Katherine – VK

The Virgin Killer sweater has been a popular item for photography, and for good reason. We decided to put together a look and take it to the studio for a bit of fun.

We spent half a day at Sydney Photography Studio and they get a big thumbs up from me. The studio is spacious and simple with giant windows all along the walls. Power points are numerous, there’s a small kitchen and food prep area if you need it for the shoot, and there’s a makeup station next to the shooting space.

[More commentary below]

The chair is something I acquired specifically for this shoot, it’s called an Eames DAW (Dining height, Armchair, Wooden legs). As well as looking great, it turns out it’s really really comfy.

Katherine came up with most of the look and styling, we agreed on a cool ojousama type look that’s a little bit fancy, as though she’s going out for the evening. I just asked for thighhighs to be added. 👍

But lemme tell you about this chair. I knew that the outfit on its own wouldn’t be enough, you need props. Chairs are great for portraiture because there’s so many ways to sit or lean on one, and that really helps the subject get settled into their look. I knew I wanted a chair that you could sit across, resting on the arms, but I also liked the idea of an armless chair that you can sit on back-to-front.

I looked at a bunch of different furniture stores, trying to find something that looked good but was also in stock, because I had all of two days to source something before the shoot. Luckily there’s a lot of furniture stores around Camperdown so I was able to visit them on the way to work.

In the end I picked the Eames armchair, and I’m glad I did, so that Katherine could not-sit on it properly.

This was a great opportunity to bring out the studio gear, I use it so rarely because it’s just not practical in most spaces or locations. I brought a lot of my light modifier kit but ended up keeping it simple; this is the 4ft octabox with a grid and both diffuser panels installed. That’s a YN-660 on the right, set to minimum power with a very tight snoot, just to pop a catchlight in the eyes.

Thanks to the giant windows I shot a lot more natural lighting than I was expecting to, we didn’t use the monolight until much later. I was going to pop on the beauty dish but didn’t have enough time to play with it, and the octabox was giving great results anyway.

Sometimes you just need a stupid unwieldy pile of transmitters on your camera, today was one of those days.