Working on location outdoors can simplify matters especially if you’re photographing a group.
A well-chosen location and an equally well-chosen time of the day can free you from having to set up a seamless or Muslin background if your subject is a group of more than 5 or 6 people.
You see, the problem with photographing any kind of group is deciding what to use as your background.
What lens to use?Wide angle lenses make everyone smaller, introduces a lot of clutter in the background and has too much depth-of-field. I used the 80mm setting on my 80-200 zoom. The downside? I have to step way back from the group and that means if you’re soft-spoken, you’ll need a bullhorn. The other problem? How do you position your light without it showing up in the picture? Since your light will be closer to your subjects than you are physically, that may mean using a boom to raise the lights out of the frame. I got away with moving my light just outside of the frame on the left. Marvin, my assistant, was also holding a reflector on the left to kick back the directional sunlight coming in from the right.
Unless you plan on cramming everybody so close like sardines, the bigger your group, it follows then, the more space you’ll need.
Realistically, once you have about 8 people, you’re almost assuredly out of space indoors in most studios. And even the biggest seamless paper or Muslin background hung on the long side up will not be enough.
A change of attire for a different mood–Getting different looks for their models is often a goal for photographers. It can be something as simple as letting their hair down and introducing a colored backlight. Here is the setup for the lights.
Before you tear down the set sometimes you have to ask yourself, “What else can I try? I’m already here.”
Everything is already set up. If you have time, you might as well push the envelope and see.
That’s what I really enjoyed about working with Hadia.
She was up for more.
When she produced the paraffin lamps, I was chomping at the bit.
Now we were literally playing with fire and turning up the heat.