Suite Intentions for Elegant Ink Magazine & Winner of PDN's 'The Body Competition'

I recently did a shoot in November with the intention of submitting to a magazine for publication. For the shoot I found a nice hotel suite in London unfortunately the check in time was late into the afternoon so I knew I would not have much time prior to the shoot to scope out the room, so instead I tried to gather as much information as I could from the images on the hotel website. For the most part the images helped a lot in that I was able to see what the room looked like and plan my ideas to fit certain areas in the space, what the images did not help me to do was be able to tell the exact size of the room for instance how high the ceilings were and how much space I would have for lighting and moving about etc…

Here is an initial sketch of my idea for the bed scene there are of course more but I won’t overload you with terrible art :)

From these I was able to at least visualise how I wanted the images to look and feel.

From these I was able to at least visualise how I wanted the images to look and feel.

The next thing to do was find a model. After looking around I came across Kristiana, Kristiana was tall, beautiful and had various tattoos, each of these things accumulated together to create a fantastic look and so although I had not started this editorial with a tattooed model in mind seeing Kristiana encouraged me to adjust my ideas. The good news was Elegant Magazine who showcase many fashion and beauty editorials from great photographers around the world also have a tattoo section to their brand, Elegant Ink. This was perfect for me as I knew that the magazine would still require the shoot to be fashionable as well as elegant ;) whilst still showing off Kristiana’s tattoo’s and so I reached out to her explained my ideas, what I wanted to do and was happy to find that she was excited for us to work together. After ironing out all the details I was able to start preparing for the big day.

As it was late into November in London the sun was setting very early in the day and so I took into consideration prior to the shoot that by the time outfit selection and hair and make-up was done we could possibly have lost all of the natural light from outside however having this editorial move from morning to night was important for me and so to imitate natural daylight I used a large octabank with a diffuser as my main light, it worked better than I could have hoped and the room lit up as if it were morning.

Here you can see a bit of the large octabank high up, off camera right lighting the scene. If you look back at the images above you can also see just how much of a difference the octabank made to the look and feel of the final images.

Here you can see a bit of the large octabank high up, off camera right lighting the scene. If you look back at the images above you can also see just how much of a difference the octabank made to the look and feel of the final images.

Following the story we moved onto evening and so I took a different approach to the lighting, for the couch set up I used a gridded beauty dish high up, off camera right and pointed down at a 120 degree angle as my main light, the large octabank was used far back off camera left at it’s lowest power setting to fill in some shadows and a final light was used behind the couch to emulate light coming in from the corridor and again fill in some shadows. Another reason a gridded beauty dish was used as my main light was because above the couch there was a small lamp creating a nice hair light above the model and I wanted to keep as much of it in the image as possible and so by using the gridded beauty dish I was able to direct the light exactly where I wanted it whilst keeping in some of the ambient light as well.

Here is a diagram of the lighting set-up with the final image below.

Here is a diagram of the lighting set-up with the final image below.

The bathtub scene was a to be a beauty scene, I initially planned to do a triple merger with Kristiana approaching the bath tub, undressing and entering the bath however in the end it worked better just having the beauty images. To light these I used the octabank far back, off camera left at a a 90 degree angle to wash light over the scene, I then used the gridded beauty dish also off camera left, just above Kristiana and angled down at a 120 degree angle to light her face and body this light was my main light.

If you look into her eyes you will be able to see the position of the beauty dish.

If you look into her eyes you will be able to see the position of the beauty dish.

This shoot was a special one for me as it was the first time I decided to go for a magazine submission and I am very happy that this shoot was excepted and published. I have many more ideas jumping around in my crazy head and I can’t wait to try them out, I am looking forward to more shoots in the new year and many more publications.

Elegant Magazine

Elegant Magazine

Check out the full set of images below.

Model & Make-up: Kristiana Zaula                                                                                                                                                   Hair: Georgina Davies

Have a Happy New Year everyone!

PDN The Body.jpg

Update: I am happy to announce that this editorial has been chosen as one of the winners of PDN'S the Body Competition. It is an honour to have my work chosen and I couldn't think of a better way to enter 2017. 

You can check out the winners gallery here:

http://www.shutterloveonline.com/contest_galleries/thebody/2016/#main