In the first of our series looking at creative improvisation, photographer Raphye Alexius discovers an ingenious solution to poor ambient light on a “Retail Therapy” shoot
I had the best team I could ask for. Our location was gorgeous. The models were collaborative, creative, and outgoing partners. The stylist and the hair and make-up person were flawless and efficient. We started at 11 am and finished indoors at 2:30, then moved outside for another couple of hours.
This shoot did provide one interesting problem. Even at a high ISO, I could not get a good ambient-light photo from inside the location unless a light was very near. Normally I would bounce a head off the ceiling, but it as turns out, the ceiling was brown; a detail I will not miss again. I wrapped a head in tons of diffusion and created a shape that was like a florescent tube, but it was still too hard and the shadows were unforgiving. Shooting in the back part of the store proved to be a challenge, but I did get a few gems. If I encounter this situation again, I will put a bounce board against the ceiling and pop the light into that, and/or bring brighter bulbs to replace the ones at the location.
That said, the wrapped single head worked okay for the following photo. I think I will recreate this one though when I find a colorful dressing room door that has a gap beneath. We held this curtain up by hand.