Monthly Archives: June 2020

Virtual Studio shoot with Amie Boulton

A virtual studio shoot was a good way of testing the possibilities of still been able to work and shoot with models. Having been locked down for the last few months a virtual studio shoot looked a good thing to try.

So when I spotted that Chris Conway and Amie were putting on session at Trident studios in Plymouth I thought it was worth giving it try.

I contract Chris and got a link to a very helpful set of remote shooting guidelines. These included how the shoot would work, what software was required. Also what I need to do from my end in terms of supplying a mood board for the look and lighting.

Setup  requirements

The virtual shoot was run using the Zoom meeting software together with tethered shooting to a laptop.

Tethering enabled you to take control of the camera settings from your screen, and also show both a live view from the camera (for composition) and also an image review and browser. So you can see what you captured

Chris’s set up uses a Sony A7R3 camera with the choice of a 90mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4 or 35mm 1.4 lens. The Sony has a feature for auto detecting the eyes so was great for this type of setup.

Virtual Shooting

So how did it go ? overall it worked really well and the images coming onto the review screen looked good. I struggled initially with which screen to look at as the main tethered screen was the previous image. Once I had got the sorted it was better.

I was using a surface tablet to run Zoom etc and really that was too small as the view of the model from the studio camera was actually the best screen to be looking at. But that was small only about an 30cm by 10cm so not really useful. This was a learning point for future virtual shoots, I need a bigger viewing screen to get the inputs at a good size

We shot four different sets, and each had a different lighting setup. I was a bit too trigger happy and ended up this some 300 plus images. which was ok until you have to try and get them on your computer.

monochrome image from virtual shoot with amie boulton fashion look

After the shoot

Chris puts the images the low res Jpegs form the shoot in to a Dropbox folder – so you can see them more or less straight away to review them. Later in the day he uploads the RAW file to Dropbox for you to download.

This all went well apart from issues with Dropbox dropping the server connection consistently. Which meant you had to start again with each down load. In the end I download each image individually which took forever.


Firstly, thanks to Amie of the great posing and styling for the four sets we shot. Thanks also to Chris for setting the lights follow me direction for each of the sets. Overall it was a good set up and it worked well.

I will certainly do more shoots this way in the future as it’s a good way of testing with models. Also, a good way of working with Models who are abroad. My recommendation is give it a go it is well worth doing and I will be doing more shoots this way in the future months

Single light setup with Helen Diaz

Here are a set of four images from a shoot with Helen Diaz shot using a single light setup.

I came across these set of images from a studio session with the UK model Helen Diaz. I might call them a bit of a vintage set as they were from a few years ago. When I was just starting to get into working with models and lighting in a studio-based setting. They stood out in the LR catalogue and I decided to work them up to put into a blog post.

I was initial shooting a portrait session with Helen and was also fortunate to have a very good Makeup Artist to work with on that day. The Makeup Artist also turned out to be a bit of a stylist too, as when we want to shoot some more fashion type looks.

She came up with a white ruffled- scalloped type jacket which looked like it might photographed really well. The result of using that jacket can be seen in this set of images.

I chose to light the set with a single light setup to the righthand side of the model. This consisted of a medium sized beauty dish that was mounted on a stand with a boom arm extension. By putting the light onto the boom arm it moved the model and light away from the background and by careful positioning it warped around the subject and made her and the jacket standout against the dark background.

colour image shot in the studio featuring a model wearing a white ruffled scalloped jacket
colour image shot in the studio featuring a model wearing a white ruffled scalloped jacket using a single light setup
colour image shot in the studio featuring a model wearing a white ruffled scalloped jacket

I worked with Helen again in the following few years and we produced some more cool images from these shoots as well.

  • MUA: Sonia Parker
  • Location: Studio
  • Lighting: Single medium beauty dish
  • Styling: Sonia Parker
  • Camera: Canon 5D

June Print of the Month

My pick for the June 2020 Print of the Month is entitled: Aerial Acrobatics III.

Read More

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