I spent the weekend in Chicago playing photographer for a friend that travels the U.S. selling his goregous handmade jewelry. (Check out Linx by Mark Morton.)
Taking pictures of women in earrings sounds easy, doesn't it? Well, we finished up two days ago, and I'm still exhausted and amazed at how much work it was.
Mark started getting this together weeks ago. He hired 4 models, and a hair/makeup artist. He purchased clothing that would best highlight his jewelry, and lighting for the photographers
Liz and I arrived a day early, and spent several hours calibrating our cameras and determining the best lighting for black and white back drops, and indoor and outdoor shots.
On Saturday, each model sat for extensive makeup, and hair was teased and poofed and braided and ironed. They shimmied into cute blouses and leather jackets, and then took their places in front of our screens, where we tried to make them comfortable by barking the following orders at them:
Chin up, chin down, look at me, look at Mark, now to Paul. Relax, turn to the right, smile, don't smile, lean back towards the wall, place your wrist here so we can see the bracelet. And remember, the jewelry was the star of the show, so Paul and Mark were on the sidelines, moving locks of hair away from earrings, and pulling collars back, and turning earrings to face the camera.
Each model sat for a daytime look--makeup and hair--and an then again for evening makeup and hair. Paul was on the sidelines also, carrying a velvet-lined box of jewelry to accompany each outfit, helping to change out earrings. We started at 9 in the morning, and worked nonstop for more than 8 hours. At the end of the day we were thrilled—and exhausted!
I take a lot of photos, but rarely do I have such an agenda. It was so interesting to have to pay such close attention to the women, and their clothes, and their earrings, all at the same time keeping in mind that this is just the first stage of production. Liz will scour through 2,000 photos, edit the lighting and clean up loose locks of hair and peek-a-boo bra straps. Keeping that in mind to make her job streamlined and more efficient was important. As she put it, "Photoshop is no substitute for an ill-composed photo."