Sunday, 23 August 2009

Butterfly Girl and a rant on lighting

I had a conversation recently with a potential client who wanted to see my portfolio. I showed them a number of photographs and they said "You don't use a lot of light in your photographs. I want to see your work with light". That made me pause a bit.. breathe in and reply politely. They obviously didn't know what they were talking about.

Like most photographers, I have invested heavily in light. At least I have a dozen heads. Big. Small. I use them but I think a lot of the time, photographers make light get in the way. Photography simply means "writing with light" but what most people don't get is you need to always answer the question " What am I going to write about with these lights?". If they stop to answer the question, they will notice most of the time, they are supposed to be writing about something else and not their lighting skills. A good handwriting is a good skill but as most of you know, in an exam you are supposed to answer questions not show off how well you write.

If the only way to say what you want to say is with heavy lighting, please don't cut corners. Use all the lights and modifiers you need... but when you are so concerned about light that you forget what your client really needs from you, then you've actually got it reversed. 99.9% of the time, your lights are supposed to help you tell a story. They are not the story. Somehow, I had to give my 2 pesewas worth on lighting today.

MUA: Renee Q. Boateng. Model: Claudia. Cheers.Butterfly Girl

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