Photography News Issue 27 absolutephoto.com
Pro focus Opportunity knocks Short on time, in an unfamiliar studio and with unknown models, two students were tasked with shooting Professional Photo’s front cover image. Here’s how one of them got on...
Imagine you’ve got two hours to shoot the front cover of a magazine. You’ll be taking pictures with a camera you’ve never used before, of models you’ve never met before and will be working in a location you’ve never been to before. All while the magazine’s editor watches your every move. No pressure, then… That’s exactly what faced HND photography students Kalem Duffus-Mckenzie and Weronika Dybkowska who had earned the opportunity to spend a day in the studio. Both had visited the Professional Photo stand at Hasselblad’s ShootLDN event in October. Back then, they had just five minutes to impress, shooting a quick cover image with a Hasselblad H5D and amodel in a pop-up studio. Having won the opportunity, this time they were in the driving seat. Of course, they weren’t completely on their own. They had the excellent Hasselblad H5D and a variety of lenses, a bank of broncolor lighting and all the technical assistance they could wish for. There was also a make-up artist on hand, two stunning models – Josie and Georgia – from the MOT Models agency and a fantastic location to explore. Shooting to the front When it comes to shooting a cover image, there’s the added pressure of making it a stand-out piece of work, of course, but other technical pressures, too. Beyond needing it to be inviting, well lit, have good
eye contact and not be too cluttered it’s easy to think that an upright framing is what’s required – that’s the shape of a magazine, after all – but in fact the main image actually needs to be squarer in shape to fit with the masthead. Our photographers needed to consider all that, as well as leaving space to include cover tasters, and while plain backgrounds aren’t essential, they certainly make our designer’s job easier! So, given all those restrictions and the timescale, how do you think they’d fare? Here’s how one of the students, Kalem, got on. Photographer 1: Kalem Duffus- Mckenzie Now in the second year of his HND photography course, 19-year-old KalemalreadyhasGCSE,Aleveland HNC photography qualifications under his belt. He hopes to go on to study at degree level. While shooting portraits is his first love – and a genre that he hopes to continue in when he’s working commercially – he also enjoys product photography. He’s been shooting in a studio for a few years now, but had never been let loose with all the lighting equipment in the same way as on our cover shoot. “Before I arrived, I gathered as much information as I could, primarily researching trending fashion,” Kalem told us. “Fur, leather, metallics, platforms, knee-high boots, vintage style and finger jewellery were all
very popular. I also researched the trending colour palettes and found that either pink or red were the key colours for this year.” Kalem started by photographing model Georgia in front of a dark background, accessorising the shot with props from the studio as well as some of those that he’d brought along himself. “Naturally, I wanted the model’s face to be well lit,” he explains, “but I also needed a light directed on the backdrop, so the model and her clothing would not be lost within the deep grey background. For bothmodels, I tried to portray a vintage look. I opted to shoot mostly from the waist up as I felt that this was best for the shape of the cover image required.” Of the two photographers, Kalem was certainly themost prolific. Once he was happy with his lighting set- up, he shot more than 600 frames during the course of the day. “Working with the Hasselblad and broncolor kit was a real privilege,” he admitted. “The detail, sharpness and accuracy are all hugely impressive and the H5D was easy to use once I’d had a couple of run-throughs with all the controls. Looking back, I believe I coped successfully with the entire shoot. It was certainly worthwhile bringing some of my own props – even if I did let my opponent use them as well!” You can read more about Kalem and Weronika’s experience in the latest issue of Professional Photo magazine, on sale now.
You’ll findmore insight in the latest Professional Photo – the onlymag dedicated to full-time and aspiring pro photographerswww.photographynews.co.uk
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