Sophie and the wife (Alt models) shoot - WDIL

Last weekend I shot with the wife and a friend of ours. In the initial shoot plan, we had decided on an alien theme, probably in a field, with an awesome outfit. I wanted some really cool iridescent material that would look amazing for the shoot. We could even make something out of the stuff! But.. it would take nearly a month to arrive! so a plan B had to be made. Still with a cool material mindset, I found a different kind of material, and it would hopefully be here on time for the shoot.

The shoot was a week away and the material still hadn’t arrived. Plan B was also had to be scrapped. Instead, we used plan C. Plan C was an Egyptian themed shoot. Looking at the weather forecast for the coming week, it was set to get ridiculously cold. Our outdoor shoot now became an indoor shoot (do we call this plan D now? Or plan C.2?). In all honesty, this gave us a few more options on outfits as the models wouldn’t need to worry about being cold. Instant bonus.

We sourced some black and gold dresses online, but only size 24 was available (UK sizes) and both models were a 10… Gold body paint was another brilliant idea of ours, which only came to us 2 days before the shoot. Looking on Amazon, the decent gold body paint wasn’t available on Prime.. We had to settle on a different brand of gold. Luckily these both arrived on time!

We clipped and clamped the dresses to fit each model using safety pins and A clamps. It restricted the positioning of the models, but we made it work. The gold body paint we have became yellow on the skin, making the model look like a Simpson! Needless to say we quickly wiped it all off.

Home studio type shooting creates so many restrictions due to the tiny spaces available, which at the time was frustrating me. I also decided to use my Fuji XT1 along with my D700, and with manual focus lens on the Fuji, it quickly became a pain in the ass. From my side of things it’s obvious I made things pointlessly difficult, not intentionally I might add.

Flicking between the Fuji and D700, the screens were showing significantly different previews, some of which was exposure differences. This led me to constantly change flash power and have to take more test shots. Reviewing the shots on the computer, the D700 shots look better and less overflashed. Maybe that’s down to me not looking properly at the time of shooting or being so used to my D700. A few more shoots with the Fuji will tell.

We got some decent shots though. And I definitely learned a few things;

  • Order stuff with plenty of time for delivery

  • Choose a theme and stick to it but always have a strong backup

  • Get a light meter. I never use one, but I’m now going to buy one as it will speed up setting up times

  • Use a tripod with manual focus lenses and use a bright light to help focus. The Fuji Xt1 screen goes super pixelated with a low light so focusing reliably is hard

  • Experiment a little more