Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fashion and Beauty Shoot with Jenni Gucci

I recently did a shoot with a beautiful young lady that goes by the name Jenni Gucci.  She’s relatively new to modeling having one year of experience but she was an absolute pleasure to work with and very easy to instruct for poses.  Unlike many models new to the business she knows her basics.  For the photogs reading this I’m sure you’re familiar with the good ol' deer in the headlights look so I was very happy to discover Jenni is no deer impersonator. 

Our makeup artist was the very talented Salina of Bella Rouge Makeup,  Since this shoot was put together on somewhat short notice I did not have a hair stylist but Salina was kind enough to assist with hair as well and for someone who doesn’t specialize in hair she did an exceptional job.

I’ve posted a few of the photos below along with an explanation of how I took one of the shots. For any models reading this I’ll point out a couple details of the pose that I believe makes the photo good.  That said keep in mind photography is largely subjective… what some people love others will hate and vice versa.

This is my favorite frame from our shoot.  It is very much a classic beauty style shot.  I used three Alien Bee strobes.  You don’t need $1200 a piece lights to take great photos, especially in a studio where your environment is controlled.

I had one Alien Bee on a boom with a beauty dish mounted directly above the camera angled down between 35 and 45 degrees, this was the main (or key) light.  I had another alien bee on a very short stand beneath the camera in a medium soft box angled up between 35 to 45 degrees to provide some fill.  It’s not that big of a deal but I could have used a shoot through umbrella for fill or another beauty dish with a sock (didn’t have one though) which have made the lower catch light in the eyes round as well.  Alternatively I could have Photoshoped the lower catch light out for the more natural one catch light look.  In this case I felt it looked better with the lower catch light than without.  This combination of over/under lighting provides a very smooth look which is exactly what I wanted for this photo.  Our concept for this photo was to have a soft feeling that exudes beauty and elegance.  Notice how the makeup isn't too heavy; this helps add to the soft feel of the photo.  The third light was on a small stand about 2 feet away from the background with the standard reflector angled up at about a 60 degrees to give the seamless paper some light.  By the way my seamless backdrop for this shot was neutral gray but with the amount of light I put onto it, it’s closer to white in the photo.

The style of lighting you use helps to convey the feeling of the photo.  If I wanted dramatic I would go with hard specular light.  If I wanted mysterious I would go with soft but directional light and lots of shadows.  If I wanted an angelic look one method would be to use a very bright backlight and let it spill into the lens to get some flare.

The pose in the photo above is, in my opinion, very good.  Notice how her shoulders are not vertical but at an angle.  Generally angles are more appealing in photos of people than straight lines.  Also see how the position of the arms and hands lead the viewers’ eyes to Jenni’s face.  Her fingers are not straight but gently curled and not pressing into her face, just lightly touching her face.  You want to avoid putting pressure on the face with your fingers because pressure creates unattractive indents.  Her lips are parted just enough that she can feel the air over them.  All these minor details combined make an excellent photo.
And here’s some more photos from the shoot… enjoy!

In the picture above I used a creative crop (16:9) to make what was at first a decent photo into something much more interesting.

To book us for your beauty and/or fashion photography session visit or email us at