There is something very rewarding about photographing children as models. With adult models you can take your time, give precise instructions, discuss set up, poses and lighting, move slowly and make sure you have all your bases covered. First the money shot (the shot that you just have to take, the single photo that will please your client) then the rest is just extra. With children it’s different. You have to move quickly, keep it fun and simple, give out lots of instructions, shoot rapidly and have all the technical stuff prepared before hand. With children it’s only the money shot, and there’s no time for any extra. One dress, one hair set up, one light set up.
Last weekend I worked with this wonderful kid (I’m one of the lucky photographers who love kids) on some rococo style dresses. A very simple set up, one huge umbrella and a secondary small soft box from on high. The second photo is more interesting, in this I use a ring flash adapter in addition to the umbrella to get a sculpted look without having any dark shadows take over the nose, eyes etc. I use the Orbis Ring Flash Adapter (easily my best light modification tool) because it fits any camera any flash, is cheap and durable. The softbox is a wonderful little thing I got at Ginichi in Ginza that adapts both to stands and the camera body, perfect for on camera flash fun. I don’t know if they actually sell it officially so you might have to ask (they had one in their showroom).
The third and last picture is only window light, no flashes and totally manual, giving it a softer look with a much more compelling bokeh (depth of field). Camera was my trusty D700 and Nikon 50mm f1.4.
I haven’t shot with Desperado for quite awhile recently and I thought I should share one of the pictures from our latest photo session together. I snapped this picture of him during an off-moment, between poses but I still think it captures a bit of his raw masculinity. Desperado is by far my favorite male model (anywhere in the world). That he happens to live and work near me is just a lucky coincidence. For this shot I used a 50mm prime lens with a very shallow depth of focus, f1.4. As a key light I used a SB-900 combined (the best flash on the market today) with an added Orbis Ring Flash Adapter (available here if you live in Japan) with an Orbis bracket for ease of movement. Flash set to automatic, shutter to 1/200.
Desperado is one of those models that just always delivers exactly the pose and the attitude I want when I shoot. There is no other model I’d rather work with. His deadpan sense of humor (entirely unintentional from his side) cracks me up every time. Quite possible the sexiest Japanese man alive, and quite possible one of the humblest Japanese men alive.