For whatever reason, January has been plagued with cancelled and re-scheduled shoots. However, the silver lining; it has given me a grand opportunity to experiment and really test my skills in the studio. In other words, do something on my own terms for me and my portfolio. I’ve wanted to shoot Lucy for quite sometime and always had the vision in my head, when a commercial job decided to re-schedule I jumped at the chance and got a team together in less than 30 minutes. What I was so exciting was that the majority of the team had never worked together. It would be a melting pot of talent that had never been on the same set and I knew it would be a winning combination. With a strong vision of mod styling fused with retro art, I brought together Raina Trimble and her bold artistry with Jamie Hubbard’s commercial styling. And with Lucy’s gorgeous look, I knew we would walk away with some images we could all be proud of.

I won’t dive into details, but rather focus on the technical aspects of this image. I wasn’t sure how I would execute the style of lighting I wanted, all I knew it that I wanted dramatic, moody and… fog. We started with the basics, one soft key and one background light. The key light was modified with a Photek Softlighter II and the background light was modified with a 30° grid and several CTO gels for a strong warmth. From there we built. I needed the legs and hands lit, so we placed a soft box with a grid under the key light just for that pop and fill. Finally adding a low powered speedlight with a red gel to accent Lucy’s jacket. Once the lighting was locked we unleashed the fog and I started snapping the shutter. Right out of the gate I was extremely pleased with the lighting and the mood.

It all may seem overkill for a portrait like this, but I felt it was much needed for the results I wanted right out of camera. Some lights just play a small role, but without them the image may lose interest. Next time you have some creative time in the studio, start small and build, you never know what unique light you may find beyond “the key”.