I had to opportunity to work with Nathy again. It is always a pleasure because Nathy brings so much to the table. I always invest myself fully into a photoshoot, whether it is for a client or a personal project but Nathy brings it a notch higher. She always impresses me with her craft and preparation. Even her most simplistic makeups do all the difference on the final image. We had work 3 times before, twice with Abla, and once with Ana. When she contacted me back for a 4th collaboration, I couldn’t say no. Especially when the next email was “I will get a hair stylist and 2 fashion stylists”… That is 3 notches up.
We rented the studio on a Monday to have a longer period of time to work. As I was setting up, Nathy arrived and chatted a bit about work, projects, kids, and such. Shortly after, everyone was there. Stéphanie Choquette for the hair, Marianne Dubreuil and Maude Bourcier for the styling, and Eugénie Paquette for modeling. The challenge was tall; 8 different styles, 3 different hair, 3 different makeups, in about 4 hours. All I could hope for was a smooth run on my part. Everything was super easy when everyone but me were working on Eugénie; it felt like I had all the time in the world, until I heard “OK Steph, she is all yours!”. This is when you realize everyone in the room is playing a big part in the success of the shoot, including you… especially you now.
I started up with what I knew best; one large light 45 degree on one side, another light in the back, and a third on my right I could easily move around to fill shadows. About 4 hours to shoot. 4 hours to figure out the best angles possible. I had never worked with Eugénie so it was hard to expect the shoot flow. Eugénie is a seasoned model, no doubt there but there is still a learning curve for both the model and the photographer the 1st time they work together. On top of that, 4 people are watching the set, 3 of which was the 1st time working with. I might sound like I was stressed by the shoot; I wasn’t. I was simply wishing that the worst case scenario would turn to be rather sweet lemonade.
After the 1st style, we quickly realized time was running out. At least at that point, the warming up was done. Bring on the next style while I fix a few things. Style number 2, 3, and 4 ran like a charm, mixing strobe light and natural light setups. Then came the hair and makeup changes. I did not feel the need to change anything. Everything was running smooth and I was happy with the results showing behind the camera. I shot mainly on the white seamless all day, keeping everything simple until I realized something weird on my photos. The sun was coming down and was low enough to peek over the big black window curtains. There was no way I could block that studio light leak and the white seamless was inexistent on the opposite wall. I took that as an opportunity to change the shoot a bit. I needed to find an alternative, and I needed it fast. Time was running out and we still had a few styles to do. I turned over to the white wall using the natural light coming in. The angle the light was coming in made it tricky a bit because of the 2 to 3 stops of light fall off I had from one side to the other side of the frame. We weren’t going for dramatic light but I knew this is where we were heading to. I kept looking behind me to see if that streak would eventually disappear. Instead it was growing longer. In a way, it was a very nice unforeseen issue and it couldn’t have occurred at a better time. The outfits we were shooting were a bit of darker tones. I don’t think the light orange mini skirt would have worked as well as the classy long green skirt outfit under darker light setups.
This was a great shoot. Everything came together real nice. We were thinking of having 2 models at once to ensure constant flow on the set but I think Eugénie’s professionalism filled the potential gap we had envisaged in our heads. The rest of the crew was awesome. Everyone knew what they had to do and aware of the little time everyone had to work their magic. It was a well-oiled full crew.