The Vintage style is always fun for adding character to lifestyle, portrait, and wedding photography. In this day and age with Instagram we are used to instantly making our photos vintage. We are going to showing you how do it do it right with a real fashion photography beauty shoot, a dslr or medium format camera, and an agency model.
First it's important to get the right vibe.
Starting with the concept you need to focus on the models look. When searching for your models make sure to pick the best ones and use an agency, like Wilhelmina, Ford, or IMG, asking them for testing models. Now get a unique face that is soft and classic. No hard angular features. No high fashion models needed here. Soft faces are ideal to portray the vintage vibes from the 1950's.
Since this is a beauty shoot we are going to set up the lights in position two. Put the light overhead center, and out of your way with a boom. The boom helps so that you're not shooting around a light stand. The lighting is coming from over your head, slightly right or left of yourself. A Beauty dish works perfectly of this type of shoot. You want to have simple clean lighting. Don't use anything like Rembrandt lighting or three quarter lighting, because it needs to pop. And because it needs to be clean and polished. The old school Pinup style of lighting is similar to what we are looking for here.
The light is direct, and with a grid it helps it to be clean. I don't need fall off. A grid will be perfect to center the light and keep the focus on the models face. The reflector gives some balance and catches just the right amount to round the jaw.
We put a wig on our beautiful model Shida from Wilhelmina. This gave her super long straight hair. It is useful to use appropriate props or accents to give your pictures a uniqueness. A red wig makes your model different than the rest. In this case I chose a hairstylist that worked on Clairol Ads and she only uses the best wigs.
Ok, beauty photographers, please don't put lots of makeup on the model. Don't put twenty layers of makeup and twenty props. You want women to actually want to be the model. If a woman looks at the picture and says "I don't want to look as weird as her" then you have an ugly beauty shot. The goal is to inspire women.
A macro lens is a good choice and makes for a really great close up beauty lens. I always love it for beauty. But do with what you have. Preferably a long lens, not a wide lens. It's great to have a shallow depth so the background is out of focus. A sharp macro lens can get you focusing on the eyes.
Here are a few "Behind the Scenes" shots of the shoot!
(My intern Sam holding the reflector - this was his first day on set)
This is where we wrap it up. The pictures are not yet complete. You took it home and slept on it. You woke up and realized that they need to pop! You need to apply a "filter" style. So we get on photoshop and start playing with selective color and curves.
After I do my healing and dodging & burning I will put a color fill over the entire image. I used a royal blue solid color layer, at a 20 percent opacity and luminosity blending mode. This makes her lips super neon, and this also makes the image flat. So I used a curves layer and brought back some of the contrast. You can do different colors to taste or make it darker or lighter depending on your style.
I sometimes go back and dodge the eyes because the solid color layer flattens the picture.
You may want to mask out the background and make it pop out. It's a little boring without color. Dodge and Burn the hair to make it shine, and voila. An awesome vintage feel with a beautiful Wilhelmina model.
Now your turn!
Check out the photographs from the shoot with Wilhelmina Model Shida Harris. Makeup and hair by Lori Esposito. Shot at Loft-402 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with the Broncolor Scoro Pack, a 20" Beauty Dish with Honeycomb grid, a 50MP Medium Format Camera and a 120 macro lens by Me, Jodi Jones.
Special thanks to the crew!
Lori Esposito - Hair and Makeup
Shida Harris - Model with Wilhelmina Models NYC
Stefano Ortega - Assistant
Adam Rodriguez - Behind the Scenes & Video
Sam Bynens - Super Intern
Photography/Art Direction/Retouching by me (Jodi Jones)