Background and Vision
A MUA (makeup artist) friend of mine approached me to discuss a creative bridal shoot, as she needed more images for her portfolio. I agreed on the condition that I have creative control over the shoot and what I wanted was to create an edgy yet traditional look for the images – she agreed.
I jumped on the idea that I would finally be able to shoot “brides” in a more controlled environment without the pressure of a wedding (which is what I mainly shoot). My friend and I arranged for models, wardrobe, and a decorator. Due to some circumstances we ended up shooting in the MUA’s basement (in pretty tight quarters)
How You Shot It
Focal Length: 62mm
I knew I wanted the sharpest possible images, so I shot at f8 on my Nikkor 24-70 (which is ridiculously sharp). I also wanted the images to be as flattering as possible for the models so I used the longest focal length I could at the location, which happened to be 62mm (my back was literally pressed against the wall).
For my lighting I wanted to use softboxes; however, I didn’t have softboxes large enough for what I wanted – so I decided to use shoot-through umbrellas instead. For my main light I used 2 sb-900 on a single Light stand. I couldn’t show this in the diagram but one of the sb-900’s was attached to the Light stand using a c-clamp with the bottom of the Shoot-Through Umbrella almost touching the ground. The lightstand was raised just enough so that the bottom of the top umbrella was just above the top of the bottom umbrella. In essence this created one large light source the height of the models body while sitting. The two sb-900’s acting as the main light were set to manual mode at ½ power.
For my fill light, I had just one sb-900 set at ¼ power with a Shoot-Through Umbrella.
I also put a sb-900 behind the couch the model was sitting at, point it straight up and it was at full power, just to create some separation and to have some of the fabrics for the backdrop reflect some light.
How You Processed It
The image was processed in Photoshop using a single exposure HDR-type technique I’ve developed over the course of a year for portraits. Essentially raising contrast, sharpness, and detail.
You can click here to see more of Shamas Chaudhry’s work.
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