spoke volumes on starting off as a photographer and following your dreams. “Rejection is another opportunity” and “don’t be incrementally better, be different” were some of the mottos behind the two. The students asked everything from “how to make it big” to “what was your biggest mistake,” and everything in-between.

Shoot NYC 2012: Peter Stig, Bryan O’Neil Hughes, Beth Taubner and John Harrington from Hasselblad Bron Inc. on Vimeo.

Shoot NYC 2012: Carrie McCarthy, Alexandra Niki, Aurelie Jezequel and Viktoria Sorochinski from Hasselblad Bron Inc. on Vimeo.

Shoot NYC 2012: Franklin Thompson, David Perkins and Jodi Jones from Hasselblad Bron Inc. on Vimeo.

We would like to thank our partners: Scheimpflug, Adorama, APA, Capture Integration, Fotocare, Resource Magazine, Digital Photo Pro, B&H, HD Video Pro, Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, Lucie Foundation, ASMP NY, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Calumet and the Art of Photography Show.

And our speakers and photographers: Ghada Khunji,Viktoria Sorochinski, Rick Friedman, John Harrington, Lindsay Adler, Bryan O’Neil Hughes, Ryan Enn Hughes, Arash Moallemi, Alexandra Niki, Aurelie Jezequel, David Robin, Lara Jade, Peter Stig, Kawai Matthews, Michael Grecco, Chase Jarvis, Vincent Laforet, Andre Rowe, Jodi Jones, Franklin Thompson, David Perkins, Thomas Liggett and Jeff Mosier.

We would also like to thank our invaluable extra hands: Elizabeth Stacy and Ryan Burke,  and our army of interns.

Without all of you, this wouldn’t be possible.

And, let’s not forget, the infamous Flugoween Halloween party on Saturday night. After a long week of Shoot NYC and Photoplus, our team rallied together in our costumes and headed over to the event in Dumbo that was hosted with our good friends from Scheimpflug and Resource Magazine. There was an electric chair photo-op and enough food and beer to make anyone merry. Overall, it was a good time with good friends.

We are already looking forward to next year. Cheers!

Photos courtesy of: Kermit Mercado, Victoria Harrington, Ryan Burke, Andre Rowe, Mike Hill and David Perkins

Shoot LA Recap

 

To say that we are overwhelmed (and happy) with the response to the ShootLA event held at Smashbox Studios in West Hollywood this past weekend is an understatement. When we opened the doors at 10 AM and saw the line running all the way down to Santa Monica Blvd., we knew that we hit the right combination of community building and education.

ShootLA, the professional photography forum held by industry leaders broncolor and Hasselblad has come to a close.  The event, which started in October of 2009 in New York City, has quickly become one of the premiere photography events in the country.  On Saturday the 28th, Smashbox Studios in West Hollywood filled with photographers from all walks of life, coming to hear about how to advance their photo business and further their lighting technique. Live photo shoots featured:  fashion, portraiture, still life and art reproduction sets. In addition, the seminars included lectures on topics pertaining to the business of today’s professional photographers.

The response was so huge that two hours into the event the fire marshal would not any allow any additional people into the event until the early afternoon. Special thanks to Kawai Matthews and Andre Rowe, who pulled two guerilla shooting seminars in the two front parking lots, in order to accommodate those who could not get inside the event.

The attendees were just as excited as we were (one photographer professed a diabetic condition, but didn’t want to leave because he was afraid he would not get back into the seminars! Don’t worry. We loaded him up with granola bars to get him through the day). Another woman came up to us crying, asking who to thank for the wonderful event.  And that was just a tidbit of the wonderful pandemonium that happened in West Hollywood.

The event marked the first of many for the fully integrated Hasselblad/Bron team. The US operations for both companies merged together to form Hasselblad Bron Inc. early last week, creating an expanded sales, marketing and customer support system .  Both Hasselblad and Broncolor represent the standard of excellence for the professional photographic market. Having  both companies together as one unit was impressive and is a testament to the seasoned players from both organizations. The combined companies’  knowledge base is something that will be a great resource to the photographic community.

Even something seemingly disastrous turned into a positive. When the original skateboarder we had arranged broke his board on his way over to the event twenty minutes before extreme sports photographer Scott Markewitz was to come on, we called local skate shops, and came into contact with pro skater “Tom Tom” Erik Ryen (@tomerikryen). We knew good karma had come our way.

Photo courtesy of Scott Markewitz

As the event came to a close, everyone enjoyed a relaxing cocktail hour and then headed home for a much needed night of rest.

We would like to thank our team, partners and sponsors: Hasselblad, Smashbox Studios, MOPLA/Lucie Foundation, Calumet, Samy’s Camera, Digital Photo Pro, APA, Resource Magazine, Adobe, Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, Livebooks, Art of Photography Show, and Hollywood Ducati. With your collaboration, this event was made possible.

We would like to thank Catherine Asanov and her amazing team of stylists, makeup artists, assistants and models for the amazing day-long editorial shoot.


We would also like to thank our speakers: Kawai Matthews, Bryan Hughes, August Bradley, Andy Patrick, Rob Haggart, Allegra Wilde, Jesse Diamond, Tim Hogan, Michael Grecco, Scott Markewitz, and Chris Robinson. Your diverse range of expertise and knowledge is what makes this event.

Andrew Southam on Shoot:

“I was honored to be part of Shoot LA’s Bron Lighting event. I had a chance to discuss my feelings and thoughts about the power of lighting in creating a memorable image, to show some of my work and then, in front of several hundred people, light a photograph of a model as I would on a job. It was a fantastic experience and a great coming together of our professional community. I want to congratulate Bron and Colin King for making it all happen and look forward to my association with Bron in the future. Their equipment is transforming my work and the way I see light.” Andrew’s Blog

Scott Markewitz on his favorite part of Shoot:

“The highlight was the live action lighting demo I put on at the end with Norwegian pro skateboarder, Tom Erik Ryen. We were really lucky to find Tom at a local skate shop, and he did an amazing job in the small space we had to work with, jumping high over a wooden box while I snapped his image.” Scott’s Blog

Future plans for Shoot include branching overseas to Asia, but will continue its tour in the US in New York during October (ShootNYC).  For those who missed it or were not able to get into the event, ShootLA will be returning in one month and will include familiar faces as well as new speakers and set designs.