So after doing the photoshoot at Dave's house I had more motivation, I felt I had a better understanding of the Large Format equipment, I can now frame quicker, I feel more in control of it all.
A couple of weeks or so before this shoot I had the idea of creating an event where I can get people together, under one roof, to make use of the equipment I have the chance to borrow from university. This equipment creates the quality i want to see, it also gives me something new to grasp, the next level of my photographic practise / technical understanding. It is something that others will want to know more about, it's not just a camera or a photoshoot, this event will be a traditional portrait shoot, doing it properly.
So I had the idea to contact Kingsley and Sal, the ones who have recently started to rent an old guitar shop/ studio in town. These two guys are very open with creative ideas, so I messaged them with my project idea and they agreed to lend me a space for a day for £30, from 12pm till 9pm.
My idea was simple, to set up my camera equipment in the corner of a room with a black backdrop and one studio light / flash with a soft box attachment. I wanted to be able to create something rather than nothing, and with all these lockdowns it seemed that I wasn't going to be able to create anything as I work physically. But I said fuck it and went ahead with my idea whilst I could.
I Created a Facebook event as seen above, the event detailed everything, what I want to actually do, how I want to do it and where it will take place. In the end I had about 7 people turn up, all at different times throughout the day and all in line with the latest Covid-19 guidance and legislation at the time. The people I invited were people I feel kind of close to, they are people I have met over the past 4 years of living in Cheltenham, each one of them was either a music producer, a rapper, graffiti artist, but everyone of them to me stands out to be an everyday hero. People who work hard and sacrifice their time for others.
On the day, the equipment set up was nice and easy, the first person came along at about 3pm, I met and greeted them, showed them the equipment I was using, had a little catch-up and showed them where to sit and how to sit for this traditional photograph. Everyone was very easy going, many of these people I have photographed before, some quite a lot of times. Before I took the shots I would take a polaroid which synced to the studio flash unit, this gave me a good idea of what the images will look like, it also made the interaction between me and the subject more comfortable as they had something to see and to take home with them, luckily these people still value polaroids and loved receiving one (not everyone had one taken as I only had like 5 left).
I took 16 exposures throughout the whole day, I took portraits of each person individually, some people in a pair and a few group shots at the end as some people stayed a while so this was possible. Each shot was completely different. Different sizes, clothing, different colours, each shot was understood, composed and exposed as well as possible.
I feel there are still people and photographs that I need to create using this equipment, some people could not make it and some people didn't want to be in a small space with people outside of their bubble. So there will be a shoot two at some point.
I am happy with how the whole day went, everyone got on well, the photographs felt meaningful and looked really really professional when I was composing. I just need to develop the film and scan it all in and we will be able to see it on this page soon.
Below you can see the backdrop, camera and flash set up. Nice and simple. 2 photographs for each individual and a few others for group shots and one was fogged I believe.