[photo post] Lost Sew’l Organics, November 2016

Back in September I posted about my first legit photoshoot with Lost Sew’l Organics. It was the most fun and the absolute coolest photo project I’d ever gotten to be a part of. Make no mistake — while I got to spend half a day with three beautiful women in two gorgeous locations and a few weeks later I ended up with an incredible collection of portraits for my portfolio…That was WORK.

Even though I had been to the locations before, being thrust into the scene with models you’ve never met before without a single clue of what or how you were going to shoot is more stressful than I’d ever imagined. I wanted so badly to do a good job for Amber and make her models (more importantly – her clothes!) look good. I wanted so badly to not let her down as a photographer or as a friend. And I wanted so badly to prove to myself that reading and researching and thinking and planning are all great but nothing teaches you faster or more effectively than just jumping right in. We hit the short, wooded trail that leads to the cemetery in Oak Ridge armed only with a bag of clothes, a baby, a baby gate, my camera (with a 50mm lens) and a reflector. The shoot was challenging but the most fun I’ve ever had “working”.

Despite the work put in at the shoot and processing the photos, the most stressful part of the project was sending Amber the link to the finished photos and waiting for what seemed like centuries to hear whether or not she liked them. Would this be both my first and last photo shoot?

Judging from the ending of my previous Lost Sew’l post and the fact that this post exists, you don’t have to be too sharp to conclude the answer was “no.” Amber would call on me to do it all again around the first of November when we met up at Imagine That Tattoos in Knoxville with her friends returning models Caitlin and Sam and new model, shop apprentice Mal.

No reason to go into details about the shoot but I’ll definitely point out that it was a much longer shoot than the previous one, due partially to having more to shoot (I think) but also because I think we laughed a lot more. The shop was a neat place to shoot and the girls were lovely as ever.

In the end, I shot more than 760 photos and delivered more than 220. I’m presenting a small set of 11 below, but if you’d like to see a larger collection of about 63, you can find them on my Flickr account.

Another successful shoot that’s been Lost Sew’l approved. I got to spend another day with a group of stunning ladies and was treated to another Mexican lunch after wrapping. The perks of the job are unmatched. I did learn a few things, though:

  • I’d never been to this establishment before so I wasn’t sure what I was going to work with — no idea what the rooms would look like, what the lighting would look like, what kind of art was on the walls. With this (nothing) in mind, I decided to bring almost everything I have. I had lenses, attachments, filters, lights, reflectors…Almost every possible thing I could use to shoot just in case I needed anything — I’d be prepared. I’d recommend doing the same if you’re ever in this situation, but moving forward, I’m going to try to at least get a tour of wherever I’m about to shoot if I know ahead of time I’m going to go.
  • I used my 50mm lens most of the day with a few exceptions. It worked great but I’ve found it’s started getting a little hard to keep in focus. It looks good when I’m shooting but in post it’s soft. I also brought along my 18-55mm kit lens so I could use some of my attachments and filters. I learned that my fish-eye attachment isn’t as cool as I thought it was. It helped me get a few cool shots, but I found that the lighting changed so drastically between lenses and with the addition of the attachment, my settings were off, resulting in some grainy photos that weren’t used. It’s not the lens’ fault, it’s user error, but I now know that’s not a great idea. I also brought along my macro attachments and ended up stacking them to get 14x shots up close of hardware attached to the clothing – SMART.
  • My light kit is almost totally kaput — I have three light fixtures and one is broken and the other one has a blown bulb. What I’m trying to say is I have a single stationary light, hardly a “kit”. I did, however, bring along my LED panel light (like this one) and ended up using it a LOT. When I got it, I wasn’t crazy about how it made people look but I guess back then I didn’t really know what I was doing (do I now?). This light ended up coming in handy on more than a few occasions during this shoot and is now considered a valuable piece of my photography arsenal.

I need a proper wide-angle lens.

Also, I bought myself an early birthday present: an 85mm lens! Perfect for the next shoot. I’m PUMPED about it!

Anyway, once again, it was a successful shoot and rumor has it we’re doing it again in the Spring. Amber’s winter line was released today and I hope you take the time to check it out and let her know what you think of it! Maybe pass her a buck or two!

Get social with her and share the shit out of it:

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