No Makeup Project – Shoot with Saff

November 18, 2017 by GordonM in gear people portrait project 0 comments
No Makeup Project – Shoot with Saff

It was a really bright sunny July day in Haverhill when Saffron Jaye Richardson and I got together for the next shoot in my no-makeup project.  I first met Saff when we both went out to Mallorca last year for a few days shooting fashion.  This was a very successful and enjoyable trip, we got along well and the photos were terrific.  Saff is a model who is always immaculately turned out, does her own makeup which is top-notch and when posing gives off an aura of elegance and sophistication.

So to agree to this no-makeup shoot was a significant step for her and she admitted to being really nervous as it would be the first time on a photoshoot without makeup.  I reassured her that she had no need to worry, she looked terrific and what with her recent hair colour change to brunette, I could immediately see that the photos would turn out great.  If I could tame the light from the sunny day that is.

The bright sun was giving lots of harsh shadow and with no makeup shoots you have always got to be careful with lighting so as to not show up any imperfections on the skin.  I had no reason to worry because Saff’s skin is flawless anyway, but I still wanted to use softer light invariably falling on the face from the front rather the side.

Yes, using a reflector could have been an option to fill shadows but whilst I’ve used them successfully on many occasions, I had better options available to me.  The park where we were shooting was also part of a small wood so it was just a matter of finding some soft fill directly on the face, perhaps with some backlight from the sun to highlight the hair.  Being July, the green leaves are fully in colour and so you find in woods that you have to tame the green colour cast that is present.  Or in my case, not worry about it because I was going to make the final results black and white anyway to match the other shoots in the series.

So when it came to deciding which camera gear to use, it was so easy to decide.  Keep it light, keep it uncomplicated, use the Fuji X-T2 and a 56mm, keep the aperture wide at about f2-2.8 to soften and blur the background highlights but keep the eyes and the face in focus.  And for the wider shots I had recently bought the new Fuji X100F (a camera which I love) and the TCL telephoto adapter to give me a 50mm (full-frame) equivalent.  Both perfect cameras, and ones that I’d had plenty of experience with on model shoots and weddings.

So anyway, I hope you like the photos.  I think Saff looks amazing, so natural and revealing some beautiful freckles, which I’d never seen before as they are usually concealed beneath the makeup.  Which to me made it a great reason to have a no-makeup shoot.

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