I just couldn’t wait to show you all a sneak peek of the first shoot using my brand new Elinchrom studio lights!
I first came across these lights at the photography show in Birmingham and was initially drawn in by their amazing 'Ranger Kits'. I loved the idea of being able to venture out into the unknown, recreating some long awaited photo-shoot ideas, but at the same time I knew I needed a durable set of studio lights. So my frantic dilemma of “decisions decisions” continued over the next three days at the show until I was directed to speak to the man they call 'the lighting king' aka Steve Howdle
As I struggled through a crowd of people, it became evident that a good few of these people were all waiting for Steve too, Always a good sign! Upon meeting Steve I was keen to show him my recent work to see if he could help me improve my understanding of studio lighting as felt this was my next logical step in my career as a freelance photographer.
Yes there were other lighting experts at the show I could have talked but the reason I had waited to speak to Steve over so many others was because Steve is especially gifted in beauty and hair lighting techniques; techniques I really wanted to learn. I wanted strong depth and detail in my subjects, where you can see each strand of hair; the detail on hats, accessories, jewellery and makeup whilst still maintaining soft and flattering lighting to the face. This is the battle of combination lighting – not for the faint hearted and this is why I needed an expert like Steve Howdle.
Steve was a quietly confident man who within seconds of me showing him the portraiture I wanted to achieve, was able to tell me exactly what I needed, but the decision was still in my hands as to which studio kit I would buy to create this. Thankfully to settle my dilemma of which kits to choose from, I enrolled on an advanced studio lighting day with Steve, where I would be able to test out all the lights I was interested in buying. Music to my ears!
A few weeks later and I was in Leeds on my advanced studio lighting day. Like a kid in a candy store I was testing out every single piece of Elinchrom studio lighting you could imagine, from direct lighting to indirect lighting, soft boxes of all shapes and sizes, we played with gadgets and reflectors and every studio lighting set up you could think of; all tailored to my specific lighting needs. I can’t express how patient Steve was with me.
I picked his brains on everything, not just with lighting, but business proposals and marketing strategies and more. It was because of this relaxed and informal environment I was able to pick out the studio lighting that worked best for me, and even better, I was able to discover the 'Godox' Lithium converter, which would power everything, anywhere. This not only solved my problem regarding what to do if I wanted to photograph on location, but also gave me the freedom and confidence to know I would always have a power supply wherever I was.
I placed my Elinchrom order at the Leeds branch of “The Flash Centre’ big thanks to Russ (the store manager). Since i purchased my kit both Russ and Steve have been a huge support in helping me on my photographic journey in the studio.
A week passed and my new equipment arrived, after excitedly unpacking my equipment and working out how to set everything up I arranged for my good friend Diane to spend the afternoon with me to allow me to create my first studio portraits. I hope you like the results as much as I do, Its officially my first in the series of 'Expressionism in Portraiture'. I'm excited as the weeks go on for my experience to improve, but for now let me know your thoughts, and even better, help me chose which one to short list out of these three above, I just cant decide!
For those of you who might be interested in what I chose for my studio equipment, Ive listed the full details and links at the bottom of the blog.
Thanks for reading guys,
The kit that made the magic happen:
*The D1 is a lower powered head which will allow me to shoot as wide as f1.4 with the indirect Octa on, a good tip for photographers who like to use a soft box for baby portraiture or deep depth of fields on their subjects.