Friday, June 24, 2011

38/52 Jessica de Oliveira

I had hoped to blog about this one in a more timely manner, but catching up hasn't been easy.

Jessica de Oliveira is a film producer, director, entrepreneur, child care provider, future boat owner, and spirit brand ambassador born and raised in Chicago Illinois. She is half Brazilian, and heads back to Brazil from time to time to check in on her relatives. She directed and produced a short film (with yours truly as the director of photography and assistant director) which she took to the Cannes Film Festival last year. Since then she and I have been plotting our return, which was this year foiled by unexpected events. The plan is still in the works, but this year we decided to participate in the festival in a different way.

Let me explain briefly, in pictures, what being at the Cannes Film Festival is like.

Hanging out with surprisingly important people on the beach.

so many boats.

free cocktails with friends (poolside)

boats again (being on them)

hanging out with new friends and great people (on the beach)

So now that you, dear reader, understand exactly what the Cannes experience is like, it is likely understandable why one would be bummed to miss out. That's exactly the feeling Jess and I had this year. Having gone around this time last year, we felt sorely disappointed to not be there, and decided we should participate in any way we could. 

Every year the festival releases an official poster. It is always highly anticipated and encapsulates the theme of a given year. This year, the image for the poster was an iconic portrait of actress Faye Dunaway.

And here we have our inspiration. I changed up the lighting just a bit, as I usually do with these sorts of ventures.

As you can see here, the location for the shoot was my tiny apartment. My 9 foot wide black background BARELY fit in my living room. Jess sat on a stool, and I shot through the kitchen door. The lights are a PCB Einstein high camera left through a 7" reflector with barn doors. I had attempted to use a beauty dish as the key, but the hard shadow cast by the main light turned out to be a major aesthetic element of the photo. Thus, the bare reflector. I also tried a grid on the key to prevent spill on the backdrop, but I was then unable to get even enough coverage on Jess' legs, another main element of the picture. Going without the grid, I used a large silver reflector low camera right as a fill. I decided last minute that because Jess' hair is notably darker than Dunaway's that I should add a very low hair light, which comes in from back camera right. This gave just a bit of separation, which I could either bring up or down in post if I wanted to. Here's a look at the light  from the setup from a bit of a different angle, and in color.

Strobist Info:
PCB Einstein high camera left through 7" reflector with barndoors
PCB Einstein back camera right through 7" reflector with 30 degree grid
Silver reflector low camera right

Camera Settings:
1/250 f/9.0 at ISO 100
Nikon 35 f/1.8

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