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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Informing Contexts – Work Evaluation – Teenage Shoot

The intent of this shoot was to give confidence to a young teenage subject and to see if performance in front of the camera could help to bring a shy and nervous subject out of her shell.  Having previously photographed the subject, I decided on bold and strong makeup to help make her feel empowered.  Being just 15, the subject is chaperoned at all times by her parents and they make sure that she is happy at all times.

The lighting was set up for high key against a white backdrop.  The backdrop was not lit, so the expected colour was off white.

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Figure 1: Sutherst 2017

Figure 1 was a chance moment during the shoot.  After a few iced doughnuts and much laughter, the subject was fully relaxed and performing in front of the camera like a professional model.  I gave her a baseball bat and an open-ended brief as to the narrative of the shot.  This allowed her to explore options and storylines, which complements the creativity of the makeup and styling I had designed.

This was the first image I shot of her with the baseball bat.  The image works in so many ways for me.  The lighting works well and casts interesting shadows which ground the subject in the picture.  The body shape and position of the baseball bat make for an interesting and engaging composition.

The bold makeup and facial expression work really well in the image. The glancing off to the side adds to the aesthetic of the image.  The facial expression is extreme and has caused the subject to look like she has no neck, however it works in this image.  Also there is hair going across her neck which could look a little odd, but I don’t really see it as an issue.  Her eyes are over-extended and you can see more white than you would normally expect in a fashion-styled shoot.  This again fits with the extreme expression and really works in the shot.  You believe, as the viewer, that the baseball bat is possessed or similar.

The image was shot from a sitting position.  This has increased the height of the subject and created a more dramatic image.  The subject’s shoes are crucial to the shot.  Legs and feet are often tricky to pose and light.  In this image I am pleased with the leg and feet position as well as the lighting and shadows on them.

There are a few scuffs on the floor that need tidying up in the final edit.  Post processing so far has added a slight grunge effect and vignette all round.  For the final edit, I will be considering if this remains or I alter the editing I do.  Time will tell on that one.

I have found from this shoot that when the subject is genuinely happy and having a good time, the images will show it.  Her nerves, tension and self-consciousness completely disappeared and she had all of us in the studio in hysterics with her antics.  This meant that her movements were freer and more relaxed.  She was able to show her personality and this image shows the essence of an energetic, beautiful young lady.  I really enjoyed this shoot.

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