Yesterday I accompanied the lovely Alice the Camera on a love-shoot in the City. We were taking photographs of Louise and Craig and it was fascinating for me to see Alice at work. She is a very warm person who makes her subjects feel so at ease and it was evident that she loves her job. Here are the top five things I learned on this shoot:
- Be prepared
Alice told me the first thing she does on a shoot like this is walk around and scout out good spots for photographs before the couple arrive. A quick detour down a side street from Moorgate led us to Finsbury Circus, the perfect place to start the shoot – quiet, beautiful buildings in the background and an urban garden complete with an old bandstand.
2. Connection is key
Public displays of affection don’t always come easily to us Brits – but when you’re shooting a couple to celebrate their love, it is vital that it comes through on camera!
I loved Alice’s techniques to get Lou and Craig to relax into their shoot, from quietly going through the alphabet describing each other and sending each other messages through their hands to telling each other moments they were proud of them.
By asking Craig and Louise to focus on themselves and chat to each other in this way, Alice made sure the shoot felt natural. And as Louise and Craig made each other smile and laugh, we were able to capture real facial expressions.
As they relaxed into the tasks and the shoot, we could also move in closer to take more intimate close up shots.
3. Get creative with colours and lines in unexpected places
At the start of the shoot, before Louise and Craig arrived, Alice and I were bemoaning the weather – an early bright sunny day had given way to rain by the time we met. However, Alice soon changed the mood by saying the grey skies would force us to be more creative, and that is exactly what happened.
Alice told me to make use of the time moving between shoot locations by capturing Louise and Craig walking. She also pointed out interesting features such as the colourful scaffolding and strip lighting we found on the outside of a building. We tried different ways of shooting in this space, from head shots by the scaffolding posts to getting Louise and Craig to run down the tunnel hand in hand.
The results for me included this striking photograph, one of my favourites from the shoot – wind blowing through Louise’s hair, the colour of Craig’s coat and the scaffolding covers coming through, and the workman blurred out in the background. By placing Louise and Craig to the right of the frame, the leading lines of the tunnel gives the photograph a different perspective.
4. Look for interesting light…
As we walked towards the Barbican, Alice spotted a little shaft of light. She got Louise and Craig to stand in the light and look towards it. The grey columns of the building and the shadows cast by them contrast beautifully with the natural light bouncing from their faces.
5. …and move around
I really liked the image I caught above, but as I watched
Alice take her shots, I noticed her moving round taking photos from different angles. I followed suit and took this photograph:
When I looked back at the image on my camera, I noticed the light coming through on the left hand side of the frame. I switched my camera from landscape to portrait, took a step back, and bingo! I got my favourite photo of the shoot.
Thanks so much to Alice for the mentoring and to Louise and Craig for being great subjects to photograph! I learned so much from Alice that I think another blog post might be needed.
Check out my gallery of images from this shoot here