Location shoot with band, White Eskimo

A few months ago I was asked to update the publicity photographs for Cheshire band, White Eskimo, who I had photographed previously in studio (link to studio shoot here).

Unlike studio photography, location shoots can be much more complicated since the photographer has much less control over the elements, such as light and weather. As it turned out, I was blessed with dry and sunny weather but contrary to popular belief the sun can be a big problem for photographers and potentially limits what backdrops can be used in the image.

Facing your ‘models’ in to the sun will usually cause them to squint and can also cast ugly shadows over faces. Turning the ‘model’s’ back to the sun can be a better option, since the harsh light is coming from behind, so faces are lit with ‘softer’ and much more flattering reflected light, with the added advantage of hair becoming back-lit, creating a more three-dimensional look to the image. However, when shooting towards the sun photographers can be faced with other issues, like the sky bleaching out to white. So choosing a solid backdrop like trees or a building can be a good solution to this.

An added problem when shooting towards the light can be potential lens flare. However, in the case of the first image, I actually used lens fare as a deliberate effect and chose to exaggerate the degree of flare by removing the lens hood. The deliberate use of lens flare has become very popular over the last decade and is especially evident in photographic genres like location fashion and portrait photography, where the technique can serve to soften the image and create a dreamy effect.

Learning to manipulate light and making the best of the light you have is as equally important as competently using the controls on the camera. After all, the term ‘photography’ means ‘drawing with light’!

White Eskimo is managed by TV presenter, Yvette Fielding and can be found on Facebook here.

Equipment used: Camera – Nikon D700, Lens – Nikon 85mm 1.4 and 28 – 300 vr. Fill flash – Nikon Speedlight SB900 x2. Assistant – Lily.





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