Smoking ?

Posted: September 22, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Took advantage of the non day at Uni to complete a shoot delayed from the summer. Another mature female wishing to have a moody shoot completed with a twist………she wanted cigars involved. The crux of this was she started clothed, wearing the trilby and having a smoke through to finishing the shoot only wearing the trilby whilst still having a smoke. My thoughts reverted to 1920’s styling with a trilby hat, mens shirt (black or white) and then the underwear of her choice. This would blend a retro style image with the modern style underwear. Use of the trilby to almost blank out her eyes or at least reduce them to virtual non existence would, in my opinion, draw the viewers eye to the cigar. As items of clothing were removed she would stand differently and alter poses whilst retaining the balance of shadows we created within the initial test images.

I set up for low key with some rim/highlight lighting behind her. The use of a reflector to ever so lightly lift the darks on the shirt sat opposite the key light. I then discussed the process, potential poses and snapped a few test images for my satisfaction and her approval on the lighting style. Immense fun, if a little smokey, but a first for me in shooting a smoking client. She was absolutely pleased as punch with a quick trawl through the RAW files on the laptop. After some further discussion and option deciding she plumped for all the images to be converted to B&W. Here’s an early image from the shoot which shows the basic style and before clothing started falling off.


Below is an early test image which used an alternate, black, shirt though we both preferred the grey scale and shadows with the white shirt. No cigar in use as this was during the lighting setup. Wearing black underwear meant, at times, there was just too much black within the image. This would have been better used in a high key setting but we didn’t have enough time. She has however rebooked to do a similar shoot in high key and also implement her ideas for posing on my new high back formal chair in the studio.


The images have already been noted and commented on as sublime yet controversial with the smoking. Whilst controversy was not my priority in creating the images I knew the smoking aspect may draw varied views. Being a photographer who is reasonably established with the stock family, wedding and child portrait I find times like this superb in showing an alternate side to my creativity and what I can produce. The incidental aspect that the connotations and denotations seen by others provokes discussion is what we strive for, as one comment placed me, being an alleged ‘artist’.


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