I haven’t been the best at keeping my website updated over the years, especially since I was not entirely ready to break out into the photography field. But now that I’ve found my niche doing outings and week-long tours, I’ve realized the ever growing importance of getting my ass in gear to promote myself and what I do. This has led to the need to updating my computers and as EVERYONE KNOWS, my cell phone. For more on that, see my blog post, “Cool Aid” at, https://sarahboutilier.wordpress.com/.
There’s nothing like a great idea to get you inspired in something. For my inspiration I had launched myself into a project of creating silhouettes of regular outing goers, you know who you are, who have generously volunteered their time to help me. But before I get into how I did it…
Recently I’ve joined a workshop hosted by Rob Davidson which allows access to the studio at anytime as long as it’s available. Every other Tuesday (which I affectionately call, “Rob’s Casual Tuesdays”) a group of us gather to view each other’s work to have the benefit of each other’s opinions. It’s a fun way to be extremely hands on and to hang out with others who are down to earth and like minded. Not to mention it’s a great deal for my buck.
On my most recent trip with the group to Mainland Nova Scotia, I took several candid photos of each member photographing things and having fun. Not only is it fun to build these memories, but I had it in mind to use some for my website as well as other marketing purposes. These candid shots, though fun wasn’t the look I was going for. Nothing says touristy like touristy images. So how could I make them unique? That’s when the idea of silhouettes got me. I could go through all my travel images and cut them onto a different layer and….. well, that sounded like to much work and too much pain in the ass selecting.
So I booked the studio. Last Saturday actually and I have it booked again this Saturday to photograph people as though there were on my outing. I directed them to do all manner of things from using their tripod or monopod, changing lenses, wearing their camera bags, walking to and fro, and even making a reference window with their hands.
The set up was made to make the resulting images as clean as possible. I used a seamless white background with two 800 Alien Bee’s including reflective umbrella’s facing the background very close together. In front of this, we set up a stage made up of half inch Plexiglas and apple crates below for support. With the umbrellas so close together, there wasn’t much allowance for movement across the stage, especially for the walking to and fro. To fix this, when I set up next, I’m going to try lighting through the white backdrop.
I’m very pleased with the results so far, after I’ve edited a number of images. The wrinkle of clothing, tripods, those that have individuality such as hats, caps and physique, all shine through the silhouettes making them into characters more than static individuals.
This project is turning out to be so much more than I hoped. All the edited silhouettes have become stock photography for my own files and future use. I’m learning to be more confident in setting up lights, backdrops, stages, etc. I’ve even grown more confident in conveying what style I want to shoot, how to direct the model and lastly post editing. It’s amazing this experience and I hope that everyone will have one like this. Not necessarily in studio photography, but in any style of photography you do. It’s a slow light turning on, but it’s turning on, finally!
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