The other weekend I had a fun shoot with Miss Charlotte Cake, who is a blogger, baker and all around vintage enthusiast. Charlotte wanted to work on her modelling portfolio, with an eye towards entering the Miss Pinup NZ competition next year. I'm still working on my portrait portfolio myself, so it was good to work with someone with plenty of ideas for wardrobe, props and poses. We've previously shot before in more casual settings, and it was nice this time to do something together with purpose and theme!
Our original idea was for a 'vintage picnic' shoot in Auckland Domain, making particular use of the rotunda area - except being winter of course the ground was quite soggy, and the rotunda scaffolded for repairs! This wasn't entirely unexpected however, and we had chosen the spot with alternative options in mind such as the Winter Gardens. The hothouse at the gardens was a nice easy start to the shoot, with interesting and colourful backgrounds, and quite pretty light coming through the old glass. Of course the humidity wasn't great for Charlotte's meticulous hair style! I worked on this in photoshop for a few photos, but definitely something to remember for next time.
After trying a couple of poses and positions, we moved outside to the terraced pond area, and found some interesting concrete and wooden benches to use, with interesting textures in the bricks and vines. I do wonder if I'm pushing the 'brick wall portrait cliche' a bit here, but I think the style and props make it a bit different at least. We also had good fun shooting at high frame rate for some action shots of Charlotte drinking tea and spinning around - as much as tea drinking can be considered 'action', that is. I turned one of these sequences into an animated GIF (in the block above), hopefully it works for everyone viewing this. This was a fun bonus to make from the pictures, although a bit of camera movement during the sequence can make things a bit tricky! A tripod might be recommended next time..
The setting and primarily black and white colours gave quite a 'gothic vintage' feeling - not exactly what we were planning from the start, but we liked where it was going, and these pics in particular I processed to have a darker tone. I think gothic vintage is certainly something I'd like to work on again in future, and to push it further and more stylised. The more flowery and lighter pictures were given a semi-vintage tone and softness - I didn't want to push it too far into the 'cheesy' realm of fake sepia or Kodachrome colours, but hopefully it still complements the theme well.
Charlotte has a nice write up of the shoot on her blog here, and gives a much better commentary on the styling and wardrobe that I could. As for a learning point to take away, I think I need to work on directing models more - Charlotte had good posing ideas, but I should contribute more to this - since of course the model can't see exactly what I'm seeing, so I can be proactive to make small changes and corrections, rather than noticing them when it is too late sitting at my computer! It was good fun to work with Charlotte, and hopefully we will be back again for a picnic shoot once winter and ground repairs have finished..