Sometimes you can’t just wait for the right job to come your way, you have to make it happen for yourself. Toronto-based photographer Stephen Caissie recently shared some behind the scenes details of a bridal themed shoot he did as a promo for himself and for the make-up artist.
The MUA was hoping to create a side business for herself doing hair and makeup for brides, and wanted a way to advertise it. I wanted to play with light and warmth and push myself to create something dream-like in its beauty. We found a model who was game, begged a friend for the use of his backyard, borrowed some clothes, and rented a lighting kit.
My workhorse is a Mamiya 645 AFD with a ZD digital back. While it’s somewhat dated, it still produces exceptional images with remarkable levels of detail. Three years ago I decided it was time I moved up from being a hobbyist photographer to being a professional photographer, and I had a choice of either a new Nikon D3 or a used Mamiya 645 with half a dozen lenses. For the kind of images I like to create, I’m glad I went with Mamiya. In a shot like this, where minute details like the beading on the dress, the weave of the fabric and the interplay of light and shadow in the hair are vital, the sensor size makes a noticeable difference.
We got to our location early in the afternoon, hoping to make use of some of the remaining sunlight to use as a hair light, but by the time the model was ready, the sun had already crept too low in the sky, so I had my assistant hold a small Nikon flash above the model’s head as a hair light. The majority of the light was coming from a Profoto Acute pack with two heads in medium soft boxes.
I shot tethered, but because I’m using an older digital back, I had to do a bit of a workaround whereby I used the original Mamiya capture software to transfer the images to the laptop as I shot them, and then used Capture One to monitor the folder where they were being dumped, so I could check focus and composition in something close to real time.
I used the images from that shoot to create a mailer I called “La jeune mariée d’été.” You can see a digital version of it online.
Mamiya 645 AFD with ZD digital back. 1/45″ @ f/8, 80mm f/2.8 lens. ISO 50, WB flash.
All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Stephen Caissie, all rights reserved; story is ©Mamiya Leaf. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or re-post elsewhere without written permission.