At some point on Friday night I had an irresistible urge to do some photos, but my recent photographic ventures have led me very far away from traditional work. I say traditional but what I mean is anyone who isn’t a bodybuilder. So I text somebody I worked with before, a rapper known as iLL Psychz, and asked if he was free. I like to get right outside of my comfort zone because it will always push me to do much better. I knew this was going to be a tricky one because he’s hell bent on having concepts and some kind of meaning behind everything he does. So his expectation, coupled with my desire to retain from outputting shit meant I had to really think about this one and not rely on tricks to get the goods.
He has a tune called “Weetabix” that he released over youtube a few months back. I was really impressed by the quality of the song itself and the calibration effort from a guest rapper. So focussing on this as a concept, and seeing how it was absolutely pissing down outside, I decided we should hit the breakfast table. Not much to it other than a few cheap lights and some weird camera settings. I knew straight away how I wanted this composition to look. It had to be intrusive and gaunt. This is the least flattering angle for anyone to be photographed from but iLL Psychz is a character and I think the photographs taken of him need to look as outside of the ordinary as possible. It’s been processed in a kind of psuedo-HDR style, which isn’t really my thing as you cant control particular aspects of the image. But kind of ok for my first attempt, and will be better next time!
I can see myself shooting this one again with more practice lighting small objects, better use of the lights I do have and better composition of the objects present. The problem here was that we left the milk out of the bowl until I found the right setup. Reason being that the weetabix would lose their form if they were left swimming for too long. But I forgot about it and had practically set down and was ready to move on, when I realized we didn’t use the milk. This is the importance of having someone on set with you, helping you and giving you pointers on what’s going on. So I setup very quickly got a few at the last used settings and moved on. As above, I can see me returning to this concept again soon.
Next up was a alter ego of iLL Psychz. This unlikely addition to the set actually felt more like a fashion shoot. I shot it against my sitting room wall and the surrounding elements are a ferret cage, boiler, bookshelf, patio etc, but this should be an example to other photographers, that a full studio is fantastic to have, but a plain wall works well to if you light it correctly! We wanted a bit of a spooky attitude to this one so fill lighting was non existent and highlights were giving it that little something extra that it needed! Nothing much more to say about it other than that. Will probably do some more stuff like this again soon!
That’s pretty much it.
Lessons learned, think about everything in your frame and forget about what’s in the room. My kitchen and my sitting made my “studio” today and it worked to fine effect for what we got. The only elements that need your attention are the ones in your viewfinder so try to look at that tiny metre wide space with a different perspective. Also, do things every differently and you get very different results. Use a different lens, a different light and get out of your comfort zone. I haven’t shot anything like either of these before, but I feel like I learned something and will do much better next time.
Thanks for reading.