“This amazing session features Lucy, a local high school student. Lucy shares my affinity for vintage glam and found this awesome dress – the perfect combination of Gatsby cool with a modern punch of color. Love, love, love this girl’s look! We put pin curls in her gorgeous curly dark hair, and splashes of diamond accessories everywhere. Honestly, I could shoot these vintage styled portraits every day and not get tired of it, and does Lucy ever deliver!”
Britt’s Photography Tip:
Aside from the killer wardrobe and styling, the dramatic lighting and contrast were essential to this set. Once I knew what Lucy’s dress looked like, I chose a starkly contrasting backdrop and set it up in the room in my studio that has blackout curtains.
To control the light and provide some deep shadowing with which to enhance the heavy feel of these images, I drew the blackout curtains almost closed, and positioned Lucy at the edge of the light stream.
I did not employ supplemental lighting here, as I wanted to use the dim lighting and slight grain produced by my chosen settings to enhance the vintage vibe. By using a shallow depth of field, I was able to create a sense of soft dreaminess that played well with the subdued lighting. I love how these elements combine and contrast with the vibrant, sunny color of her dress.
Lucy herself was positioned in a manner that put her curvy figure at its best advantage. We played up her shapely legs in the pull back shot by letting them drape over the side of the chair, and shot from above in other images to both elongate her neck and reveal her attractive decolletage. By stretching her out across her chair, we were able to slim her petite, curvy figure and give an air of poise and delicacy.
I spent some time talking through Lucy’s preferences and sensitivities, and then worked through each pose with her as we went (demonstrating where necessary) to help Lucy feel at ease and understand clearly how I wanted her to position herself.
Putting forethought into each session to ensure that wardrobe, accessories, hair and makeup, lighting, and backdrops all work together to evoke the intended vibe will make a huge difference in your end results. It also pays to think about preferred lenses and camera settings that will best produce the desired effect.
During the session, I recommend spending some time talking your client through each set, showing them how you want them to move, explaining why certain poses or movements are more flattering than others (taking their body type into consideration). This is huge in terms of putting them at ease and for getting the results you want. You will get your best images from a client who is comfortable with you and has a clear idea of what you need from them.
Britt used a Nikon D700 with a Nikkor 24-70mm lens to capture these images.
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