Here is a recent lighting column I did for the January 2013 issue of Popular Photography Magazine –PopPhoto.com The issue with my column is on newsstands now.
This photograph was shot in Williamsburg Brooklyn at Factory Studios Brooklyn (Brooklyn, NY). This image was part of a fashion editorial for Z!NK Magazine.
The model in this image is Flaviana Matata, who is represented in NY with Next Models. Flaviana is a Tanzanian beauty queen and fashion model. She was a Miss Universe contestant in 2007.
I art directed and photographed this shoot. My concept was simple: to convey dark and light, hard and soft, yin and yang. I knew I wanted sharp angles and strong expressions with flowing soft movement in the clothes.
A little shout out to the hair styling. The spikes? They’re green kitchen scrub pads that the hairstylist Takahide cut into triangles, spraypainted black, and glued to the model’s head. I’m glad our model Flaviana was game for it, because I think this last-minute adjustment makes the shot. My exposure: 1/125 sec at f/11, ISO 100 on the Hasselblad H4d medium format camera.
I wanted to shoot this particular assignment with the Hasselblad digital camera. In my opinion, this is one of the only digital cameras that comes close to giving digital images a more film-like quality. The equipment used to capture this shot was: Broncolor lighting, Manfrotto stands and the Hasselblad H4D-40 camera system. I’ve always loved broncolor’s lighting system. It gives me such flexibility with each light and allows you to pretty much fine tune your lighting ratios. I knew I wanted to have the image to be very crisp and Hasselblad’s lenses are stunning and sharp. Although I love to shoot with these amazing tools whenever possible, I have shot plenty with very basic equipment, so if one cannot afford such things, it certainly shouldn’t hold one back. The best equipment in the world doesn’t make a good image, the subject is really the most important aspect.
For my series of images I cast two models; Flaviana, a dark-skinned model with shaved head and for the other images in the series, I cast Sima, a FORD model with very pale complexion and long white blonde hair. I chose Oscar Montes de Oca as my fashion stylist and had him create the looks to be primarily black, white, or silver and an occassional touch of color on the shoes and lips. I created my concept board roughly a week in advance with photos of both models for the crew to view, and specific styling directions for wardrobe, hair and makeup.
This was an self-funded fashion editorial shoot so I tried to keep production costs low, and keep my out of pocket costs to a minimum. My primary expenses were: photo studio rental, the lighting equipment rental, and the food on set. All the talent and crew worked for free. I had assistants make food for the crew as it makes for a happy set when they are well fed, and I covered transportation costs for the model out of pocket. Hasselblad loaned me the camera system for the shoot.
This shoot went rather smoothly. There weren’t unexpected challenges other than trying to balance shooting a short video and photograph a fashion editorial in the same day. Getting the model to work in two different mediums in one day can be a bit tough. Each one requires the model behave completely different. They really require completely different flow and direction to achieve their desired results. Luckily, Flaviana was really wonderful and very easy to work with. She took direction well, had a great attitude, and kept her energy all day.
The crew- Photographer/Art Director: Jodi Jones Model: Flaviana Matata with Next Models, Fashion stylist: Oscar Montes de Oca, Makeup: Hazuki Matsushita using Bobbie Brown Cosmetics, Makeup Assistant: Taichi Saito, Hair: Takahide for Patrick Melville salon, Hair Assistant: Kaori for Artistic Cube agency, Manicurist: Lena Naomi for Beauty Is Global, Using Minx Nails, Photo Interns: Stefano Ortega, Jacqueline, Pate, Leriam Gonzales, Elias Rios, Ben Rosenthal, Sarah Bassett & Heather Hayes