I used my flip video to film a little of what i was seeing as we were at work, it was amazing to me… you can take an inside peek here:
check out my fab little video here
(i am trying to figure out how to embed here)
After we had finished up with the 3 of us all getting photographed individually, we loaded up 3 cars w/ photography lights, and camera equipment and of course: PROPS! We LOVED the mustard yellow and pink vinyl chairs. We headed out for a big wide field, and pulled off the snow pack road, Nichole and Jefra swung into action getting us set up. I think that Janet who had never been in real snow before (Texas girl), was wondering if we were really going to be walking out into the snow! We were all in high-heel boots and a little unsure about the plan; but totally game for anything! I mean, these girls could absolutely be trusted, and we knew they had a vision of greatness.
Here is what Nichole said:
From there, we chatted about the house of 3 website a bit and focused on the
fact that the site used bold colors. Now, I completely admit to being a
visionary kind of photographer. I’ll get a vision in my head for how I want
the shot to look. So in chatting with Rhonna, I immediately saw the
composition in my head. Them standing in the snow front lit by my studio
strobes with an expanse of winter white behind them and the sun flared in
the shot. Lots of bold color, clear shapes and crisp lines. So I described
as best I could to Rhonna what I was thinking and I think she sorta got it
but mostly thought I was a little nuts. I mean, who shoots outside at high
noon, in the snow, in the cold? The light is usually terrible and did I
mention the snow and cold part? But once I sent her a couple similar shots,
I think she understood a bit better what I had in mind. We chatted a little
about clothing and I mentioned that bright colors would be good . . . pinks,
yellows, greens . . . as they would stand out against all that white snow.
Heidi: I hadn’t seen the shots Nichole sent over before-hand, until we were at Nichole’s house and she pulled them up on her blog. My first thought was they they were totally photoshopped to the max! when she described what she had in mind, I was BLOWN AWAY! I loved it.
More from Nichole:
Then it was in the cars and off to the a large snowy field about a mile or
so from my studio. (I had arranged beforehand with the property owner to do
the shoot there.) We piled out of the car and I had to laugh as Heidi,
Rhonna and Janet stared at the snow . . . it was 2+ feet deep. I should
mention that I suggested to them that boots would be a good idea, knowing
that they would be walking through deep snow. And they all did wear boots:
fabulously cute, spiky-heeled, I’m-going-out-on-the-town boots. Not the
knee-high, I’m-going-on-a-winter-camp kinda boots I was thinking of and the
kind that J and I were wearing. Again, it was Jefra to the rescue . . .
after we hauled chairs and about 100lbs of photography equipment down to the
shoot location on sleds, Jefra, (sequin princess crown and all) piled Rhonna
into a sled and towed her down too.
From there, I set up my light, metered everything and then did a series of
test shots until I had the look I was going for out of my equipment. From
there, we just shot! The before and after on the pictures is actually quite
subtle. Though I do love to mess around in PS, with these photos, my
Photoshop work was really minimal. The look of the photos came from how I
shot them . . . not what I did afterward on the computer.
As I visualized this shoot, I knew that I wanted to shoot it really wide, as
wide as a lens can be without being a fisheye. Shooting really wide would
create distortion in the image, especially in the background and sky, but I
knew that if I kept everyone close to the middle of my frame, I wouldn’t get
too much distortion in their bodies. Also, I knew I wanted my camera
practically on the ground for most of the shots. By shooting up and wide, I
would make their legs look longer and make the pictures seem larger than
life. It would also put their heads above the horizon, which was good from a
compositional standpoint. But knowing that I was going to be shooting from
the ground, which meant being on the ground (I did mention the 2 feet of
snow, right?), which meant kneeling, sitting and/or laying in the snow, I
brought along a purple towel, cause let’s face it, snow is COLD!!! (You can
see Jefra carrying the towel as she pulls Rhonna).
If you have checked out the video, you can see that we had a sun-shiny day, and the show was about 1 foot deep I would guess. We picked a spot about 5 yards from the road that had a breathtaking view of the Wasatch Mountains. I think that everyone we showed the photos to thought the background was totally faked. It was the real thing. Our feet were freezing, I am sure that Nichole’s knees were on the verge of frost bite…but it was SO much FUN! Nichole had one light set up and was breaking all the rules but shooting INTO the sun at 11am, when the sun was bright. In fact, she was WAITING for the sun to come out behind the clouds and show in it’s full glory. Have you ever heard of a photographer wanting that?
We did lots of different shots- both Jefra and Nichole were shooting, constantly checking their camera’s and being sure they were happy with the settings etc.
Jefra was shooting into this big cardboard tube/box- and calling it a TTV (through the viewfinder). Rhonna was totally into playing with it- you can see it in the video. Basically, she was looking through an old camera that was positioned at the bottom of the box, and it was getting these totally amazing looking images that looked totally old, and aged… but without photoshop! I had never seen that before, so I had no idea what to expect, but it was the coolest thing. They are some of my favorite shots.
I am not totally sure how long we were out there, but the sun did come out, and except our toes, it wasn’t even that cold. The colors of what we ended up wearing turned out to look amazing with the white of the snow… and when I finally saw some of the results, I was blown away with how they looked, and how I felt that they totally captured the feeling that we share as we launch this whole thing we call ‘house of 3’. Again, same subjects, same light, same day and place… such differently COOL outcomes.
Sometimes I think it’s easy to get confounded and overwhelmed by the massive push for “correct” photography, when so often it’s an honest thing that comes straight from your heart and your eye. We had fun that day and for me, I just tried to capture what I saw and how I saw it. Fun. Creative. Energetic. Loving (yes, loving). It was like getting together with your college roomies and reminiscing - but we didn’t have any history to reminisce over. It was such a kindred, awesome, creative and did I say fun? fun day.
My favorite moment of the shoot, if I had to pick one, (well, aside from the
jumping shots, which were hysterical, because Rhonna had kept some serious
cheerleading skills from us and she was amazingly fabulous in every shot but
to get everyone in the air, at the same time, with the lights firing, at the
same time . . . . well, it just didn’t happen) was Heidi spinning in my
retro hot pink vinyl chair (the BEST yard sale find EVER, btw). Let’s face
it. Spinning in snow and heels is not easy. First off, the chair was hardly
stable. Second, pushing off was hard because snow isn’t the sturdiest thing
in the world. And third, she had to make the whole thing look effortless . .
. needless to say, she did biff it . .. not once, but twice into the snow .
. . but still managed to look fabulous through the whole thing.
Jefra Lin and Nichole Van have agreed to take part here in House of 3, by sharing ideas and tips on how to improve your photographic eye.. and make your photos more of an artistic endeavor…it’s just amazing to see the process through their eyes. You can check them out at:
Nichole has a website with some exclusive actions and tons of inspiration and information. She teaches workshops and lectures…and is incredibly articulate and has won awards for her work.
Jefra is kicking off a new photography business focusing on Weddings, called ‘CAKE’. She is totally chill, and has a unique and subtle way of truly capturing her subjects without them even knowing they are being captured!
These girls are good friends, and motivate and inspire each other – pushing one another further and further into their photography passion. How cool is that?
Check back as we show you what we did with this photos, once we got them into our hands… a video showcasing us shopping AND inside Rhonna’s studio!
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