This new portfolio image came to be as I was shooting a job on spec for a UK company. The concept was centered on “the restriction of youth by technology.” It was also the reason behind my “borg” photo,
which you may have already seen from an earlier post. In an effort to illustrate the concept in a myriad of angles I wanted to make images that were on completely different ends of the spectrum but that could both easily tie in to the mantra of technological restriction. The setting for the lil diva was staged with an accoutrement of toys she eagerly donated to the cause, a love note to her Dad which was written before hand, and a handwritten Allowance Money label for a jar of coins. When she finished writing out allowance money, she turned to me and asked me ” What’s allowance mean?” Not wanting to blow her parents cover, I simply replied…oh it’s money you saved that you earned. “Ohhhhh” she lamented. I think they’re still in the clear! I think the Oreo cookies came into play out of sheer synchronicity. When I saw them I knew they had to be in the image. Knew I needed a white plate, and soy milk … though a bit yellow, was a good stand in for cow’s milk! The image was beginning to tell a complete story. It was up to the lighting to tie it all together. Working with a limited amount of space, meant a few things. I was going to have to forgo complex flags and limit the amount of wrestling Id do with the light on set….and in stead bend it to my will in post. There was another reason behind this decision, and that was simple. I was working with a little girl whose attention span was at best 15 min. at a time and that is only if those 15 min. are the space between commercials on her favorite TV show. I decided to give the image a good “base” lighting and by this I mean, I lit it so that it was even yet soft and moderately directional. I started with a beauty dish 5 feet behind her and 4 feet above her lighting the top of her back with the feathered bottom edge of the dish. This allowed the low 8 foot white ceiling to bounds some of the light back down and really helped to give the even look I wanted. Then just to give it a bit of direction … much like an oil painter starts with a sketch… I placed one speedlight 1 foot in front of her and three feet above her on a very low power, I believe we were at 1/64th power at ISO 100. This light was extremely subtle. Its visible only in the top band of the headset she is wearing. It gives a little separation to it. It also lit the top of the glass of milk nicely,and was a flattering source for Barbie. Lastly I added one more speedlight camera left again on low power 1/128 and tossed a bit of light on her hair just to give it a bit more of a sense of direction. The rest was a bit of dodging and burning in Photoshop, and a bit of adjusting with the color balance and rgb curves till I had a feel that said evening moonlight. If I learned one thing on this shoot, it’s that children will work with you so much more efficiently and so much more willingly if you simply treat them as part of the team, and talk to them as if they are a bit older… basically set the bar high for them.. and that tends to be the zone in which they will operate. Works like a charm!
Jason Joseph Photography - Editorial portrait photographer New York to Los Angeles
via WordPress http://bit.ly/W5Tqc9