Modern Retro Fashion Photography with Des

Modern Retro Fashion Photography with Des

I’ve been terribly deficient in posting regular updates to the blog, the only good thing about that is that there is only room to get better about blogging!

Des and I got together back in October of 2011 to shoot a shot series of photographs. The clothing and styling were provided and take care of for us by stylist Tiffany B out of Bethlehem, PA.

Below are some of my favorites from the shoot!

Fashion Photographer Philadelphia - Fashion Designer + Me + The Camera

Simplify! Man!

Often as a photographer, I get far to caught up in the gadgets and gear that make my work possible and as they distract me from the fundamentals of why and how I shoot, I start to lose a little bit of what gives my work a "shot by Nathaniel Dodson" feel.

I’d venture so far as to say this happens to most photographers, but when this gadget-ism strikes I pony-up and strike back by heading out to a shoot with only a single fixed length lens and a reflector as my light! This is just to force myself to make due with what I have and use the light available to ensure I am not “losing my touch” on the basic essentials of how I shoot… this is of course assuming that I have some kind of touch in the first place (debatable). Stepping back and simplifying in both design and photographic work can be greatly beneficial! I love it!

She's a Fashion Designer... or a Rockstar

Kelli is a local working Fashion Designer who also has a passion for modeling. We got together to shoot some photographs and had an easy-breezy time capturing a few nice frames. She was great!

Simplifying...

Getting together with Kelli I had previously decided that I would be significantly lightening my gear and carrying only a few things out onto location in an effort to focus on simplifying my approach –which had started getting a little out of hand. (Note: I brought one light with me for this shoot, an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra with the 39" Deep Octa Softbox.)

Below are a few of the photographs we captured. My shot(s) of the day turned out to be a series of black and white fashion photos which I absolutely love.

Model + Fashion in the Park - Bethlehem, PA

Distinct Pleasure

Yasmine is an talented and beautiful young Egyptian/Moroccan/Turkish college student(/model) attending college right here in Eastern Pennsylvania. I had the distinct pleasure of working with her about 2 months ago shooting some general purpose portraits and was delighted with how they turned out!

There was a bit of rain in the forecast for the date we'd picked to setup the shoot, but decided to press on and make it happen rain or shine! Typically when a shoot gets cancelled due to the weather forecast, the weather man ends up being wrong and we get beautiful weather, it's only when we decide to ignore the forecast that the forecast stands true! We ended up with a very cloudy sky that morning and there was a brisk breeze which occasionally cut through our location all the while we were shooting further enhancing the cool/damp early-autumn air and, in the end, combining to make beautiful shooting weather throughout our shoot. It worked out wonderfully and we got lots of very soft, wrapping light! Photographer's dream!

Yasmine did a great job and totally rocked the shoot! Check her out over at her profile on Model Mayhem which is located here.

Below are a healthy spattering of a few of the shots which I loved most from that rainy and overcast morning in Bethlehem.

Darienne Rose – Drexel Hill Pop-Rock Singer/Song Writer

Darienne Rose – Drexel Hill Singer/Song Writer

A self-titled “Rock Vixen”, Darienne Rose is an up and coming Pop/Rock singer/songwriter out of the Philadelphia area. She contacted me about doing some photography which would help capture her image as an artist and individual for media press-kits that she could send to record labels, radio stations, and more.

Check out more about Darienne as well as samples of her music right here!

We photographed a series of portraits and captured three specific looks. Check out a few of the images we got that day.

A special thanks for hair and makeup goes to Lisa from HairTini Salon!

Natural Light Shooting

Natural Light Shooting

Penn University

A couple of weeks ago I photographed a student named Andrew Frechinella. He is attending Penn University in Philadelphia. I shot him on the UPenn campus in the University City district of Philadelphia. He’s wrapping up his very own PhD and was looking to try his hand at a bit of modeling.

I always love shooting in new locations, especially interesting new locations. The campus at Penn lacks no character, space, architecture, or visual interest of any kind. It’s a really great atmosphere. On campus has a certain look and feel, and only a few block from campus a very different look and feel, I love it! Versatility of location is always a major plus.

Wandering

We began the afternoon (very sunny afternoon) by wandering around outside of Penn first and explored some alleyways and streets and ventured onto the college grounds. Andrew was a rock-star, we took advantage of a construction site, empty café, and paparazzi’d a few random students (some of the best photos of the day, just kidding ;) ) and he killed it on campus, off campus, everywhere we went.

Production Shots

I really need to start taking some photos of myself taking photos… or rather have my assistant (typically my Uncle) handling a second camera and snapping some production shots so you can get a sneak peak, behind-the-scenes look at what I do. Maybe next time, there’s always (usually) a next time.

Technical Nonsense

Because of the insane sunlight (which is really not very good for great portrait photography) I stayed away from lighting anything with strobes or off-camera flash, instead I hung out with a pair of reflectors. A Westcott 6’ x 4’ reflector panel (Sunlight & Silver) as well as a smaller Silver & White 30” Lastolite reflector. In sunlight these things work like a charm and can light very well, put them in the hands of someone who can feather the light and make adjustments on the fly for you, and you’ve got a killer lighting setup; all with one measly little reflector (and one giant continuous light we call the sun).

I shot almost everything at f2.8 and around 1/200th of a second except when photographing into the sun; I adjusted for greater depth of field and stopped down to f8.0 and around 1/100th of a second for those shots. Throw in the reflector bouncing that intense sunlight back into the subject and you get great light. My ISO stayed at 100 all day.

I made a concerted effort to get away from shooting at a longer focal length this time around and stayed with my 50mm (nifty 50) and my 24-70mm f2.8. I miss the flat, compressed look of the telephoto but love the way it made me work using this lens and not having the 70-200mm to “fall back on”. Since that shoot, I’ve been using the 24-70mm a whole lot more. Objective. Completed.

Thanks!

A big shout out to Andrew for hanging around all afternoon with me and being totally cool with everything I asked him to do, job well done man! Also a shout out to my Uncle Chris for the excellent setup, reflector-holding, idea-bouncing, goodness; having an extra set of hands makes impractical or impossible shots practical and possible.