The London Lampshade Story! « Joe McNally photography

I didn’t tell anyone, especially Annie at first, but when I saw photos of the girl scouts from this location in south London, I knew I wanted to put the lampshade on Amber Tutton’s head.

For wardrobe directions, I’m of course more specific. Given the pastel walls, I said I wanted it to look like a parfait. I believe I said something like, “In terms of color, you know, think a scoop of gelato with legs and stilettos.” Annie and Lynn gave me an odd, well-timed head tilt, and, with that kind of perfectly precise direction, advanced in style.

The really fun day of shooting continues. UK based photographer Jake Newell is working with me again. He is talented and very knowledgeable, and he introduced me to reusable zip ties! Never knew about it. Incredible, and it’s what he used to hang two Profoto C1 Plus units inside the lampshade. Amber, despite wearing this elaborate headdress, is her usual sublime posing machine.

To me, shots like this only offer further proof of the luxurious technology we have at our fingertips. I needed the lampshade to shine (thanks C1 Plus unit) but the overall lighting around Amber was subtle and dim. We use a combination of light shaping, from a gridded 4′ Octa Profoto, to a large see-through umbrella in the style of the shoot. Plus reflections. The lights are the Profoto A2 and B10X Plus units. For banner images, most of the flash is outside on the page.

The beautiful thing is, operating the Profoto Connect Pro in Air Control 2 mode, I know exactly my power level in various lights at a glance. This is especially helpful on camera. The Air Remote is great, but the Connect Pro really connects the dots on the Profoto system. And they increase this battery life. I use a Maha Powerex rechargeable triple A, and you can literally shoot all day without changing it.

Wide glass on the Nikon Z 9. Again, photo technology. The Z 9 has really deep detail (lots of pixels) and the glass is so sharp, I have the ability to actually call out shadows, on camera, to where I feel I need to, relative to the light. The pretty LCD on the camera, the flashing highlights and the histogram reading all play a role.

Thanks to Amber for her patience in the midst of all this evil. And to Sabrina Nicholson Beauty, for her gorgeous hair and makeup, and always a pleasure to work with. Jake Newell was great on set, and of course, Lynn and Annie in our studio. Annie is ready and recording all BTS. And thanks to Profoto for supporting crazy ideas like above!

And closed with the one below, just so Amber knows, I never get tired of taking pictures of her face! 🙂 We’ve been working together for years now, and when I pulled up the lampshade on his head, he was like….”So Joe, here’s how it goes. Are you tired of taking pictures of my face?” And my answer, of course, is an emphatic “no” to that!

More thx….

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