For her 40th birthday, my spouse treated herself (and a gang of 21 other women friends of hers) to a real photo shoot in a studio. It was for her a celebration of not only of “big day” but also the celebration of another great accomplishment of hers: she had just finished all of her treatments against breast cancer. I am very proud of her and it was a moment filled with emotions as she had gathered all those who had supported her during her fight: her friends, her family and even her nurse.
So we went to Zelie, a small photo studio very much geared towards giving back to its community. Oh, and they do take great photos too!
I had asked the Zelie people if I could shoot the “making of”. They kindly agreed. Here is the tale of that day from an enthusiast photographer’s perspective.
One of the first things I did to the settings of my Nikon D90 was to crank up the ISO at 1600 as I did not want to use my shoe mounted flash. The use of my flash would have disturbed the real photographer. This is the second time that I get into situations where I need crank up the ISO – the first time was at my daughter’s theater play this summer. I will admit that I am impressed at the quality of the results. Practically no noise.
I thought about my “shooting strategy” for quite some time before that day. Not that I really knew what should be my “game plan” going into this shoot, I had decided that I wanted to shoot pictures where we would see the props, the studio strobes, the white back panel, the camera cables and all the other stuff that you do NOT normally want to capture on camera.
My visual reference point was, well, like the movie making of that we can see as part of the extras when you buy a DVD: the camera used to film the making of captures the camera used for shooting the film, the gaffer and all the other personnel behind the camera – but in front of the camera shooting the making of :-).
What I was trying to get at was to shoot from different and original angles. Front, left, right, beneath, overhead, etc. Group shots, shot of individuals within the crowd and of course shots of the real photographer. I got a lot of shots, as always, way too many.
I think that my best shot was taken late into the photo shoot. Maybe it is because I was getting used to it. It was a shot of a subject being done for make up. The shot is a close up (and focus) on her where we can see in the foreground (and out of focus) the make up artist. I think it is great. I hope that you too believe it that way.
The day was to celebrate my spouse and her victory over breast cancer. She had fun and was very proud of herself. She also was very much honored to have all those women who supported her present for the shoot.
I, as an enthusiast photographer, had a LOT of fun taking pics. I hope that someday you get that chance too.