In the studio, everything that will become your photograph is supplied by you, your talent, or your crew. It’s not like shooting on location, where a serendipitous breeze may make your model’s hair or clothes take on a life of their own, adding to dynamism in your shot. Rather, if you want wind in your studio photography, you’ve got to make it yourself.
What the studio lacks in happenstance, it makes up for with control. The photography studio is an environment that allows for experimentation, and the only limits are those imposed by allotted space and what you’re willing to clean up after a shoot. If you’re opting to use wind in your images in the studio, you can try out all sorts of different ways to use it.
Gavin Hoey demonstrates these principals of experimentation and control in a video created for Adorama TV detailing just what you can do with a subject and a little wind. Specifically, Gavin’s video is all about incorporating different wind directions and wind-generating devices with a subject’s hair.
Three Ways To Make Wind
To use this method, you’ll need an assistant. It’s an easy way to add a bit of motion on the spur of the moment using what you’ve already got on hand. Simply have your assistant take a reflector and use it to send gusts of wind wafting at your subject. Gavin recommends that these gusts come from below rather than above to create a more dramatic look.
The downsides are that lone wolf photographers would find this method challenging if not impossible to do without an assistant, repeatedly waving a reflector for an extended time is taxing on the assistant physically, and it cuts down on fluidity on the model’s part, as they must wait for each gust.
Incorporating a simple house fan into your shoot has a few advantages over the reflector method. For one, you can use this method alone. If you don’t have an assistant handy, a house fan will do the job, and it won’t get tired like a human fan would. A house fan can even be used for a self-portrait alone. The use of a fan also increases the range of movement a model can use bring to a shoot while using wind, as they are freer to move than they would be with the prior method.
A wind machine is what you use when you need more power. It packs enough punch for garments as well as hair and behaves a bit more like natural wind in a shoot – less control, more chaos. A high-quality wind machine is going to be more expensive than your average house fan, but it can add considerable production value to a shoot.
A Fan For Every Budget
Whether from above, below, from the side, or behind, the direction you choose for your wind plays an important role. Check out Gavin’s video below to see the effect direction of wind has on the look and feel of your photos and see the different methods in action.