Secrets of a Styled Photoshoot

A behind the scenes look of my photographic process on a styled shoot.

I recently worked with an amazing team to create a Ukrainian inspired flower crown shoot here at the Light Space Collective.

Justine from www.kesali.com sculpted the most gorgeous flower crowns to inspire brides looking for colourful and abundant blooms. Jenn And Natalie of www.Jennedwards.com  worked to create a range of looks for the most talented Jessica Fletcher. From a badass Ukrainian boss lady, to a more ethereal nymph, donning a flower crown made from the remnants of a magical forest. (Hmm I may be getting a bit carried away now!) Anyway I wanted to share with you the before and after images to show off the amazing skills of the team.  I also will be revealing the un-editied RAW images to show you how I have processed some of the photos.  (Barely an airbrush used as the makeup is really Impeccable!)

Well as you can see Jess is a TOTAL BABE, so Jenn and Natty merely enhanced her gorgeous face for out first natural look. Behind the scenes shot below, as you can see, nothing hi-tech here!

We have a lovely natural light studio at the space. so the light source here is just a window. At this point in the day there were clouds diffusing the sun to give an even light on Jess’s face. I wanted a very feminine look, so added a bit of magenta and yellow to warm the image. There was an escapee leaf that looked a little distracting so I ELIMINATED IT! Jenn Edwards created these stunning waves to give a structured look to offset wild and loose locks.  And finally, who says your flower crowns have to be fresh. I am in LOVE with these dried foraged flowers. If you look closely you can see a crystal that Justine has snuck in 🙂 Jess is wearing a 1930’s vintage silk top loaned to us by Justine.

When we were in the pre-production stages of the shoot, we put together a mood board for some inspiration. One image we could not get out of our heads was the Beyonce’s pregancy pictures. OK so not all Ukrainian inspired, but we couldn’t ignore the floral extravagance on a vibrant backdrop! In post-production, I warmed the portrait up as I really liked the contrast between the blue and the yellow. They are pretty much opposite each other on the colour spectrum, this is a useful photography technique.  To contend with he vibrancy of the backdrop, Natty went for a darker look, matching the lippy with the dark red flowers.  The plait helps to focus our folk-like vision.  Dress from ASOS.

^^ Unedited RAW image

Unedited RAW image ^^
Always on a budget, I went and bought two pieces of fabric, one salmon and one blue. To achieve a different look, I just did a bit of tweaking using the HSL sliders in Lightroom. Cheeky.  Still no artificial lighting here, or even reflectors. The unique setup at the studio means, that when the sun sets, you have some natural back-light. You can see here that the light has picked up a few strays from where we teased the hair in the previous look, so I got rid of them. I tried this out using Affinity Photo which is a great alternative to Photoshop of you are on a budget. They have an ‘In Painting’ tool that is WAY more responsive than the patch / clone tools in Photoshop.

I love these next few images. Well done Justine for spying this old table cloth that made the perfect backdrop.

As the shoot goes on, it gets a little bit darker in the natural light studio. I ALWAYS shoot in RAW which will give you the flexibility to play around with exposure without damaging the images. To add some depth and warmth I used split toning by adding yellows into the highlights and blues into the shadows.

I adore this look. The overlapping braids using Jess’s two toned hair colour gives her hair tonnes of texture and volume, making way for this most incredible flower crown. If you are looking for a folk-look that is still sophisticated then this is for you!

The RAW Image below is a bit on the flat side and a little bit on the pink side, I did a few colour adjustments and added some contrast. You might see a tiny red blemish on Jess’s shoulder, which can be removed in seconds in photoshop.

And FINALLY! we had a play with back drops and different dresses from ASOS to create a different look. This is my favorite one. All in all a very satisfying collaboration with Jessica Fletcher, Jenn Edwards Artistry, Kesali Flower Studio and Maytree Photography. I am  Looking forward to my next shoot! Keep an eye out for the flower crown workshops coming soon at the Kesali Flower studio.