My first “creative” photoshoot

I come up with a lot of ideas quite frequently, but usually they end up in the form of drawings as opposed to photographs. It was a very spur of the moment thing yesterday when I ended up turning this 2 month old idea into a photoshoot – I was spending the day with one of my closest friends, and she suddenly decided that she wanted to do a photoshoot with me.  So I let her flick through my idea book and she picked this one, needless to say I was quite happy with her choice.

This was a messy shoot, there was paint all over everything and I had absolutely nothing planned. We worked with the space in my back garden, it was convenient and saved us the time of travelling to find a location so suddenly. I set up 3 light stands and moved them around slightly throughout the shoot, as I wasn’t particularly sure what exactly I wanted out of the shoot. The set up was, 2 naked speedlights on either side of the model (raised up rather high), and one naked speedlight pointed at the back wall.

I shot them with a Canon 1D Mark IIN and a Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L. It took a while to get into shooting, nothing seemed to be working for me. But eventually I started getting results I liked.

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I can’t imagine doing this with anyone other than a very close friend, I had a particular way I wanted the paint to look on her face so I had to paint it on myself, it took about 20 minutes to get it basically right, then it had to be touched up every few shots to keep it looking reasonably fresh.

I wanted a particular gritty type of look, with the only real colour in the image coming from the tears (the paint on the face).

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I’m still really new to doing portraits, especially ones in this style – I’ll call them “non-conventional”. But I enjoyed it, and feel like I got some good images out of it.

Please head over to my facebook page to keep up to date with my work, especially since my first short film will be released in the next few days.

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Stuart Comerford

Award-winning photographer. Writer/Director of the feature film "The Kids Aren't Alright".

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