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Wait before you throw something out

Don’t just throw stuff out. It can be awesome material to make clothing or accessories

Over the years I’ve shot some bizarre clothes and accessories all made out of material that you would never expect in a photoshoot. Ofcourse it helps to have a crazy creative stylist and model like Nadine 🙂 the images in this blogpost are a mix of styling by myself and Nadine.

For example think about some packing paper and old curtains

Or for example some Christmas paper

But also postal bags work

But one of my favorite must be this heavily inspired by the 50s pulp SF movies shot which is almost completely build up from paper bags

Staying in SF what about a robot all made out of cardboard

But it can also work with a newspaper of course.

Or what about handkerchiefs

And when we are on that route… Some toilet paper ?

And sometimes a lot of fun after the shoot with bubble wrap

And staying in plastic, what about some thrashbags? Not possible? Oh yeah it is

And finally (although I have loads more) what about using some plastic material and don’t use it as clothing but as background

What did you use as a creative solution?

TIP on backgrounds

When I started out with model photography I used a lot of seamless backgrounds, and I think most of you do.
However the more I shot the more I grew bored with these backgrounds and I started using the studio walls and more and more and I was drawn to location work. Of course it’s not possible to work on great locations all the time, and let’s be realistic…. the background does have to have something interesting, being it structure, rawness (is that a word?), edginess (love that word, I always use it when I don’t know something else) and…. well you get the general idea, walls can be cool if they are cool.

At one point it dawned to me that if I couldn’t go to locations all the time why not get the locations in our studio, if you go through my portfolio you can actually see that a lot of my work is using models pretty much straight up or in front of walls. In our studio we actually painted all the walls in different themes and looks going from nice and dark to totally distressed with wallpaper hanging down and broken plaster. Sometimes people will actually comment on these walls and ask me when I’m gonna do some fixing up… until I tell them that those are sets and their response is “oh cool, I need that”… actually at that time I already earned my money for the workshop because in my opinion the biggest problem a lot of photographers struggle with is “seeing possibilities”. So if you see an old broken down wall don’t see it as something that has to go but see it as an photo oppertunity.

Our studio is pretty big and there is no wall in the studio that we can’t use as a backdrop, I always am stunned when I visit studios that are HUGE but have all the same color walls, it just doesn’t make sense for me, of course a shooting area for cars has to be one color, but there are also so many other walls, areas etc. that you can use and that are often left untouched, for me the studio is a working space and not an office (heck even my office has different themes, I hate plain walls I guess).

So what if you can’t do your walls like we can?
In essence all walls can be covered with wallpaper right?
So find some interesting wall paper like for example this :
Roosmarijn Maart 29 2016 0331

Roosmarijn Maart 29 2016 0340If you are not allowed to do this on the walls, make “small” (2.50×2.50 mtrs) panels and cover them.
But you can also paint those panels, in this case one of our interns did a tremendous job I think, and as you can see it REALLY spices things up, the image in front of it is already cool but the walls…. well they complete it, and it really also helps to enhance the styling.

Nadine Professional Imaging - 16  March 12, 2016

Indeed all the structure and blues you see is in the wall, we used a little bit of smoke to spice the set up, but the wall in combination with nadine her awesome styling makes the image complete.

But a lot more can be done.
Here are some examples of our walls in action 😀

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Roosmarijn Maart 29 2016 0347 1

Nadine Februari 6 2016 31200

Nadine Februari 27 2016 0020

Now if you don’t have the options for panels, or wallpaper or…. there is always another option.
Lastolite is a brand you probably know right?
They have some amazing foldable backgrounds with great prints, and the fun thing is… they don’t take up any space and they look great in a photoshoot. I always have some with me when I teach on location (just in case).

Here are some samples from the Lastolites.


Nadine April 3 2016 1430

Poeka bij FotoKlein December 19 2015 0010

Poeka bij FotoKlein December 19 2015 0042

Now if you think these are too expensive (man you are hard to convince :D)
You can always use a backdrop system and mount some plastic to it and play with that.

Nadine open dag November 28 2015 30556

Nadine open dag November 28 2015 30526

Or use some curtains

Nadine open dag November 28 2015 30488

So the next time you grab your seamless…. try to do something more creative and start using the walls, areas of your studio etc.
OR….. well you also use seamless of course.

Karina Feb 13 2016 Phase One workshop NY 0064

 

Karina Feb 13 2016 Phase One workshop NY 0067If you want more in depth tips and tricks check out my book “Mastering the model shoot” it’s not just on models but also has extensive parts on styling, your studio etc.
Also check out my instructional videos via this website (see the left menu), and check out my videos on KelbyOne where you can also find one on building your own studio.

Cool backgrounds from Lastolite

During the Photokina I shot several demos with the new collapsible backgrounds from Lastolite and to be honest I love them a lot, never thought I would.

You all know I love the more “rustic” backgrounds, old walls, iron, rust etc.
In our studio we have several walls with these themes so I’m more than happy there, however on location it’s often a bit of a problem…. not when we really go to a location but it is when I teach workshops for photo clubs, demo on stages etc. Often the rooms are rather small and the walls in the rooms are pretty “boring” to say the least. And when using seamless I often need more distance to the backgrounds than I’m actually given.
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Working with backgrounds in the studio

Ok I promised to to blog till Monday, but hey…..

I decided to do an in between blog post about some of the questions that were asked in the last few days, so let’s go.

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