AD4803 Studio – Shoot Plans

On April 5/6th, I will be shooting with my subject, Brett. I am unsure as to whether it will go ahead because I am aware that as a new UFC fighter, he’s busy and in high demand. If the shoot is cancelled for any reason, I intend on asking another MMA fighter from the club that Brett trains in. As I have trained with a lot of them, I’m confident that I will have someone to shoot if Brett cancels on me.

The module guide states that we need to have at least 2 different locations within the four portraits. Because of this, I plan on shooting in two different gyms, and both with a different style of documentary; natural lighting and flash portraits.

Flash Portraits

In a previous task, I used a harsh flash to recreate an image from a magazine (Tear Sheet Recreation Blog Post):

I hope to do something similar to this (high contrast, single flash, negative space etc.) with Brett. I think the shadows created by a single flash are harsh which will be good at making my subject look intimidating. I think this will work because he is a UFC fighter, so they’re supposed to look intimidating and powerful.

Equally, I want to get closer shots for a few reasons. Firstly, one of my biggest issues I have with film is focusing correctly, and I find it easier to do this when the framing is closer. As well as this, I want Brett to make direct eye contact with the camera as this, again, could be more intimidating.

Images taken from Google

I’d like to get the kind of framing on the right as it’s more intimate. I like the harsh shadows, and I think I could emphasise features with the shadows (jawline etc.). I am only able to use 1 flash gun because I need to take the equipment home. I am taking a light stand with a speed light and umbrella.

I intend on using the flash from different angles to get different shadowing on Brett as well as on the white background I plan on having (as the gym I’ll be shooting in has white walls). During a class task, Ross McRae (a classmate) showed us a group portrait he shot using a flash from below, which projected shadows onto the back wall. I think this would be effective with Brett at portraying him as bigger and more powerful.

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Ross McRae’s Image

I think this harsh use of flash with more negative space would work well in Men’s Health (my magazine of choice) as it’d show the powerful nature of the sport and the people who participate in it. As well as this, I have seen images in the magazine shot using flash and harsh shadows:

Images from Men’s Health

Natural Light Portraits

I also intend on shooting a roll of film in a different gym using natural lighting. I know the gym well, and it has a lot of windows and bright areas so providing it is a relatively bright day, I should be able to shoot with window light.

This kind of lighting isn’t as harsh, and so if published in a magazine is likely to give a different impression of the MMA fighter; possibly making him look less intimidating and like more of a down to earth person.

Images taken from Google

I don’t necessarily plan on having the window in the image, but the lighting from it will be evident on the subjects’ face. As well as this, I’m hoping that there will be shadows being projected from the window frame which may go onto the subject, making the portrait more interesting.

Images from Men’s Health

This style of lighting would also fit into my magazine of choice as seen in the images above which are from the March issue of Men’s Health.

I intend on shooting both and seeing which is more successful and then choosing my final four portraits from that. However, if I have favourites in both, I could use both and “mix ‘n’ match” them.

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