Photography can become ridiculously expensive with gear and props and all the other necessities. So when there is a chance to save, I save!
This shoot was planned really last minute as the model was in Singapore for only a short amount of time so I didn’t really have the luxury to come up with a strong concept. Deciding to do away with my usual plain backdrop, I remembered I had some shiny red paper stored away that I had bought on a whim for $1 a piece. So, I did a little arts and crafts and taped them all together. Honestly, it looked like a kid did it, but I knew it was going to be good enough for photography with lights and magic to turn it into a fabulous background. I taped it up to two C-Stands and voila, new backdrop!
- Canon 5DS R
- Canon 100mm f/2.8
- 3 Profoto B2s
- 1 Profoto A1
- Translucent Umbrella
- OCF Beauty Dish
- Silver Reflector
We did not have much time to shoot due to logistical issues, so I used Exlixxier’s newly upgraded software, set.a.light 3D, to plan my lighting more accurately during hair and makeup time. I absolutely love this software! It helps me come with lighting setups so much faster and I'm able to see how certain modifiers would affect the set without actually having to set them up only to not use them.
As the paper was made out of reflective material, I knew I needed a light shining on it to show off the texture and shine. I had one light on the left, top down shining straight onto the backdrop. For main light, I used a beauty dish, because it’s an easy go-to light that’s flattering. Wanting to push the mood even more, I had two lights from the back shining on each side of the model, covered with red cellophane paper (I ran out of color gels). For one of them, I used a white umbrella facing away for a softer look, while on the other, I used my Profoto A1 because it was so easy to set up.
Here’s a BTS for a clearer look. Ignore the shoe I used for model placement.
Even though we only had an hour and a half to shoot, we managed to bang out four looks anyway, and I really like these images! I am really happy I trusted my instincts that day and decided to actually buy those papers.
What are your cheap buys that have been useful in your photoshoots? Put down in the comments and let us know!