Monday, January 14, 2013

on Babies and High Key Strobist

I try to make the most out of every shooting assignment I get. Photography is a never ending learning process for me. No two shoots are ever alike so you have to really think and adapt to whatever is thrown at you. 

So, I was asked to do a studio-ish high key setup and shoot a few frames with Mima Tan of Mimathology. She's a highschool batchmate and a mom who turned her passion for photography and love for kids into a professional service. She doesn't do a lot of strobe work so I was called in to set it up for her because the client wanted the white high key studio look. As for me, I have a lot of experience with setting up lights but no experience whatsoever with shooting babies.

chloe (1 of 3)

I used two huge rectangular softboxes for my key and fill lights up front and one bare flash to light up my background. And we used two silk sheets for the backdrop. Its not really white, more like cream colored.

chloe (2 of 3)

We had to shoot pretty low and had some problems with the baby crawling away from the strobes. I managed to get a few shots of before we had to call it a day since the baby was not in the mood anymore.

chloe (3 of 3)

It was a good first experience for me to shoot babies. I learned how patient one has to be when shooting and the creative ways to get the baby's attention. I don't think I'll start accepting baby pictorials any time soon but I would love to learn more about the craft. It is very challenging and I'd probably need a few more under my belt before I'd have the confidence to shoot on my own. Shooting portraits of adults is way easier than shooting babies. I also want to try shooting outdoors next time.

PS: Uber thanks to Mima for the opportunity to shoot and learn. And to Brian and Aimee.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

on Ballerinas and Baby Powder

There are times I wish I had my own studio or just some place where I could play around with strobes and different lighting setups.

The crew organized a shoot with ballerinas and power. The emphasis was on motion and we had the powder to accentuate the motion (and break the monotony). It was a good shoot but too bad I had barely sixty frames since we had limited time and around five photographers. There were three models and I didn't get to shoot the last one. But I am glad I had two keepers from the simple setup that we had. It was also a good test for the two large softboxes I bought during the Christmas season.


The main challenge while shooting was keeping the model in the short black backdrop and also in focus. What I did was prefocus on the final position where the model would jump, setup the strobes to point in that direction and then set my camera to manual focus. It would have been easier with a tripod but I forgot to bring one. It was also challenging to time the shutter press correctly with the jump or just after the powder was thrown. It took some attempts before I got the timing right with each model. Good thing the models were easy to work with. I just wish I had more time to shoot this concept.


I learned things from this shoot especially on how to setup motion shots with fixed strobes. And I really did enjoy this even with the limited time. I promise to reshoot this concept as soon as possible.

PS: Thanks to Sarah and the Crew for the shoot. And also a big thank you to LJ, Chrizza and Shannon for being really game models.