Plan B, Photographers’ Improv: Raphye Alexius

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Raphye Alexius, "Silly Portrait, Vintage Shop, from Retail Therapy shoot

Raphye Alexius, “Silly Portrait, Vintage Shop, from Retail Therapy shoot

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.

Raphye Alexius, From her Retail Therapy shoot

Raphye Alexius, From her Retail Therapy shoot

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