Shooting Cath

I met Cath when I joined a local meditation group called Lightworkers of Liverpool. Being a photographer, I felt drawn to a group with a name like that. Anyway, Cath wanted a wall-sized photograph to gift to her daughter, so that she would have something special as a memento of her Mum. So we arranged a date and Cath came to visit.

I use half-size background rolls because my studio is quite small, but it’s fine for waist up or head shots. Cath was uncomfortable sitting in front of the camera and worried about what she would look like. The first images reflected this and it was quite a while before Cath began to relax and the images started to move towards something that would not only look good on the wall but give pleasure to Cath and her daughter.

My usual strategy is to keep shooting and tweaking the lighting, eventually everyone begins to settle down and feel more comfortable. Few people feel comfortable being the focus of so much attention and that, along with the strange environment with coloured backgrounds and bright lights on stands, makes it difficult to look comfortable.

But that is only initially. Once people begin to feel comfortable, then is the time to start the real work of capturing an image that is a reflection of who they believe themselves to be.

Out of the first set this is the one that Cath liked the most.

Hadfields Photography: Cath


Cath also wanted an image she could use in promotional material for her work and had brought her crystal ball with her to use as a prop. This was the image that was chosen.

Hadfields Photography: Cath



Now one of the things that Cath actually wanted was a smoky atmosphere to create a more mysterious mood. She had promisd she was going to bring incense sticks to create this atmosphere – but forgot. So we had no smoke source (must remember to put smoke bombs on my shopping list). I also wasn’t happy with the appearance of the crystal ball – I felt it should have something in it. So I spent a little time in Photoshop and added a swirl of smoke and a misty castle turret. I also put the suggestion of smoke into the background. Real smoke might have looked better, but Cath loved this version of her image.

Hadfields Photography: Cath



Canon 40D

Canon 17-85mm EF-S f4 – f5.6

Two studio flash units with wireless trigger

Portable flash on the floor to lighten the background

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