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Tag Archives: Kris Melton
I’ve shot the lovely Kris Melton quite a few times with only hugs for compensation (I’m not complaining). Kris is one of the movers and shakers over at Rock Fist Reviews, and she added me as a “talent” on the Rock Fist Reviews website.
Photographers (and other creative people – including models and make-up artists) are constantly asked to work for free on the promise of getting “exposure”. As I read somewhere, and I do wish I remembered where, people die from exposure.
Believe it or not, even in the digital age, photography costs money, and working for “exposure” does not pay my credit card bills. That said, however, there are times when working for free can pay off.
I recently shot some promotional work for Ink 4 Pink, a local cancer charity event. The event organizer, Jessica Hill (aka, JJ Diablo) is on my personal list of pretty tattooed girls I’d like to photograph. I have worked with one of the models in the promo piece, Kris Melton with Rock Fist Reviews, twice before – for free (a relationship that recently got me published in Prick Magazine again). I have worked with the make-up artist for the promo piece, Trisha Stowell, a number of times before – for free. It is those free jobs that got me in front of the event organizer. We did a really good promo piece, and had a good time creating it.
I got to work in a location that I would not have had easy access to before, with a creative team (models, make-up, wardrobe) that I would not have easily put together, and made strong network connections for future work.
Working for free – for exposure – can be a Good Thing. It ust depends on your personal goals as a creative
I recently had a photo shoot with the lovely Kris Melton, founder and editor of the on-line local rock resource website rockfistreviews.com. This was our second shoot, and I was very happy with the results. I uploaded a few to Flickr, and sent a tweet about the upload. One of my Twitter followers, “DantePasquale“, asked how I lit one of the shots. I told him I’d do a blog post about it. So, here ya go, Dante!
Kris wanted some shots that showed off her new chest piece tattoo as well as submit for (hopeful) inclusion in a nationally distributed tattoo lifestyle magazine. She and I had worked together before with good results, and we managed to squeeze a few hours into an otherwise busy weekend for me to get this shoot done. This was done in my basement home studio. I’m fortunate to have a big room to spread out in, but a large space wasn’t needed for this shot.
The background is two pieces of 2 1/2 foot wide corrugated steel. You can easily find this at your local “Lowes Depot Home Improvement” store. (Be *very careful* with this stuff. The edges can be sharp and jagged and give you a nasty cut.) I store these panels outside under our deck so that eventually they will age gracefully. In an ideal world, I would have scavenged a few pieces from one of the myriad rural outbuildings around us that have been razed to make room for another subdivision, but this blog isn’t about that.
On either side are double fold doors – again a “Lowes Depot” purchase. One side is painted black and the other is painted white. The black sides are facing Kris to cut some of the natural reflectivity of the steel. This was an idea I gleaned from Zack Arias, so I won’t claim it to be original.
I am about 5 feet in front of Kris with my Nikon D300 and trusty workhorse of a lens the Tamron 28-75 2.8. I’m seated on a low rolling stool, and over my head is an Alien Bee 800 fitted with a beauty dish set to f11. To camera right and just a foot and half in front of Kris is another Alien Bee 800 with a blue gel just brushing the steel behind her. The f-stop on that light changed a few times while I sought the right balance, but it was well below the f11 of the main light.
As I said, even though I have a big space to work in, this shot could have easily been done in a garage or even a living room (as long as your wife doesn’t mind you leaning dirty corrugated steel against her walls).
There is an almost happy-ending punch to the end of this shoot which I’ll share with you as soon as I know for sure that the punch will happen — ooooo, foreshadowing!
In Adobe Lightroom, I fiddled with the clarity, contrast, black levels, and saturation to get the effect I was looking for.