Studio Re-Launch Party - "One vs. All"
So, it happened! I have re-launched my new studio space! Are we celebrated with a party!
What a hot, sweltering, sticky, humid day - but everyone had a blast! The jazz was playing, the champagne was flowing and the food was scrumptious.
My husband cooked his famous home-made sausage rolls which disappeared very quickly, and no-one can resist a cherry ripe ball or two.
The fun started when we announced the competition.
"The Competition | One vs. All"
Guests were split into teams of three. The challenge was set. Each team was asked to use my studio gear, my camera, accessories, etc to style a maternity portrait of their own.
Well, everyone took to the challenge with serious intent to come up with something amazing! Here are the results:
TEAM A - Cameron, Sharon and Jackie
The studio is natural light, and camera styling was the first step. I think they chose well with matching the purple floral headpiece to the boob-tube wrap. The background was a good choice for the colours. Camera settings was a bit of a challenge and we can see the shutter speed is a little slow, and focusing was difficult as well. (A few factors contributing to these including my need to wear glasses and the dioptic focus being tailored to my eyesight. Also note, that pushing the ISO too high results in 'noise' - but Cameron worked hard to get the best results possible.)
TEAM B - Jodi, Melissa and Jo "MeJoJo"
Team B stepped up to the challenge! Again, I love the styling of colours with the floral headpiece and halter neck top. We can see some posing difficulties with introducing dad to the portrait. I can see they had a plan, and were working hard to execute their vision. We can also see some background struggles - it's important to look at the foreground AND background when composing a portrait. The background needs to be considered whenever you turn your subject, and here the background could have been moved to accommodate.
The posing of mum and dad needs a little refinement - mum's arms should always be on the inside of dad. This will help to slim her down and show off dad as the protector. Dad needs to come around to the side a little further so he is not hiding. I can see their plan was for a 3/4 portrait with mum and dad's hands in the shape of a heart. I love the change of direction to find a better shot, with the option to go with a close up shot of their hands on mum's belly. My pick of these images is the middle one. Nice lighting and a non-distracting background. Well done, team!
TEAM C - Angie, Vanessa, and Liesl "Baby Bears"
The "Baby Bears" came up with more than just a single portrait! I love the vision of their 'sequence' with mum and dad opening their 'present.'
I can see the vision of their idea was a little tricky to execute how they wanted. The styling with the pearls, and lace bodice was a lovely choice. The plan was to wrap mum's belly like a Christmas present and dad was again introduced to the set to help unwrap.
We can see the 'wrapping' didn't quite go to plan. The angle of the first image is shooting from lower than mum's eye-line and hence has brought her hip and thigh closer to the camera, making her look larger than she really is. Shooting from this angle also shows off under mum's chin, which women often don't like too much.
The next two images are photographed from a much better angel and what I really love about these images is the vibe, the fun and the joy. The team worked hard at bringing out the positive energy from their subjects and the result is lovely!
The focus on these are looking really good, and quite sharp. Great job, "Baby Bears"!
LAST ONE - TEAM 'ME' ... Lol!
In complete fairness, I also am showing the images I took straight out of the camera with no adjustments.
Well, here's my take. I adjusted the white balance (in camera) to be a little too far on the yellow side (too warm) and I moved the background to have the lighting a bit 'flat'. I can see some background issues on the bottom left corner which may end up being slightly difficult to edit, or potentially could be a rather quick fix.
My styling is usually simple, with a lovely patterned scarf as the dress, with a matching flower and a grey boob-tube top, giving the focus to the belly. Posing tips to mum about elongating her neck and bringing her chin forward and down has given her nice shape to her face and shooting from just on her eye-line I am taking a flattering portrait. My favourite image would probably be the first one.
To finish off, I'd like to show you the final result of a 'finished' portrait. I spent 10 minutes preparing this image to be 'client-ready' and I can't wait for her to see it!
What do you think? Did they do a good job?
The competition was a little bit of an experiment to see the difference between a photographer's skills vs. an inexperienced person. Comment below this blog post with your thoughts!
I had an incredibly fun afternoon watching everyone discussing their styling, choosing their fabrics and accessories and posing, shooting, holding reflectors, stretching backdrops, all helping each other get that shot.
Next year, I think will be an end-of-year party and more fun will be waiting!
Last, but by no means least, we need to send a huge thankyou to Zoe for jumping in as our maternity model on the day, since our planned model decided to cancel very last minute. We all appreciated being able to continue with the portrait challenge, and it was all thanks to you, Zoe!