Recently a makeup artist friend asked if I could help out with her NVQ course by doing some before and after portraits of models she wanted to practice her makeup skills on. What I didn’t quite appreciate when I agreed to do it was that she wanted four looks on different models and needed them to be done within a week as she was against a deadline for her course!
Undaunted (or just plain foolish) I said I’d try and get us a studio as well as find at least some models for her. The latter was the easy bit, far harder was finding a studio at short notice as they were either booked at the times we could all make or outside my friends budget. Still undaunted I had the bright idea of using an empty house I currently have access to that I reckoned could serve as a makeshift studio and also had the advantage of having a huge garden to add some variety to the shoots.
My only slight concern was whether my flash equipment (all flash guns, no studio lights) would cut the mustard when it came to a ‘proper’ studio shoot. Thankfully the Cactus RF60 flashes and V6 transceivers I purchased earlier in the year performed admirably – hardly breaking out into a sweat for the portraits and easily getting though a full 5 hours of shooting on one set of batteries without breaking down or stopping due to overheating. As I’ve said before I really cannot recommend Cactus highly enough, for their price they are great value and for this kind of portraiture easily compete with more expensive and powerful studio lights. The only additional kit I used was a softbox and reflector from Lastolite as well as a couple of light stands from Manfrotto. All images with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 using M.ZUIKO 25mm and 45mm f/1.8 lenses. Here are a selection of images from the day. All makeup by Maria Rose.
Whilst I think it was a productive and enjoyable day for all concerned I don’t think I’ll be volunteering to shoot so many different sets in one day quite so quickly – it also being completely exhausting!!!