Thursday, June 5, 2014


Last night I had a photoshoot that was on my schedule for months, and I learned many things from it, mostly how to improvise, often at that very moment.

I've had limited success trying to set up shoots through Model Mayhem, sometimes even getting an initial meeting to discuss the shoot would fall through, which frustrated me and led me to believe that the majority on there are flaky at best. I guess we can safely just say that about beginners to be nice. Well, the one I worked with last night contacted me first. She was doing what many models on there often do, plan on traveling across the country and setting up many shoots along the way. I didn't ask if she had just sent requests out to every photographer in my area, but it turned it later that she did indeed look at my work beforehand.

So over the months the date and time often changed, and also the location where she was staying while here as well, which was a factor for me, as I wanted to do an outside shoot and I only had her available for an hour, so closest to her location would be best. Also a factor was the fact that she did mostly "art" modeling, meaning little or no clothing, so I also had to find a location in which we wouldn't get arrested. Extra difficult in this state, I'd say. Along those lines, any photos I have on here will have those pesky black bars over the obvious bits, as I don't know if nudity is allowed on Blogger. And I certainly don't want to cause the collapse of society by somebody glimpsing a nipple or two.

So. If you weren't in the area yesterday, we've had a few days of nice summer weather, then cloudy and dreary; par for course in New England. Her time for the shoot went from after 5 PM to after 7 PM. Sunset is close to 9 PM now, but it gets darker even sooner with the clouds. I had to pick her up at a train station, as she was shooting all day in a city west of here. And the park I had in mind was about a half hour's drive, in good traffic. We were definitely racing against time on this one.

We made it there, and remember me mentioning avoiding getting arrested? Well there was a police car sitting inside the park, probably making sure nobody stayed in after it got dark. I did manage to find an area just out of his view, and there was another car we had to keep an eye on too. I'm sure that one stuck around because they surely caught a glimpse of her a few times as she certainly wasn't uncomfortable about running around naked and I had to remind her to keep down a few times. This was turning into quite the guerilla shoot. Next time I do something like this I'll bring a lookout.

So yeah, there's more crouching and low angle shots than I'd like, but like I said, improvisation. And the low light was a challenge, as I don't like to use flash if possible. I set the camera up as best as I could but without a tripod there was still some shakiness in some of the pictures. Some of the shots still look good despite this, though.

I did try using the flash a few times, not awful shots, but not what I was really aiming for either. They really do look like we caught her in the middle of doing something.

And as ever there are wonderful accidents. I don't know why this shot came out like this or how to duplicate it but I like it.

I only got about 60 shots before it was too dark to work without flash, and just as we got back to the car we see the cop come around the corner, so good timing I'd say. 

So yes, a good lesson in improvisation I'd say; adapting to the light, location, weather, and other unpredictable factors, thankfully the model wasn't one of them, she was fun to work with. She'll be in New York City for a week now; I wonder what the photographers there will have her do.