How I Shot This Editorial Fashion Spread for Glamour South Africa

How I Shot This Editorial Fashion Spread for Glamour South Africa

I had the wonderful opportunity to shoot this fashion spread for Glamour South Africa back in March while I was in Barcelona. Right before the trip, I did some research and had asked some locals for some location recommendations. There were so many fantastic, beautiful locations in Barcelona that it made it incredibly difficult to decide! I also contacted Barcelona based stylists through Instagram and email to find a team to work with. In my experience when trying to organize a shoot overseas, getting a stylist first is while the most difficult, would make the process of putting together a shoot the easiest. Once you confirm a stylist, they would usually have recommendations of makeup artists and model agencies to work with and their advice is consistently on point. Locals always know best.

With my list of location suggestions, I came up with a few moodboards for Glamour SA and they agreed on a neutral olive toned moodboard shot in Barcelona’s cactus garden, Mossèn Costa i Llobera Gardens. Coming from a country with no such thing as a natural cactus garden, I was thrilled.

We went through a few model compcards and decided on Liza for her very modern look and chic hairstyle. We had to make sure the model we chose fit the moodboard that we had in mind. It's important for everything to go well together.

I was in Barcelona for more than a week this trip and everyday has gorgeous natural sunlight. As you see as a theme when it comes to my photoshoots, I seem to attract cloudy boring weather. It also didn’t help when my stylist mentioned “Oh, it hasn’t been cloudy and rainy for the last 3 months!”. That made me very sad indeed!

However, it is what it is. We couldn’t postpone the shoot as the model was unavailable the next day so we just went ahead and did what we could. Gloomy skies meant really flat lighting so at least I could enhance the light any which way I wanted without having to fight the sun. This was me being as positive thinking as possible.

As for most fashion editorials, I always make sure to shoot in as many interesting angles and compositions I could come up with to keep the story interesting. The above image actually did not make it into the magazine but it's definitely one of my favorite shots from this shoot! The model actually had to strain her neck a little to keep it looking like it was floating naturally above the ground. The things we do for art!

Equipment List

Lighting Setup

As mentioned before in my previous article, when the sun doesn’t come out to play and we have really flat light to work with, I would use my Profoto A1 with a translucent umbrella to give the images a little bit of a pop. Nothing too obvious, it still has to look natural!

Post-Processing

I did some sky replacements on the photos that showed the skies with images from Mike Kelley’s Ultimate Sky Library. This helped the images look like they were from a less miserable day! I also color graded the images using Pratik Naik’s Infinite Color Panel.

Closing

I absolutely love shooting overseas and try and do it whenever I can as it exposes me to new locations and other creatives.

Photographer: Shavonne Wong 

Model: Liza Veta (Blow Models)

Makeup: Kristiana Zaula

Stylist: Rox Delgado

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20 Comments

Aleksandar Stajic's picture

These are great.

Shavonne Wong's picture

Thank you! I'm glad you like them (:

Daniel Medley's picture

Nice work. It's unclear in your post, did you end up using some artificial lighting?

Shavonne Wong's picture

Hey Daniel, thanks! Yes I did, for most of the shots, I used a Profoto A1 with an umbrella at a fairly low setting for a pop of light that still looked natural! (:

Daniel Medley's picture

Excellent. Thanks. Yes, just that very slightest "kiss" of light can make a difference to bring it out a bit on an overcast day.

outstanding. Perfect lighting (well done), first class composition as well.

Shavonne Wong's picture

Appreciate it, thank you!

Are you shooting thru the umbrella..as in switching it backwards? It certainly succeeds in giving a soft directional light that is completely natural looking. I would imagine distance to model is key...it could still hot-spot if too close.

quite the opposite (sorry). an umbrella (in shot through position) gives a soft diffused light and is probably the best substitute of a real scrim (that always gives the best results). Actually an umbrella and a bare monolight plus a scrim (placed close to the subject) gives almost the same diffusion of a grid (on the bare monolight) and a scrim. The difference between an umbrella and a scrim may come down to the size and the material. The best material for a scrim is plexiglass (but heavy), then PVC paper (same effect of plexiglass) , then artificial silk (only 1 or 2 stops but very uniform in diffusion) and in the last place a nylon fabric (better than nothing but not as good as the others).
Because of the nature of the beast you can find only few offers of scrims already made and at absurd prices (every studio tends to DIY instead so there is not market for those). In case just build a frame (wood), place the material (taped or metal clips) a clamp with a c-stand mount , a c-stand and sandbags and you have it. The best diffuser on the planet.
Remember: scrim close to the target and move the monolight back. a grid on it or barndoors for better direction if needed.
On location or outdoor, when there is no wind, I used an umbrella as well many times. They are easy to carry, indeed. Better if separated from the monolight (use two stands) 1 for the umbrella and one for the monolight. So you can move the umbrella closer to the subject keeping the monolight (with grids of barndoors) at a safe distance.
the enemy? hot spots on the subject. Like you said and I agree completely. And controlling those makes a photographer proud of the job we do. Doesn't it?
Like the author of the article did, beautifully in this piece.

Awesome reply....thanks! I can visualize exactly what you are saying....I live in Los Angeles... I have seen this setup many times with HDMI's and scrims on film sets around town. And talk about HUGE scrims...12 foot square is the norm...Ive seen them as big as a house! I have a case full of monolights and a bag of umbrellas...but I only use them in studio. Ive always been a fan of natural light when outside. But those shots made me realize that truly natural looking results are possible with the right setup. The two stand setup with mono+scrim sounds interesting....variable control.

David T's picture

Love the grading, really compliments the styling!
Did someone handhold the flash?

Shavonne Wong's picture

Thank you! And yeah I got a human lightstand hehe!

Jorge Cevallos's picture

You are wonderful. I really admire you.

Shavonne Wong's picture

Aww how hugely flattering, thank you!

Shavonne Wong: Curious, who owns the copyrights to your images? Was your photo assignment a work-for-hire project or did you transfer your copyright ownership & interest to Glamour South Africa? What rights do you retain (portfolio? social media?). Thanks.

Shavonne Wong's picture

The copyrights still belong to me. (:

Jay Jay's picture

The article is titled how you shot the look, but there's no mention of camera settings, a brief mention of the equipment used, and no behind the scenes shots of any equipment set up. I read the article twice to make sure i didn't miss anything. Nice photos, but the title (for me anyways), was grossly misleading. :/

Shavonne Wong's picture

Hmm I'm not a hugely technical photographer and I didn't have an assistant to take the BTS, I would have provided if I had. However, I do have to mention that in my opinion, how shots are achieved is a lot more than just gear but also how I got the team who were honestly the ones who made the shot!

your photography evolved dramatically and you reached perfection with this shoot. Also technically perfect. Brava!

How did you find the stylist and what did they cost? Or was it TFx because you already knew it was going into Glamour mag?