Our first portfolio couple shoot! Huge thanks to our lovely friends and models Devy & Michelle. Could not have asked for better people to work with during our two days of shooting!
We felt as if Devy & Michelle were the ideal portfolio couple for Lex and Josh Photography because they really have a unique story to tell. As a couple they are fiercely independent and are dedicated to their own separate disciplines, Michelle to dance and Devy to gymnastics. Our goal for the shoot was to show how they are both powerful individuals on their own yet still find time to be with each other and share quality time.
The first location for the shoot would be at Devy's gym where he trains upwards of 24+ hours a week. This is where we will show off the athletics of both Devy & Michelle and a dark gymnasium gives ample opportunity to play with cool lighting! The next day we will head to Stanley Park where they actually went on their first date together. Here we will show how loving they are with each other and how they like to laugh and play on their days off.
Story is incredibly important to us at Lex and Josh Photography and we were so excited that we could get such amazing portfolio! Here's how it all went down...
Check out the Behind the Scenes for the first day!
After checking with the gym, we were able to shoot during the evening so that we could turn the lights off and get some really dramatic images. The hope was to have a dark gym and use constant lights to create some light trails to accentuate the motion. To my knowledge this hasn't really been done with gymnastics images before which was really exciting.
Fun fact I used to be a gymnast too for 13 years of my life and that's how I met Devy!
Anyways... once we got to the gym it was time to setup and get all the equipment out. As per usual we brought wayyyy more then we needed but it was nice to know that we had everything just in case. Devy and I messed around on some of the equipment while we waited for Michelle to get there and the gym to empty. Before long, it was time to get to work.
I started with the film as I knew the photos were going to be more complicated. The focus was getting epic looking slow mo footage using my Came-TV Boltzen lights to add beautiful back and side lighting. This created an ultra-dramatic image which was perfect. Everything was coming along great and the footage was looking great, just maybe taking a little longer then I expected.
Time for Michelle to do her thing and because she was only using the floor to dance on, I could leave my lights set up. Two opposing lights against a black background looked awesome and Michelle really popped out of the scene. As for the camera setup, I am an absolute sucker for the look of telephoto lenses on a gimbal. It just creates this amazing parallax effect that is downright addictive, just a little harder to pull of sometimes. And while I didn't have enough space or time to use an 85mm lens, the 55mm worked awesome and created the look I wanted. A sweeping camera movement combined with dramatic lighting, dark background, and great dancing created a really great shot in my opinion.
Now it was time for the photos and we started off with some portraits, utilizing a colour backlight and some thrown chalk. We wanted Devy to have blue accent lighting for all his shots and Michelle to have orange lighting for all of hers. This creates a sense of individuality which emphasized the story we were telling.
Also I just want to give a huge plug to MagMod accessories for flashes. If you are at all interested in using gels to colour your lights, use MagMod. They are ridiculously easy to use and swapping them out is so easy. Not to mention the colour that comes off of them is always sick. MagMod is dope.
Anyways next up were the light trail shots! This was 100% experimental as I have never done anything like this before. I had two constant lights, each with colour gels, and one flash with a grid at my disposal. The hard part was placing the constant lights so that it would show motion on camera while having the flash look pleasing once it froze the action. Add to that the fact that I had to keep the background completely dark and it started to get really complicated. However, a little trial and error and I arrived at results that I was really happy with.
Hats off to Michelle, she must have done these jumps like 10 times or so while I fiddled with different settings and fumbled the timing of the flash. Now it was Devy's turn to do some gymnastics.
Devy was going to do 3 different apparatus for his shots and while the tricks he was doing were relatively safe, it was still terrifying as the gym was dark except for the coloured lighting that I brought. Devy is still competing on the world stage for Team New Zealand so injury was not to be taken lightly.
Being the champ that he is though, Devy performed everything perfectly and got me the shots that I wanted. 3 perfect portfolio pieces that captured the motion, athleticism, and power of gymnastics.
And that was it for the gym portion of the shoot! It was time to pack up and head home. One rest day and then it was back to it, this time at Stanley Park.
Check out the BTS video from the day!
First thing first, let's grab them some ice cream and have them share it! Cute style.
The lighting turned out to be absolutely perfect as we wanted a warm, summery feel to all the images. The air was a little on the hazy side, but it only ended up softening the light a little bit and that was fine by me! Natural light ended up being sufficient for all the shots during this session.
Next it was time to ride some bikes!
Again, this shoot was all about capturing their playful side with each other so we kept things interesting with little activities. Riding bikes ended up being perfect and we got those great smiles!
By now, you might be noticing a very noticeable orange glow coming from the sun's direction. This was a technique I used to give the images that extra warm summer feel. It is simply an orange coloured radial gradient in Photoshop which is on a soft light layer. Simple to do but I think it really gives the images a special sauce.
Next we headed over to Third Beach where we were going to catch the sunset and play around on the beach!
Unfortunately, as we walked towards Third Beach I noticed that the sun was going down a lot faster then I had anticipated. Couple that with the fact that the sky was very hazy and we weren't going to get the gorgeous sunset that I was planning on.
Nevertheless we made the best of it and instead of worrying about overexposing the background, I used the haze to give some nice, bright backgrounds.
Time to get them a little wet!
And after all that fun, I had them cool down and get a little intimate next.
Now it was time for the grand finale! One last awesome silhouette shot to tie both shoots together. They've proven they are powerful individual athletes, they've shown how cute they are together, now they'll show that they are in fact a power couple. In support of one another and relishing in the fact that they both do what they do!
And with that, we were done! We grabbed a bit to eat to thank them for all their hard work and headed home to work on all the post production!!
Huge thanks again to Devy & Michelle for working so hard on these images! We are blown away by them and CANNOT wait to start posting all of it!
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