Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Katya Von Calder
So here are a few images from a shoot a little while back with Katya Von Calder. Katya is a very interesting woman with great intellect, great sense of humor, quick wit and fascinating to talk to. She and I connected on Facebook as we were mutually interested in eachothers work. We both shared a mutual friend which turned out to be her best friend and my cousin. You know, for years we hear the expression that its a small world but I think that with the popularity of the various social networking sites as they are today, we have no idea just how closely tied together we all really are.
For the shoot we discussed doing some alternative fashion and latex looks and possibly squeezing in some burlesque/pinup type looks as well. Katya has an amazing wardrobe and brought along some incredibly interesting pieces. The black latex body suit with the outer corset was fantastic as it was but Katya designed and crafted the ruffled choker and wrist pieces which really brought this outfit up to another level of interesting.
The burlesque/pinup look shot on white included a beautiful retro green colored corset with stockings, garter and heels but in addition a fantastic feathered fan that Katya crafted herself. I believe she said it was made of Peacock feathers attached to wooden slats that she secured together at the base. Two fans that open up into a fantastic array of colors and texture.
I brought stylist Masae Satouchi in for this shoot. I sent Masae some images of Katya so she could have an idea of who she would be working with and she fell in love with her fiery red hair! "Wow, she is on fire, Gary!" Masae says to me.
Yes, Katya's hair is really that red and no enhancement was needed in post processing to get that color.
My lighting set up is basically the same as I described in my last post of my shoot with Marlo.
There is something I wanted to bring up for a while about shooting subjects, especially female models at full body and that is camera position. I see a lot of full body shots of models all over the web where the camera is at eye level with the model, just as if they were shooting a headshot or portrait. That camera position is fine when doing those headshots and portraits but when shooting full body its not, most times. Having the camera at eye level on a full body shot means your looking down at the subjects legs, which in turn makes them look shorter and less flattering. More so if your already shooting a short subject.
In these portraits of Katya here I was pretty much at about eye level. I sometimes may go lower to about chest level and there are times when I've shot portraits stading over the subject looking down which brings on a whole different feeling and presence.
The full body shots of Katya holding the feathers were shot from about waist high which looks pretty much straight on because its about an equal distance from her head to her feet. If I shot eye level, she would have appeared very short with short legs.
There are times when I will shoot even lower such as in the full body shot of Marlo in my last post. That was shot at about knee level which made her look very tall and with long legs. I know that for many of us who are not shooting in a fully dedicated studio with tall ceilings, this can be difficult. In that shot of Marlo the roll of paper was visible in the top of the frame but I knew it would be easy to remove it and replace with white later in post processing.
There can be times when shooting full body at a somewhat higher angle has its place. This image of model Yan was shot at approx eye level and I felt it gave the subject an endearing and innocent quality which I felt went with her look and pose/expression. Another factor in this example is Yan has a petite frame and wearing very high heels her legs still do not look short.
There are other times when shooting down on your subject at full body does work but its when its clearly deliberate and done from a very high angle creating a dramatic perspective, clearly intentional.
In the three quarter shot of Marlo I did shoot down at her for effect but it works there in that case. Had I included her entire body, it would not.
While I'm on the subject of photography tips and observations I would like to share with you a link to a photographer friend of mine whose work and knowledge I have come to admire and respect over the years. Steve Hlavac is a fashion and fine art photographer located in Central Florida. He and I know one another from our years of participation and service over at PhotographyReview where he moderates and gives great advice in the Studio and Lighting forum as well as writing articles for the site and I moderate the Photo Critique forum
(my screen name there is gahspidy)
Steve's work has graced the covers of and has been featured in numerous magazines over the years and he has always been very generous in sharing his knowlege and experience with others in the field.
A fine person and photographer with a great sense of humor (as long as your not the butt of his jokes) :)
I recommend you to drop by his blog, Running the Photo Asylum.