I had the wonderful opportunity to shoot this fashion spread for Glamour South Africa back in March while I was in Barcelona. Right before the trip, I did some research and had asked some locals for some location recommendations. There were so many fantastic, beautiful locations in Barcelona that it made it incredibly difficult to decide! I also contacted Barcelona based stylists through Instagram and email to find a team to work with. In my experience when trying to organize a shoot overseas, getting a stylist first is while the most difficult, would make the process of putting together a shoot the easiest. Once you confirm a stylist, they would usually have recommendations of makeup artists and model agencies to work with and their advice is consistently on point. Locals always know best.
With my list of location suggestions, I came up with a few moodboards for Glamour SA and they agreed on a neutral olive toned moodboard shot in Barcelona’s cactus garden, Mossèn Costa i Llobera Gardens. Coming from a country with no such thing as a natural cactus garden, I was thrilled.
We went through a few model compcards and decided on Liza for her very modern look and chic hairstyle. We had to make sure the model we chose fit the moodboard that we had in mind. It's important for everything to go well together.
I was in Barcelona for more than a week this trip and everyday has gorgeous natural sunlight. As you see as a theme when it comes to my photoshoots, I seem to attract cloudy boring weather. It also didn’t help when my stylist mentioned “Oh, it hasn’t been cloudy and rainy for the last 3 months!”. That made me very sad indeed!
However, it is what it is. We couldn’t postpone the shoot as the model was unavailable the next day so we just went ahead and did what we could. Gloomy skies meant really flat lighting so at least I could enhance the light any which way I wanted without having to fight the sun. This was me being as positive thinking as possible.
As for most fashion editorials, I always make sure to shoot in as many interesting angles and compositions I could come up with to keep the story interesting. The above image actually did not make it into the magazine but it's definitely one of my favorite shots from this shoot! The model actually had to strain her neck a little to keep it looking like it was floating naturally above the ground. The things we do for art!
As mentioned before in my previous article, when the sun doesn’t come out to play and we have really flat light to work with, I would use my Profoto A1 with a translucent umbrella to give the images a little bit of a pop. Nothing too obvious, it still has to look natural!
I did some sky replacements on the photos that showed the skies with images from Mike Kelley’s Ultimate Sky Library. This helped the images look like they were from a less miserable day! I also color graded the images using Pratik Naik’s Infinite Color Panel.
I absolutely love shooting overseas and try and do it whenever I can as it exposes me to new locations and other creatives.
Photographer: Shavonne Wong
Model: Liza Veta (Blow Models)
Makeup: Kristiana Zaula
Stylist: Rox Delgado
These are great.
Thank you! I'm glad you like them (:
Nice work. It's unclear in your post, did you end up using some artificial lighting?
Hey Daniel, thanks! Yes I did, for most of the shots, I used a Profoto A1 with an umbrella at a fairly low setting for a pop of light that still looked natural! (:
Excellent. Thanks. Yes, just that very slightest "kiss" of light can make a difference to bring it out a bit on an overcast day.
Appreciate it, thank you!
Are you shooting thru the umbrella..as in switching it backwards? It certainly succeeds in giving a soft directional light that is completely natural looking. I would imagine distance to model is key...it could still hot-spot if too close.
Awesome reply....thanks! I can visualize exactly what you are saying....I live in Los Angeles... I have seen this setup many times with HDMI's and scrims on film sets around town. And talk about HUGE scrims...12 foot square is the norm...Ive seen them as big as a house! I have a case full of monolights and a bag of umbrellas...but I only use them in studio. Ive always been a fan of natural light when outside. But those shots made me realize that truly natural looking results are possible with the right setup. The two stand setup with mono+scrim sounds interesting....variable control.
Love the grading, really compliments the styling!
Did someone handhold the flash?
Thank you! And yeah I got a human lightstand hehe!
You are wonderful. I really admire you.
Aww how hugely flattering, thank you!
Shavonne Wong: Curious, who owns the copyrights to your images? Was your photo assignment a work-for-hire project or did you transfer your copyright ownership & interest to Glamour South Africa? What rights do you retain (portfolio? social media?). Thanks.
The copyrights still belong to me. (:
The article is titled how you shot the look, but there's no mention of camera settings, a brief mention of the equipment used, and no behind the scenes shots of any equipment set up. I read the article twice to make sure i didn't miss anything. Nice photos, but the title (for me anyways), was grossly misleading. :/
Hmm I'm not a hugely technical photographer and I didn't have an assistant to take the BTS, I would have provided if I had. However, I do have to mention that in my opinion, how shots are achieved is a lot more than just gear but also how I got the team who were honestly the ones who made the shot!
How did you find the stylist and what did they cost? Or was it TFx because you already knew it was going into Glamour mag?