photo session: Jeannie Dee
Last weekend I had the great pleasure of photographing Jeannie D, a well-known South African TV personality. Actually, “well-known” is an understatement – she’s a bit of a star.
The shoot was for the cover of Top Billing magazine. The cover image had specific requirements for the setup of the scene – a Manhattan apartment, with a view of the city in the background. I’ll post more of the actual cover shoot later on, but in the meantime wanted to show some of the portraits of Jeannie D that I got in between the TV crew setting up, and the setting being prepared …
For the shoot I brought in 3 Q-flashes and a barrage of umbrellas and softboxes and reflectors, as well as a Profoto AcuteB 600R kit (B&H) with softboxes. But I photographed a number of portraits, such as the one above, using just the available light in the apartment. The apartment was a corner apartment, and so had a lot of light flooding in from two sides. The light then reflected back from the white walls inside. It was like shooting inside a massive softbox. You just couldn’t go wrong!
For that image and this next one, I specifically positioned Jeannie D so that I shot downwards towards the city. This way there was still some color in the background, instead of a blown out sky. I had her sit on the window-sill and had her turn her body and her face until I had even light on her.
I thought the bit of lens flare here helped frame the portrait, drawing attention to her eyes.
We waited until the sun was setting, and then went up to the roof to get some portraits of Jeannie against the city skyline. It had snowed the day before, and the icy wind was quite strong – so it was frrrreezing up on the roof! Therefore we had to be quick. I’d set up the softbox and power-settings, and my assistant would cling onto the softbox and light-stand for dear life. Jeannie would then whip her jacket off and pose for the camera.
That was the actual colour of the sky, balanced against that of the flash.
For the images on the rooftop, I used the Profoto AcuteB 600R with a 3×4 softbox for lighting.
The image above was shot at: camera settings: 1/125 @ f4 @ 400 ISO
The Profoto kit implies manual flash. That meant that I used my shutter speed to control the ambient light in relation to my flash exposure.
With the next two images I wanted the city scene to be brighter, and hence dropped my shutter speed to 1/50th while keeping everything the same.
With the restriction of the harsh weather, there was no chance really of being innovative here … I feel happy just getting images which looked this good and this relaxed!