I had a recent vanity shoot with a woman figure competitor (figure competition is not body building, instead it is more model like type body sculpting). This is important to me because it is a segment of conceptual portrait photography I want to advance in to replace income as I phase out wedding photography. I previously posted body builder images in the sample section here.
The objective of these shoots isn't to be all soft and feminine using a 85/1.4 and softar filter ... it is mostly to show off the definition using controlled lighting.
One concept I had was to depict the subject with the Greek ideal in mind, so planned out a "Fantasy" location shoot with Teresa as Artemis the Greek Goddess of the hunt usually shown with a bow. The client insisted on her own hair and make-up people ... I knew the make-up person having done many commercial shoots with her. I did not know the hair person.
I pre-produced the shoot and found the exact time I want to shoot at the location ... when the early sun would be perfect for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. I diagramed the lighting for that timing. Met the client days before hand to make all wardrobe and prop decisions.
7AM call, on set at 8AM. Hair person shows up at 7:40 AM and takes forever styling the hair.
Get on set @ 9ish and all the ambient lighting is now wrongo. Simple light set-up now gets more complex. Brought out the Hensel Porty 1200L to light part of the background that the sun would have done, and readjust the other lights.
Second boo-boo on this shoot was allowing the client to inject too many set-ups into the time period ... extra time for me is okay, but the assistant, hair and make-up people had a defined time allocated. So it went from a 3 set-up shoot to 7 ... which I will not allow to happen ever again because it curtails exploring various lighting scenarios. The trouble is that the regular public thinks because of digital it is all easy, slam bam. Live and learn.
Here are some results: All shot with a Hasselblad H4D/60
Greek Goddess used a 5' octa on a Profoto 600B AIR camera left, a 6' strip on a D1 500 powered by a PCB Vagabond mini camera right inline with the subject to front rim light her, and the Hensel 1200L background light with magnum type reflector and barn doors to keep the light off the subject.
The studio shot with Leopard shawl was in studio with a 6' X 7' Wafer softbox and 33.5" Mola Beamm polished beauty dish. This was shot full figure, but the client wanted a close crop which shows off her back definition and printed to 36" ... 60 meg to the rescue
The "OPPS! Costa Boda vase heading for the floor" French Maid cheesecake shot was the big box and reflector fill ... with a gridded D1 to light the feather duster that was a light vampire, and just wouldn't show up. The slight indication of a window was projected on the background with a Profoto adapted Elinchrom Zoom Gobo box.
The fantasy shot of her as a billboard model with candy was shot her way at her request ... and I then striped it into one of my NYC Leica street shots ... I grudged up the bill board to make it appear a bit more environmentally correct.
The B&W of Teresa in NYC with Rolls Royce was all stripped together for "fantasy fun" ... a smidgen of Helmut Newton meets Photoshop Not sure about this one yet, but the client LOVES it. (Black band added by me for posting here).
I'm learning quickly, and hope to improve and improve over the next year. I have another figure competitor coming up and will employ what I learned on this one.
BTW: Here's the kicker ... Teresa is a 43 year old mother of three