Photo Shoot & Technique: Chanel Fusco (Promo)

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: March 11, 2011

Category: General

I had the great pleasure recently of working with talented Singer, Chanel Fusco…

This was to be the second time we’d worked together on promotional material and as was the case before with the first shoot [Link] we were again in the studio however this time going for a completely different look and feel to the images.

Chanel was an absolute delight to work with; confident, lots of laughs and above all completely relaxed in front of the camera making for a great shoot for all involved…

This confidence in front of the camera and being relaxed in a studio environment, I can’t help but think is not just down to being Chanel’s second photo shoot with me but largely down to the ‘Photographer & Client’ relationship that we’ve built up over time. I’m a big believer in the importance of building a good relationship & turning clients into friends if you’re to get the most out of the shoot because no matter what kit you have and how technically perfect you are, if you and your client don’t ‘click’ (pardon the pun) then it’s going to show through in the final images.

It’s normal practice for me to meet up at least a couple of times with a client for coffee and a chat before the day of the shoot. This time is so important to me for not only gaining a clearer understanding of the purposes of the shoot and the look that the client is after but also because it’s during this time that the friendship develops; and with friendship come feelings of trust, confidence and being relaxed.

Lighting Setup
We decided for this shoot, rather than ‘spin too many plates’ and try to squeeze in a whole multitude of set ups and looks, we’d concentrate on one lighting set up with just a couple of wardrobe changes…Chanel not me 🙂

Here’s a BTS (Behind the Scenes) shot of the lighting which consisted of two Profoto 1000’s in strip boxes for rim lighting and the main key light being another Profoto 1000 in a Beauty Dish and fitted with a Honeycomb Grid [Link]

For the close up head shot of Chanel, lighting was kept exactly the same all except for bringing a Silver Lastolite Tri Grip Reflector into the mix, held just out of frame at chest height.

Shooting Tethered
As is always the case when I’m working in the studio I’m shooting tethered into Lightroom 3 on my Apple MacBook Pro; a system that works faultlessly 99% of the time. Now I say 99% of the time because on this particular shoot I encountered a few issues where some images weren’t showing up and an error message saying ‘Error working with file’ or something like that. Anyway the result was that I ended up for some of the shoot having to review the images on the back of the camera; not ideal despite the screen on the back of my Nikon D3 being a fairly decent size but hey it doesn’t happen all the time.

I’ve a sneaky suspicion that this hiccup with the tethering is going to be down to me turning off my camera from time to time during the shoot so that’s something I’m going to have to look into.

At the end of the shoot the folder of images containing all the RAW files that did make it into Lightroom were then copied over onto my LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive which, once home, was then plugged into the iMac and imported into Lightroom. The images that were captured onto the camera’s memory cards were also imported into the same folder using Photo Mechanic which totally ROCKS! Seriously if you haven’t tried it out I urge you to give it a spin; you’ll be amazed how quick you can view and import images off your memory cards!

Post Production in Photoshop

In a word ‘minimal’ …

  • Remove unwanted dust spots, hair etc…
  • Brighten & Sharpen Eyes
  • Add Contrast to Skin
  • Soften Skin
  • Adjust Colour / Tone using a Colour Balance Adjustment Layer
  • Add ‘Cookie Lighting’

Next week I’m going to be adding a couple of posts covering some of the editing techniques I use in Photoshop and that I’ve mentioned recently such as ‘Cookie Lighting’ in the list above and also the technique for adding high contrast using, of all things, the Unsharp Mask Filter that I briefly touched on in the Ice Hockey Shoot.

Before I forget, BIG thanks to Andreea Gli Gioia for doing a great impression of the Invisible Man during this shoot and taking some great BTS (Behind the Scenes) photographs that I’ve been able to make use of rather than subject you once again to my questionable drawing skills 🙂

Also, thanks to Ian Baker, Chanel’s Partner, Bodyguard, Number 1 Fan and all round Good Guy for helping out with lifting and shifting some of the kit and also for trusting me not to do anything inappropriate with the lighting test shots that he stood in for…ooopps 🙂

Right, that’s all for now so have a great weekend and I’ll catch up with you soon.
Enjoy 🙂

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16 Comments

  1. Noel Hannan

    Excellent shots, full of drama, style and presence! Thanks for sharing. Just great,

    All the best
    Noel

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Thanks for that Noel 🙂

      Reply
  2. Matthias Spadin

    Very nice look and feel for these images. Really look forward to see more about your editing techniques. I like this style…

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Matthias…Thanks so much for that mate and I’ll be posting some editing techniques on the blog this week.
      All the best to you,
      Glyn

      Reply
  3. Ian Baker

    Glyn yet again a wonderful blog really had a great day your talent always amazes I must agree that the client photographer relationship is so important you always make sure that we are happy with every aspect of things even the coffee lol thanks again mate truly great shots even the one of me ahhhhhhhhhh 

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Ian…Thanks for stopping by and commenting mate. It was an absolute pleasure working both Chanel & yourself on more Promo material, as is always the case. Here’s to the future!
      Cheers,
      Glyn

      ps> I see the piccie of you has certainly gotten some interest on Facebook 🙂

      Reply
  4. David Kelly

    Hi Glyn,

    Thanks for another insightful posting.

    As you say building up the relationship with a client outside the photoshoot is an important aspect that is probably either overlooked or not possible for many other togs, but it pays dividends in getting more for the client in front of the camera.

    Loving the headset above of Chanel – great catchlight in the eyes.

    Regards,

    David

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @David…Such an important part of the shoot mate; not only helps the client to relax but me too which is always a good thing; well that a VR lenses…lol 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words,
      Speak soon,
      Glyn

      Reply
  5. DaveT

    Hi Glyn,

    I think the BHS pullback shots are a great addition.

    I agree the relationship thing is essential; having a clear idea of what is going to happen in the shoot really helps both the photographer and client, and the pre meet is going to tell you whether you are going to be able to work with the client or not.

    Glyn- a suggestion for you. People (myself included) have asked about various techniques you have used in this excellent blog, and you have kindly supplied links to past posts or You Tube tutorials that you have created. Could you perhaps put up a consolidated index of the various techniques along with the list the links to the explanatory post/video.

    Example:
    Adjust Colour/Tone using a Colour Balance Adjustment Layer – Link
    Soften Skin – Link

    If this was included on the links at the top of the blog, readers could quickly find the technique they needed additional information on.

    Thanks for another great post.

    Dave

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @DaveT…Thanks for stopping by mate and yeah I’m liking your suggestion re the links to editing techniques. I’ll have a think about how best to do it.

      Cheers,
      Glyn

      Reply
  6. Rick Wenner

    Great work here Glyn. As I’ve said before, Chanel is indeed quite awesome…just didn’t think she’d actually have a shirt as additional proof. All joking aside, very nice images and I’m looking forward to seeing more. All the best to ya!

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Rick…Cheers Buddy, that’s real nice of you to say.
      Hope all is well with you,
      Speak soon,
      Glyn

      ps> We’re planning the trip to NY so hopefully will be able to buy you a pint on your own turf v.soon 🙂

      Reply
  7. Rick Wenner

    Looking forward to it buddy. Keep me posted.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Rick…Will do mate, cheers

      Reply
  8. Govind Vekaria

    I love the pull back shoots showing all your lights. For the side lighting you state strip lights but I see a square softbox with flags on it. What is the size of the square softbox if you don’t mind me asking? Wouldn’t a full length strip light be better to get edge lighting 3/4 length? I am considering more studio purchase and would love your input.
    Thank Glyn.
    Govind.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Govind…Thanks for commenting mate 🙂
      Re the side lighting the softboxes are infact oblong as opposed to square and measure about 1 metre in length I believe. Also on the front of them are Profoto Covers to create a strip of light as opposed to flags as it may actually look like in the photo. Re the size of them as you mention about full length maybe being better that all depends on the look you’re after; for this shoot I didn’t want rim light the full length of Chanel and also this size of ‘strip light’ is one that I tend to use for most of what I do. I guess when all is said and done, it’s like everything in photography i.e personal taste and the overall look you’re aiming to achieve.

      Hope that helps,
      Glyn

      Reply

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