- Hide menu
Yesterday the Buffalo State College Fashion Technology department presented Runway 5.0 – their annual runway fashion show event, this year in its fifth installment. I had the opportunity to be backstage at Runway 5.0 shooting in, what I call, my studio in a box – a roll of white seemless vinyl and a three light setup.
I truly thrive on events like Runway 5.0, especially from a photography standpoint. I shot 115 models yesterday in a very short timespan. I didn’t have a lot of time with each of them and had to adjust quickly to any technical issues that arose – lucky for me those were minimal.
From an artistic standpoint it’s such an honor to be in the middle of an inspirational incubator like Runway 5.0 because I’m surrounded by hair stylists, makeup artists, other photographers and aspiring models and there’s this sense that we’re all in this together. We’re all trying to better ourselves and our craft by working together and put on a great event. For me, the Runway 5.0 show and Mass Appeal are the highlights of my year. I love being thrown into the gauntlet of photographing so many different types of people in a short period of time. I love putting my knowledge to the test and seeing if I have the technical know-how to create quality images in a ‘shotgun’ style shoot. With a show like Runway 5.0, I have no idea whose coming through that door next. I don’t know if I’m getting a woman wearing a dress made from old Coors Light cans, or a guy in a cotton thong showing off his tattoos as wearable art. In a setting like Runway 5.0, I’m at the whim of the unknown and it’s intoxicating because I love not knowing what I’ll be shooting next.
This years photo (complete set can be found here or here) was really special for me. In the final days at my studio this month I brought in a friend who painstakingly patient with me as I developed my lighting plan for the Runway 5.0 shoot. I will get more in depth, hopefully, with the technical details of this shoot in another post (because I know 90% of those reading this just want a link for photos, it’s okay I don’t blame you). My basic plot, however, for Runway 5.0 was a three light setup:
• 50in Westcott Softbox with a Canon 580ex II on 1/4 0.3+ manual mode – Key Light. This created that lovely wrap of light on the camera left side of all the models. Because the softbox is so massive it just wraps light around any subject. I love any chance to use it.
• 22in Beauty Dis (with sock) with a Canon 430ex II on 1/8 manual power as a fill light to create a splash of light on the neck and face of the models.
• 20in Softbox with a Canon 430ex II on 1/16 manual power to toss a hint of highlight behind the model to give them a nice glow from behind.
I’m trying to stray away from using any ETTL in a (somewhat) controlled setting like this. ETTL has its benefits but I’m trying to develop a style and look to my work and the inconsistency of ETTL doesn’t allow that in a studio setting. This debate can be had later on of course.
On a whole, I haven’t been this happy about a shoot in quite some time, and not from a photography standpoint. The models and designers for Runway 5.0 did an amazing job creating memorable outfits, hair and makeup for the event. What I’m happiest about is being able to provide whatever I could to capture their creativity in an image that they hopefully hold on to for a lifetime. It’s one of the best feelings one can have.
The photo set featuring an image of all the models can be found on my Facebook page or Google+ page. If you are one of the models/designers/hair & make up please contact please contact me regarding usage of the images.
ALSO, I wanted to give a special thanks to Erin Habes for bringing me on board to document this for everyone. Rasheeda Phillips was also instrumental in yesterday being a successful day. She’s a wonderful assistant and is one of few people who is more quick witted than I am. The entire staff for Runway 5.0 busted their hump to provide an incredible show and really knocked one out of the park. Well done everyone!