Fancy a bit of Fashion? I did....
At the end of last year and moving into the start of this one, travel photography had been my main focus. This was partly due to the fact that I have been travelling a fair bit but also because I enjoy all the different aspects of photography it encompasses.
Returning from the UK after Christmas I knew I was going to be back in Taiwan and here for a good while, well until our holiday in Bali last week. Yes it was lovely, and yes there will be a future blog with shots...hold your horses cowboy.
It had been a while since I concentrated on shooting any fashion. The GQ shoot last year had reminded me of how much fun it is, how much I enjoy the process and working with a team around me. Wanting to get my game back up to standard it was testing time, I booked a hotel and gave the ever wonderful Julia a call. She was super cool as ever and the test was set early Sunday Morning.
We didn't have too long, but I knew I wanted to work on my lighting and not rush that. Invest a little time setting up and then get the shot in the first 10 frames was my plan, having Julia on set made this plan pretty straightforward, she understands what modelling is all about.
When I shot film regularly, I loved cross processing. I guess it was just a bit of the geek in me shining through. The whole chemical process, film developing and finally getting in the dark room to make prints is so much fun. I do enjoy Photoshop and Lightroom but I haven't really pushed myself to hard in the same direction I was moving while using film. Maybe it was a confidence thing, as I am now much more experienced using this software and find myself freely expressing my vision using these tools.
I love this last shot, a quick set up before it was check out time, super simple, fun and with Julia frozen in the air I like the tension.
If you are wondering why I booked a hotel room and didn't shoot until Sunday morning, stop. I did make the most of the time I had in the room shooting on the Saturday night too. Like I said though these were test shoots, the first was not as successful as the second although model Ainslee and I did manage to produce this shot...
I had already started to build a team with the knowledge that I was wanting to make more fashion shoots. With Choncy Shu and Michael Geier assisting me, I really couldn't ask for better. I am a bit of a control freak, part of the job I guess, I know with these guys I can just direct where, and how I want the light and it will be done in a flash (pun intended). Having known Crystal Shien for a while, and what a creative talent she is, getting her on board as Stylist was a no brainer. Seeing some amazing work from Shih Chien University Fashion Design student Enid Liao it was great to hear that she was happy to let us use her creations. I was absolutely over the moon when Teresa Chung joined my team. She has a great look, much more international than the usual look I have found in Taiwan. Teresa was perfect for this shoot, I look forward to working with her many more times, she is excellent for high fashion and so easy to work with. Anna Tian gave great brush work on Hair and Make-Up. I hadn't worked with Anna before, she is great, totally smashing the brief for this shoot. Her work here really complimented the clothes, location and my lighting to create a complete look, what a talent and so much fun. The last piece of the jigsaw was the location, I wanted something to reflect the structural nature of Enid's work. Jing Mai Cultural Park's concrete memorial construction in Taipei proved to be perfect setting. Heading over there and asking for permission to shoot was greeted with surprise and appreciation, it seems asking for permission to shoot in a place is not really the norm here, but for me it is standard practice.
Having a great team makes all the difference when shooting, I can stay totally focused on what I wish to create with the lighting and enjoy the shoot to the max, huge thank you to all of you for pulling together to make this shoot come together, I love it.
The last shot above from the Jing Mei shoot was made on my Fujifilm X-E2. I used it again for all the shots below. Once more I had the joy of working with Julia and this time
李孟臻 (Tiffany) too. On the team for Styling as well as Hair and Make Up I had the pleasure to meet and work with 林飛比 for the first time. I was pushing 林飛比 away from her comfort zone, she stepped up to the challenge as she prepared the girls in Taoyuan before we headed out to the north coast of Taiwan. Meeting us at the location to assist again was Michael Geier, this man is a trooper, an absolute machine. As he waited we received weather reports from him which were ominous to say the least. I remained confident, if it wasn't absolutely sheeting down rain we were going to shoot. I wanted drama, I wanted to create a theatrical "French Lieutenants Woman" feel. We had coast, rocks, wind, rain, two brave models, a couple of speedlights (my Bowens were never coming out to play in this.), my X-E2 and 20 minutes shoot time...Bring it on!!
Not a bad result, Tiffany and Julia were standing on sharp coral, rain blowing in their faces with me calling out direction at them, I am glad to be on the other side of the camera. Michael, still recovering from a broken collar bone, clambered about on the slippery rocks throwing the red material in the air repeatedly without complaint, I am so lucky to have these guys around me, they are true professionals and a great example.
I am especially happy to report that all the equipment and people survived and we were soon warming up in the car on the way back to Taipei.
My next fashion projects are already being planned with my team which I am very much looking forward to. I am hungry to shoot more fashion, time to start getting in touch with some people and see if I can land some work in this area. Obviously if you like what I have produced and want me to make a shoot for you get in touch soon. I am already getting bookings in May through to July which is very exciting, I am happiest when I am shooting so bring it on I do love to be busy busy busy.
As ever, thank you for taking the time to look at my work, please go ahead and share it, leave a comment or ask any questions you may have.
Should you need a photographer feel free to get in touch anytime, I am always happy to hear from people around the world regarding any work they would like to talk about. You can reach me here or through my website: www.duncanlongden.photography
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The next blog will be in a couple of weeks, so until then, have fun and don't be a stranger.