One of the most enjoyable projects I have worked on in my career would be working as a guest photographer on American's Next Top Model. Each episode the show will have a photographer come on to shoot the models and see who performs best. I have been lucky enough to be a guest photographer four times on the show since its beginning.
The image included in this post is from my favorite episode as it was the most challenging of the shoots I have done for the show. The goal was to photograph each model as a celebrity couple. The girl would play both the male and female part of the celebrity couple so called for a lot of hair and makeup and creativity on my part.
To achieve this I had to make sure my lights and camera stayed the same throughout the shoot for each position because the girl would be shot as the male part first, then go back to hair, makeup and styling to be transformed into the female celebrity of the shot. Once I had my lighting set, my photo assistants carefully measured and documented each light and power ratio. Everything was written down so there would be no mistakes. Each light was measured for height and distance and the once the exposure was set to my liking we had our formula, and could easily apply it to each different location. The shoot took a long time but in the end it was worth it and a lot of fun to do. Imagine taking this same technique and doing your own versions at home. Make sure you document everything you do the first time around. My main light for this image was a small Para umbrella, which is still fairly large. The back lights were Profoto flash heads with gels an grids along with black flags to cut the light from hitting the camera and keeping it off the ceiling as well.
If you are interested in learning more about fashion and beauty photography sign up for the live classroom seminar through CreativeLive taking place this November. There you can learn by watching a complete beauty shoot and fashion shoot from beginning to end. To learn more about creative lighting and techniques look into the downloadable videos available in the Gallery Store. There you will learn tips and tricks on how to make better photographs with example and guidance.