Early June and we're finally allowed more freedom after Lockdown and I feel it's safe to organise something creative.
Natasha is one of the models I work with and I know she was keen on a motorcycle shoot. I got my first motorbike when I was 13 (a secret from my parents for a year!), broke my leg when I was 17, raced in Grand Prix's, and owned over 20 bikes - so I'm pretty keen on the motorcycle shoot idea!
There was then a ton of stuff to organise before getting to the image above. Let's take a look...
With any photo shoot the first thing to decide is where? I have previously done a motoorcycle shoot at a showroom but wanted somewhere I could set-up and get a look that wasn't a showroom. I wanted a "studio" look. So the search began. Sometimes things are hard (usually!) but occasionally easy and this was the case here. A motorcycle shop only 10 miles from me had recently had a large extension built to their showroom where one wall was pure black with, as yet, no posters etc. PERFECT!
Simon the owner was a great chap and as I'd promised him a copy of all the photos for his own use he had no hesitation in agreeing to let me use a couple of his bikes and the new showroom.
The next decision is "the look"
I'd asked Natasha to be my model as she's so easy to get super photos of and we'd previously done boudoir, model portfolio and a summer sun shoot so knew each other well. She'd have been happy to wear anything but we agreed on "Sandy" from Grease with skin tight black jeans and sexy top.
Hair and Make Up is often a problem with location shoots as there's no bathroom or mirrors! Same here but Sharron has been along to many of my shoots and does 60+ weddings a year - the Virus meant weddings are postponed so she was free to work her magic.
Now onto the techie stuff.... And always first is lighting. In all my work from weddings to boudoir and families I look to use strobe lighting. It allows me to more creative than using just natural light and for a shoot like this is essential to get the look for the images I wanted. So in all I had 3 off camera flash units with modifiers that I varied throughout the shoot for different looks to photos. Camera and lenses - whilst I love my Nikon D800 for "art" photos with lots of mood and feeling (like boudoir) this shoot was more about sharpness, contrast and vibrancy so the Sony A7iii is better suited and easier when using lots of flash units.Given the fairly limited space and wanting some shots to have the whole motorcycle in I went for my 35mm F1.4 lens.
The actual shoot... Arrive as the shop opens and start unloading gear. Set-up the flash units and reflectors and test they all work ok. Ha - typical - one flash won't fire remotely - works ok on camera and worked a few days ago. Five minutes and every combination of setting explored and finally realise it's in the wrong "mode" - how? No idea! Just ready as Natasha arrives with Sharron whose ready to do any re-touching of make up and also act as an assistant for the shoot. So we start - firstly I need to get the camera setting right so I have a little ambient light but mostly will be flash - then the flash settings to get the right look from all 3 flashes. I want some specular highlights reflected from the bike but I want Tash to be nicely exposed without too much shadow - a tricky balancing act. Finally there and we begin proper. Tash settles immediately into model role with me only needing to get her in the right position - she then gives me all the looks I could ask for. After 45 minutes we ask Simon to swop bikes form the Aprillia RSV4 to the latest Yamaha R1. Off again with similar shots until after about 90 minutes we're done and 400 photos on the card.
We all pack up and say our farewells and I head home to begin the lengthy process of selecting around 60 images to individually edit and process. THIS IS KEY!
The images created are the "raw material" which I now need to make into a finished product. I spend probably an average of 10 minutes per photo so the next few days sees me in "Lightroom" for hours.
All my shoots get the same level of thought and planning as this did so everyone who books me for their Wedding, Family or Boudoir shoot can be assured of fantastic photos! I also create fantasy shoots for clients - I currently am planning a shoot with my client in her wedding dress laying in the wheel of a huge tractor in a muddy field - then another with a woman professor in a white dress and a white horse in the woods - and another at sunrise on a misty day on a beach. Anything is pssible so if you have something that is just an idea do get in touch and let's make it come true.