Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Hedge Fund - Shooting Fashion at a Garden Location.

Last December I found myself photographing fashion on location for a label that caters to the over 30s fashion market. Our location was a beautifully manicured suburban garden in Sydney's 'Hills District'. The range itself crosses over from smart casual to mother of bride or, a day at the races, in more formal styles with suitable up market fabrics. While I have worked with the label twice before it had been four years since our last collaboration with the label only shooting once in the interim period. The photography budget has remained roughly the same and does not really allow for any fancy production to take place - so this shoot was all about delivering good quality, clean files that require a minimum of post processing. My biggest concern coming into this garden shoot was how to manage the light and keep a green cast out of the pictures to prevent our model and our garments from having a green colour cast through them.

The Hedge Fund - Shooting Fashion at a Garden Location by Kent Johnson.
While all the pictures you are looking at right now are fully edited pictures, toward the bottom of the page there are a few camera direct shots and details about the retouching used (mostly the garden) to achieve the result you are now looking at.

Formal womens fashion. A country garden style fashion photo shoot in suburban Sydney by Kent Johnson.

Casual over 30s women's fashion. A country garden style fashion photoshoot in suburban Sydney.

Race day or Mother of the bride fashion. A country garden style fashion photoshoot in suburban Sydney.

Smart casual dress, Sydney 'country garden' fashion shoot by Kent Johnson.

Smart casual stripped dress, Sydney 'country garden' fashion shoot by Kent Johnson.

Smart casual pants and blouse, Sydney 'country garden' fashion shoot by Kent Johnson.

Should the location look suburban?

While we all have plenty of pictures taken in and around our homes; I was concerned that the look of a grand hedge and well manicured, country garden feel might be a bit at odds with the house, even a beautiful Federation residence; was still a house, a house, a house... I felt the grander country style look of the grounds needed an extra careful framing of the scene to keep visual and emotional conflict to a minimum. Aside from these issues, it was not really possible to place the model at a distance away from the hedges (in most cases) that would allow me to optically blur-out details with the camera such as the patchy nature of nearly all hedges (not just these). The holes in the hedges would need patching in Photoshop as part of the post processing which provided a significant lift to the look and feel of the final images.

Here is the backyard of our suburban home, and while large by inner-city living standards we are still looking at a suburban back yard in terms of scale and not much open shade for the soft light I required. Below is the fabulous tall hedge out front; this hedge would cast enough shade for us to get through quite a few shots while I implemented some very simple techniques (time and cost effective) to minimise the wash of green reflected light onto the model and garments.
Back yard of the shoot, Epping, Sydney.

Front yard hedge as seen form the street.

Retouching a country garden style fashion photoshoot in suburban Sydney.
Un-retouched image top with a nearly finished version below 'During'.
Unretouched camera JPEG file.
For many years I did not 'Proof' the direct-from-camera files but after one client sent those JPEG files not the retouched files to the printers.. I decided this was the best and safest approach for all parties.
A Rainbow Lorikeet in the Jacaranda tree on location.
A Rainbow Lorikeet in the Jacaranda tree on location.
Thank you to my client and the homes owner for their faultless hospitality and to my wonderful team.

Model - Gillian Cooper
H&MU by Kaori
Photography & post-processing by Kent Johnson.

Call or email to book you photo shoot today.

Kent Johnson,
Sydney, Australia.

0433 796 863