If Eva Baker agrees to let you photograph her you take that chance.
The vintage fashionista, makeup artist, model trainer, mountain biker, and all-round kick-ass chick says she prefers to be behind the scenes of a photo shoot and will never admit that she has a face that the camera loves.
But she does.
So when I was given the chance to set up a shoot with her for the latest Bella magazine I didn’t want to waste the opportunity to create a striking image.
Camera: Canon EOS-1D X, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM, shutter speed: 1/250 sec, F-stop: f/4.5. Key light: Flash with soft box to left of camera, hair light to right of camera and light directed on plane to illuminate background.
When brainstorming a concept for my portraits I like to pick up on keywords that the subject tells me about them.
This can range from hobbies, favourite colours, their own life story and the events they have been though.
Usually when shooting for the paper I have to think on the run, but with the magazine I have some time.
I wanted a vintage style background to go along with Eva’s style; I threw around ideas of cars, planes and (yes) trains.
But if I’m honest I was only going to be happy if we used a plane.
Luckily in Echuca we have Adrian van der Sluys - the stunt pilot’s brightly red coloured one-seater was the perfect fit.
Subject, location, props, assistant (work experience student Sharmayne) and mostly blue skies.
All the elements were on my side for the shoot.
The first step was to choose my background, wanting a clean space with no buildings or distractions.
I then could maneuver the plane into place while Eva made her final last touches to her look.
Now the fun part with the camera - setting the exposure and flash.
I set the exposure to be slightly under exposed in the background and set the flash with an octagonal soft box to light Eva.
Being a model instructor Eva needed very little direction.
I wanted to show her personality in the photo, not something I had constructed.
And I’m positive that each time I either checked my camera or changed a light, she was poking her tongue out or doing something cheeky for my assistant camera.
After taking a series of different poses and positions outside around the small one-seater we moved into the hanger where a larger plane sat.
Here I could control the light more, using the flash with the soft box and two other flashes, one to light the plane and one to highlight Eva’s hair.
From about half an hour worth of shooting we came away with two very different looks.
It’s very satisfying to come back from a shoot that pays off.
After all the planning and organization that went into it we were able to make a stunning cover image.
The extra bonus was that Eva had a great time in front of the camera – instead of working hard behind it – which she usually does.
Camera: Canon EOS-1D X, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM, Shutter speed: 1/250 sec, F-stop: f/5.6. Key light to right hand side of camera with Soft box plus flash directly behind towards subject highlighting plane and hair.