Scenes Around Jackson Photoblog

[Model Shoot] Thuy Tran – Downtown Jackson (5.22.11)

Posted in 2011, Color, Digital, Fashion, model shoot, Photo Post by William Patrick Butler on May 26, 2011

i can’t believe it’s already been a year since the last time Thuy and i have shot together.  way past time to make it happen again.

the last time we got together we did a vintage style shoot over at The Commons.  i knew i wanted to do something completely different this time around and i knew i wanted it to be fashion.

i’ve been getting really into fashion lately, but haven’t had much of a chance to shoot it. (not since that PORTICO Jackson shoot last December) so figured this was the moment 🙂

so, a week before the shoot, i emailed Thuy some photo touchstones of the feel i was going for and then we met up a few days later to continue talking over ideas (what kind of make-up, hair style, clothes, etc.) and to nail down a time.

after that, i went to go scout out some locations i had in mind.  i knew i wanted it to have an “urban/summertime in the city” type of feel so that’s what i kept an eye out for as i drove around.  i found three spots that i liked (well, four actually, but even after i found the 4th spot, i knew i wouldn’t be shooting there, but it would go on my list of “future places to shoot”) so i made a note of them in my ipod touch and then went home to start making a list of the equipment i would need.

i wanted to play around with different light modifiers, so i decided to take 3 different ones.  a 20″ gridspot, a beauty dish, and my Westcott Apollo 28″ softbox.  and i needed a battery pack to provide power for my light source; an Alien Bee 1600.  (many thanks to my friend Tom for letting me borrow his gridspot, beauty dish, and battery pack)

Thuy, in addition to being a great model, can also do make-up and hair.  so, since she knew the feel we were going for, she took care of both wonderfully.  she also has a large collection of clothes, so she took care of that part too.  trust me, i could go on and on about how much she rocks, so just trust me, Thuy rocks.

the day of the shoot, one of the three locations was blocked off for some reason, so we just shot in two.  which actually worked out better i think.  it meant less running around.  and it also let me focus on making each one unique.  so the first location became the “urban” theme and the second “summertime in the city”.

heh, i think this is the longest opening i’ve done so let’s get to the photos.  i’ll fill in the rest of the details as we go!

the first location was the top of a parking garage at, around, 10am on a sunday morning.  if you ever wanna shoot downtown, sunday mornings are the best.  everything is closed and most people are still at church, so you’ll have all of downtown pretty much all to yourself.

so i started off using a reflector with a 20″ gridspot for my light modifier.  gridspots are always tricky to get a handle on and that was true for me too as i started shooting LoL

but i started to get a better handle on it as the shoot went on 😉

(oh, and many thanks to my friend Nancy for letting me borrow her shades)

i chose the gridspot because i wanted a hard spotlight type of feel.  the tricky part was making sure i got that without overexposing

verrry tricky

Thuy is still standing in the same spot, i’ve just changed positions.  really gives it a different feel i think.

really liked those shoes

i’d brought a box fan with me, cause i knew i wanted some “wind movement” in some shots, and turned out i didn’t need it, cause it was a naturally windy day

thanks mother nature!

ok! i’ve changed things up here.

i’ve taken off the gridspot and put on the beauty dish.  see the difference?

it keeps the light hard, but gives it a more diffuse feel.

love that wind.

by the by, can i just say what a trooper Thuy was.  we may have started shooting early in the morning, but that doesn’t mean it was chilly.  it was still hot and getting more humid as the minutes ticked by.

but when i asked for her to put that leather jacket on, she never missed a beat.

just awesome.

(one of thuy’s favs)

man, i’m getting warm just looking at her in that jacket LoL

flipped her back around, to face the other way

that building behind her is the Plaza Building

i was actually sitting on the ground for these

and that will wrap up the “urban” theme.

next up, an outfit/location change and the “summertime in the city” theme!

we’re now at the corner of Congress and Capitol street.  in addition to changing outfits and locations, i’ve also changed light modifiers.

i’m now using my Westcott Apollo 28″ softbox.

the beauty dish gives a diffuse but still hard light.  the softbox, as you can probably figure out from it’s name, gives a softer feel to the light.

like light you see coming through a window in the late afternoon.

wow.  Thuy’s a good model.

when i picked this location, i had no idea what color the clothes Thuy was going to end up wearing on the day of the shoot.  i just really liked the the light and how green the trees were.

when we were planing the shoot, i did tell her i wanted her in bright, primary colors.

i guess what i’m trying to get at is that i’m really glad that Thuy brought that green dress to wear.

it really popped.

ok, for those wondering about the lighting…

i’m using the softbox as my key light (which is just a fancy way of saying my main light) and i’m using the sun as a background highlight.

i move the softbox around as needed, but i always keep it towards the front.

i let the sun do all the work highlighting her from the back.

my favorite thing about this photo?  how she has her fingers touching her left arm.

i really like these shoes too.

and that was the last shot with the shades.

thanks again for the shades nancy!

that white wall to the right is the wall that surrounds the Governor’s Mansion.

gotta say, it was really nice being able to shoot these in the shade LoL

after the sitting, i had her get back up and into the sun.

*the wind starts blowing and thuy brushes her hair out of her face*

Me: wait! do that motion again!

*thuy does that motion again while looking directly at the camera.*

*shutter snap*

Me: awesome.

and this will wrap this area of the location.

the last few shots will take place a little further up Congress St. but still keeping to the same theme.

ok, i’ve changed the light modifier again!  can you guess which of the three i’m using now?

*(i’ll let you know at the end of the post) 🙂

last time i shot here was during Jessica’s last photoshoot before she moved to austin.  i really love how you can see the Capitol in the background.  just have to be sure you aren’t in the middle of the street when cars are coming down it.  another plus to shooting on a sunday 😉

and this will wrap up this location and the entire shoot!

i’m really glad i got a chance to shoot with Thuy again, after all this time.  neither one of us realized that we had let a year come and go in-between shoots.  i don’t think we’ll let that happen again 🙂 (in fact, i have an idea for another project already in mind. ooooooo!)

so, thanks to Tom for once again letting me borrow some equipment.  thanks to Nancy for letting me borrow her shades.  and thanks to Thuy for, once again, being the model supreme.

have a good one everybody!

see ya next post!

*(oh! and i was using the beauty dish) 🙂


3 Responses

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  1. Tom Beck said, on May 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Nice work, Grasshopper!


  2. […] have worked together! it’s time!” (since we seem to only get together to shoot once a year […]

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