I am a 100 % people photographer. What fascinates me about photographing people is capturing their emotions, their mood and their personalities. Taking portraits for me is not just releasing the shutter. It is about connecting with the subject. I have been shooting on location for the last few years but deep inside I have always dreamt about shooting in a studio (after all I am a true Annie Leibovitz fan!).
I met Kamal through the Guild of Photographers, which I am a proud member of. I had a pleasure to see his amazing work at the Brick Lane Gallery in London. His portraits and beauty images are simply inspiring.
When an opportunity to be mentored by Kamal Mostofi came up, I didn’t think twice and went for it.
I always plan before every photo shoot on location. I think about where the light is going to be, where I should put my subject and what I want to achieve using the ambient light.
This new challenge looked a bit different, as it was me who was to control the light. I started studying about studio lighting before the shoot but it wasn’t only about that. I kept thinking what my model should wear, what kind of make up shall we go for, how do I direct her to pose to get the results I imagined. There were so many factors to take into consideration. And I couldn’t wish for a better model for my first experience in the studio. It is not easy to pose in front of a photographer having three different lights around you if you are not a professional model. My friend Ally did an amazing job listening to my directions and doing her best to express herself in the way I asked.
Kamal is an amazing mentor. He explained patiently different sources of studio lighting and also gave me very valuable tips on how to talk to my subject , how to engage with them and most importantly how to make them feel relaxed in the studio. The agenda was to take a few portraits and beauty shots of Ally. We also experimented with an original Venetian mask that I bought a few years ago during my trip to Venice.
I was surprised to see how the use of different lighting can create different backgrounds. We started off with a small modifier placed on the right hand side of the subject on a white background. Here are the results:
Then we used the same modifier adding backlight on a white background.
Next up was a beauty dish with no grid plus soft box with grid, which softens the light:
Beauty dish with grid plus soft box with grid
Beauty dish with grid plus fill light on hair with grid on black background:
Hope you enjoyed viewing the images.
The whole experience was unforgettable and left me thinking that I would love to have my own studio…