Last week I got together with three photographers at Studio 212 in Metuchen, NJ. They included Kelly Formus, Eric Gautier and Richard Flores. We also had the opportunity to work with makeup artist Karen Buttacavole and hair stylist Kelly Werrlein.
Many months ago, we met up and discussed our respective photography businesses and threw around some ideas for a workshop. We all have our particular strengths and knew it’d be great to learn from one another. We talked about getting a model and shooting wherever we could. Fast forward to January 2011. Easier said than done in the middle of winter.
Our location really needed to be someplace indoors and local. I have been following a particular fashion photographer’s work, Stephen Eastwood, and learned that he has photographed inside Studio 212. If it’s good enough for him, it would be good enough for us. All of us arrived by 7:15pm and started searching for Studio 212. “Where the hell is this place?!” Well, it’s in the back of a large industrial complex. Next time we shoot there, we’ll save about 15 minutes looking for the joint.
Once we got inside I introduced myself to Greg Price who is both a photographer and owner of Studio 212. I went on a tour of the facility. The place has just about anything you could ever want. The prop department is extensive and even has a footed cast iron bathtub. Insane. After the tour I went back to the room we were setting up. There is a cyc-wall which makes shooting models against a backround much easier. We brought in a lot of different lighting equipment. Canon Speedlites, Einstein strobes, a ring flash, softboxes, gels, Phong diffusers. It was a lot of fun seeing what everyone else used in their setups.
T. was the first model ready for the cameras and did a great job posing for the four of us. It got a little crazy at times because it’s not that normal for a model doing her thing for four different cameras all at once. We shot against the Cyc Wall and the red wall for a while. Here’s a great one Richard Flores took of T. against the red wall with a ring flash. By this time Karen and Kelly W. had finished Lauren’s makeup and hair. Lauren was ready to pose! Kelly Formus brought along a small fan with a surprising amount of wind power. It also helped cool down the studio. Lots of lights popping and lots of moving around was starting to drive up the temperature.
The shoot continued into the night and then we brought T. out with Lauren and they posed together. We used the wind machine, no less than 4 Speedlites and strobed softboxes. It was the first time I used a transmitter that triggered so much light at once. It was blinding! Luckily I packed a lot of batteries because those Speedlites were firing at about 1/1 power.
I tried and move myself around the models so they would be easier to work with later on within Photoshop. At the very least I’d be removing light stands and a slight shift in position can save a lot of time in post. After T. and Lauren finished up, Kelly W. came out for some shots. We grew up on the same block in South Plainfield and it’s great that East Golf Avenue churned out some pretty creative folks. There is still hope for South Plainfield after all!
Last model I shot that night was Karen and the image I had in my head was of her against a black wall with red gels everywhere. I’d say the final images of her turned out great and she even made one of them her profile photo on facebook. Which is pretty much the internet equivalent of winning a Grammy or Oscar. To see more of the shots from that night, visit the Products gallery.