I’ve always loved the color red and the emotions it invokes. I suppose that's the fun thing about backgrounds, props, and general settings in that a color theme can evoke so many different thoughts and emotions. Needless to say the power of a model is critical but what you can create around the model can go a long way in conveying the feel you’re aiming for. For this test shoot, I knew I wanted to create a set of images featuring a strong red lipped model.When it came to choosing the models, Ombeline was an easy choice due to her strong features. How fortunate are we as photographers when the models we get to work with do so much of the heavy lifting on their own? We all have a part to play in getting something from ideation to final product but if you can work with strong models to get there then all the better! She also had gorgeous lips that I knew would look great with the red lipstick makeup I had in mind. That in conjunction with her great skin meant I could have slightly edgier lighting.
This year, I really focused in on shooting with umbrellas as my main modifiers. Excellent dual use prop in case of rain here in Singapore! Ha! Ha! Ha! No? OK, moving on. On a more serious note, they’re just so portable, easy to set up with and go a long way in terms of helping the overall look of the shoot! I’m a strong female but nonetheless I try to reduce the weight of the gear I have to work with whenever possible since I'm typically dragging it around myself. I absolutely love to shoot with the 5’ Octa Softboxes but the setup and tear down is such a huge pain. Sometimes after I do the setup with the softboxes, I just want to lie down and take a nap. However with umbrellas, if an idea strikes that includes using them, I can just open and set one up in 5 minutes and if it does not work, taking it down is just as fast. Once a 5’ Octa is set up, I honestly just end up stubbornly using it even if it’s unnecessary due to how much effort was put in just to set it up.
For this shoot, I was really just playing around with the set ups and tried this look. For the main light, I had a shallow silver umbrella on the left and a deep silver umbrella on the right for fill. I would love to give a long and deep reasoning on why I chose one deep umbrella and one shallow but truthfully, the only reason was due to there only being one each at the studio.
Using software set.a.light 3D, I tried the lighting setup first on the software so I had a clear idea of what the outcome would look like. This software is truly a lifesaver, it makes planning for shoots so much simpler and the results are very close to reality!
Retouching for these images were by retoucher Marco Chavez! Love the way he works on skin. It’s so important that after editing, skin still looks like skin.
I’ve also been experimenting and creating moving images recently and these are the results of them! They’re both surreal and kinda creepy at the same time, like Harry Potter portraits. I hope you like them!
Trying out new lighting setups is always fun and it's great to see what results you can come up with. Do share what new lighting setups you’ve been playing with
Photographer: Shavonne Wong
Model: Ombeline Neo (Ave Management)
Makeup: Benji Oo
Retouching: Marco Chavez