Back in August, I had the pleasure of working with Tanya Burr and her cosmetics company to shoot some promo images for the new Autumn collection. In today's post, I'm going to break down how I photographed Tanya, including equipment set ups.
We started bright and early at an amazing studio complex called The Worx. I met my assistant Holly there and we set about unloading my Bowens lighting kit into the studio, where we met some of the lovely people of SLG, who run the operations behind Tanya Burr Cosmetics.
The studio hired for the day was a big, white studio with a large white infinity cove, which we would be shooting against. Whilst Tanya got ready, Holly and I set up the lighting and equipment for the shoot, and Holly very kindly stood in for some test shots.
The lighting set up for the day was mostly the same, except for a couple of differences for full length shots. I placed two lights either side of the cove pointed diagonally at the centre of the background. I originally planned on using two octaboxes, but one of them wouldn't assemble, so I used a silver lined umbrella in place of one of them (always bring spare lighting - things can go wrong!). Because I didn't want the light on the background to spill onto Tanya, I placed a black and white polyboard in front of each of them, with the white side pointing towards Tanya.
To light Tanya from the front, I used a silver beauty dish, which had both a honeycomb grid and a white cover (it looks like a shower cap). The grid and the cover diffuse the light, making it much softer and minimising hard shadows. This was placed just to the right and above me so we could get as much front illumination as possible. Because the light was just off to the right side, Tanya's face would have been slightly darker on the other side of her face, so I placed a white polyboard right next to her, to reflect light back on to the right side of her face. Please look at my snazzy diagram below:
For a couple of full length shots, I moved the polyboard away and switched the beauty dish for a large softbox, which offered greater light coverage, but still kept the light soft.
I photographed 'tethered' - meaning my camera was connected to my laptop so Tanya and the team could see photos as they were shot. It's also a second back up of the images, in addition to them being recorded on the memory card in my camera.
Tanya decided to use the promotional images without retouching, to show just how good the products are. So none of the images released for the campaign have been edited in any way.
It was lovely to meet Martha again, and rather sweetly she stood next to Tanya for almost every photo we took. Eventually, she got involved in the shoot too.