Nadine vs the Mannequin

Some time ago I mentioned on the blog that I had been shopping for a new model, well today you’re gonna meet Him/It. In our studio we have called him “Henkie” and today it’s the first time he is shared with you the readers…. well ok now let’s get serious.

During the advanced workshops it’s always a challenge for me to come up with something that is different from what you will find in other workshops, this often means that I will think more themed wise or add a lot of motion, dance, movement, jumps to the shots, but sometimes I will go one step further, as I did with this workshop with Nadine. Nadine is without a doubt the model with the most extreme styling and ideas I know, working with her we always call a “party” because it’s fun and full of surprises. When I told Nadine about our “new model” she was immediately full of ideas, and we decided to use one of the ideas for this workshop, and yes if you read it correctly there are more ideas… 🙂

For the first setup I started out with only one light, in this case a Fresnel spot.
You can of course buy the original Fresnel spots (still hunting one down for Elinchrom) but you can also safe a LOT of money and make one yourself. In my case I bought one from eBay and removed everything except the lens and the casing, the casing was left open from the back and now I can just place a strobe inside (two stands, one for the fresnel casing and one for the strobe) and use it just like a normal Fresnel. The advantage of this light source is that the quality of light is really very nice and gives you a moody and spot like beam to work with, something that was very fitting for the idea I had here.

During the first part of the workshop I build up the lights to include some gelled strobes, an accent light and of course the main light which in these final shots was lowered app 1.5 stops from the original metered value to give a bit more “mood”. The final ingredient (we call it the magical ingredient) was smoke. I use very simple smoke machines for this, they work and won’t cost you a fortune, look for example at these from B&H.  It really makes a normally standard image something more unique, especially when combined with color.

For the next series I changed the normal reflectors to snoots plus I left one green strobe right behind my “models”.

As you can see I shot quite some images, the main thing with smoke is that it’s always different, the light will change, the shapes will be different in each shot etc. this means you will end up with a lot of interesting shots, meaning I will shoot a lot more than I would normally do… 🙂 Picking a favorite however is also incredibly difficult.

For the final setup we played around with the Elinchrom Deep octa and one strobe on the background to create depth in the image.

12 replies
  1. Dom
    Dom says:

    Great and original idea Frank !
    Can you tell what model of Fresnel spot did you buy on ebay ?
    Thanks !

    • Frank Doorhof
      Frank Doorhof says:

      I really won’t know, I just bought a theater spot and modified that one, it can be done with everyone I guess, as long as it’s big enough to fit the strobe.

  2. Tampa Band Photos
    Tampa Band Photos says:

    Frank, I know it’s a bit late, but I just wanted to thank you for this post.  The idea of shooting with a fog machine and colored gels wasn’t something that I had played with very much at all, but I showed a client one of your images, and it ended up serving as inspiration for one of his promotional photos.  Here’s the result, in case you’re interested:

    Thanks again for sharing!  🙂


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