154MC: Personal Artefact

154MC: Hannah Coyne Beauty Photoshoot

For my personal Artefact, I have chosen my portrait photoshoot that was done as a favour for a beautician friend, Hannah Coyne. Although this was a favour, I took it as an opportunity to develop my portrait skills and get back into grips with my Photography equipment. Equipment used is as listed below:

  • Canon EOS 700D with 18mm-135mm lens
  • Reflector
  • Canon Speedlight 430EX II
  • Tripod
  • Mac book Pro (with Photoshop)

For this project, I needed to be able to create beautifully lit photographs in unpredictable lighting conditions as the photographs where taken indoors at different locations so the natural lighting brought in by various windows could prove to be a pro or a con. To ensure that as much light was spread equally on the subjects’ faces, I used both the white and golden side of my reflector so I could use both depending on what effect I wanted to give whether it be simple plain light bounced from a window onto the subject or a more warm glow.

The first two portraits I took were of my sister and friend, these were actually taken in the living room of my house so I had to find a clear (and clean!) white wall area to take the portraits that didn’t have too much interference from the roof windows as well as side windows. I eventually settled for a corner that ensured this. Setting up with small, lightweight equipment was the easy part, the decision-making progress of how to position the models was more difficult that first anticipated as the body position and the angle of the face makes all the difference when it comes to creating a flattering photograph. When photographing, I used the extra flash and position it’s head so that the light hit the reflector and bounced onto the subject; this worked quite well but occasionally the reflector and flash had to be re-positioned.

The second shoot took place the next day and presented a more challenging subject, my mother. This shoot was done instead at Hannah’s house and so again I had to take the issues of natural lighting and artificial lighting into consideration. I settled on positioning my subject down on the couch and then I would move myself to various angles with or without the use of a tripod so that I could be more selective about the positioning. Again I used the extra flash and reflector.

Once the photographs were taken, I allowed the subjects and Hannah to view the images on my laptop. This is so the reactions expressed by them would make the process of selection easier as Hannah knew what she wanted but also asked me to be selective of the images I favoured too. Once the images were narrowed down, I opened them on Photoshop and did as little editing as possible with them as I didn’t want the result to have an “over-processed” appearance. I simply adjusted a few highlights/shadows or the contrast and edited a few to black and white. Then it was uploaded to my Facebook page with the beautician tagged so her customers could see it and she would be free to save or share any images (with my permission) and use them to promote her work.

Personal Artefact Contact Sheet

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