There is no such thing as ‘the perfect light’ for every situation and there are often times on professional assignments where the lighting needs get really complicated. When I’m shooting for myself I can usually modify the picture slightly to suit the kit I have available but when a client has specific needs things can get exciting. The trick is to break down the picture elements and to treat them all separately. Client: Koshiba Bridal Usage: Mixed including magazine editorial, magazine advertising, printed brochure, in store posters and online. Shoot details: 8 hours, 10 dresses, 4 models, hair stylist, make up artist, designer, shoot assistant and me. It was a dark November day with constant rain. We had one room emptied of furniture to shoot in at the famous 5 star Hempel Hotel in London. The pressure was on. My brief was to create happy radiant pictures. I needed sunlight for it to work so I created my sun with a 400Ws flash pack and remote head rigged high on a stand out in the garden. I covered the flash pack with a plastic bag to try and keep the rain off. The flash from the garden had to illuminate the reveals on at least two of the windows so I rigged it about 10m away from the building. I fitted a 70cm silver beauty dish to the flash head and dialled in full power. I used Pocket Wizard Plus 2 units to trigger the garden and interior flash units. I went for a mixed colour temperature look throughout the set but changed the setting and lighting design to provide variety whilst maintaing a style strategy. We started the rig at 9am and we were taking the first pictures by 10.30am. Adam, my assistant and I managed to have a bit of a lunch break and stumbled across some fabulous Polish Pilsner in a local store to enjoy with our sandwiches. Commercial shoots are tough, full on affairs with a team of creatives working flat out to create the look. The work rate reminded me of shooting a wedding, yet the opportunity to use fabulous light is always a joy. I lit the dresses with a pair of Lupolux daylight balanced fresnel spotlights, one with a full CTO and the other barefaced at 5600k. You can see the hard crisp shadows created by the fresnel lensed spotlights. This gives the images a classic movie look. Focussing is easy too with the scene brightly lit with continuous lighting. Because it was such a dark day with persistent driving rain all the light in the room had to be created from scratch. I gave the room a general lift with a pair of 500Ws studio flash heads on about 1/4 power bounced off walls behind the camera with various grades of CTO (colour temperature orange) gel as required. I always reflect soft, contrast reducing light, on this kind of shoot and the power range of studio flash heads is just perfect. These shots represent just a small selection of the 170 or so pictures submitted to my client. As is often the case I had more than one client on the day and as well as dresses we were shooting hair, make up and tiaras too. Dress designer: Yemi Osunkoya Models: Rosemary Chileshe-Ellis, Lisette Mibo, Naomi Sharpe and Olivia Wood Make-up: Kemi Imevbore-Uwaga Hair: Kasia Fortuna Tiaras/Head pieces: Claire Ogden Photographer: Damien Lovegrove Photography Assistant: Adam Dunn
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