My first test shoot I took using my son as a model, this shoot was to test my ability to photograph outdoor portraiture as I would be taking some images outdoors to create that fantasy, princess like look with my brides, using an outdoor setting I feel adds a bit of background to keep the image interesting, my main idea was to use a shallow depth of field so that my focus in the images were of the model.
The shoot was in bad weather although it was freezing I was still able to get some nice shots, it also enabled me to work with the change of weather and become more aware of how to prepare for such evens, bring a coat for example!
I began shooting while my son played in and out of the trees in a location just meters from our home, this was very useful as it provided me with an easily accessible area to work with, during the shoot it did begin to get cold and we cut it short but in the time we had I was able to test different settings on the camera and correctly use the long 135mm lens to capture soft images, this will be helpful when snapping images of brides in the white dress.
The images I was most happy with were the images were the scene is very bright, just enough to give a soft summery glow to the image. And where the face is completely uncovered, with my son looking directly in the camera, this gives me a very direct image, it shows the model perfectly, without distractions, and a soft bokeh backdrop.
The two images above I feel are my strongest images of the set.
I asked my tutor for criticism on my shoot he felt that the first image (show above) was the strongest, as he is showing al of his face and hair rather than covering up as in most of the other images, this shows the person rather than their clothes, this is something I will bring with me to my other shoots.
I was happy with the exposure of the first image as its nice and bright, it doesn’t blow out any of his features and keeps the image cheery, with out too many dark shadows. By using the tree as a prop this also adds interest into the image, showing what he is doing and where he is, this keep the focus on the person in the image but adds a bit of personal interest, by giving the background a shallow depth of field it adds a nice backdrop but doesn’t take away the focus on the person.
My second image I was happy with as it showed the playfulness of the shoot, this brings you into the moment and by placing my son on the fallen tree I was able to use the surroundings as available props to create a scene, he did however have his hood up as it was raining so looking back If I was to change this scene then I would get hi to remove his hood briefly for the images.
Second Test Shoot
For my second test shoot I asked my mother to help sit in for me as I had had a cancellation from a model I had tried to arrange a shoot with, she put on a dress that I had provided, as again it was a miserable wet day she wouldn’t go any further than the back garden! this proved difficult to get some usable images, It did however allow me to test my 55mm lens at bridal photography, I wasn’t as happy with the outcome of this shot, I didn’t feel that my images were as strong, the background proved to be very unflattering iin my images, although I was able to take some images based on my brief I felt the location was the biggest let down for me.
Again I got some constructive criticism on my shoot, my tutor explained that he felt (as I had mentioned above) the background was a big distraction in these images, they made the image look very unflattering, however the exposure on the dress created a nice soft white glow i the dress, if the setting was else where the images could have potential.
My favourite of the shoot is the image to the right (above) I was able to get her smiling in this image which wasn’t that easy throughout the shoot! I was grateful for the help she had provided however I didn’t feel as though this shoot went as well as it could have, the lighting I am really happy with, I like the exposure on the dress and the light cascading through the veil but as mentioned the background did let these images down.
Given the opportunity to shoot this again I would ideally prefer warmer more comfortable weather and of course a better location to shoot in.
Over all the images I took during my first test shoots helped me with my ideas in my brief, I realised that the setting places a very big part in how my images are seen, the way the model is positioned and posed (meaning that their face is fully visible) as well as a joyful expression! and the correct exposure can create either a soft glow or a dull shadow, both creating two completely different images.