Last year my girlfriend and I decided to start a blog, we called it Life Lived Out Loud. The aim of the blog was simple, "To make fun and inspiring pictures together." She styled and I photographed. If you didn't know already know my girlfriend, Lindsay, runs a really cool label called The Trash Rack. One day we came to the conclusion that we weren't seeing enough of the photographs we wanted to see, so we figured the easiest thing to do was just to make them ourselves. As she was so busy with The Trash Rack and I was so busy with photography by starting a blog it also meant we could spend more time together. It was a no brainer. The blog lasted around 7-10 months before we both became too busy to shoot it anymore.
Around 90% of the blog's images were shot on film. This was for a couple of reasons: First of all the aesthetic and style of pictures we were going for were best suited to being shot on film, secondly, I had been taking on so much commercial work that I needed a way to distance myself from photography as a primarily money making endeavour. That sounds horrible, but it's true. I've never seen photography as a pursuit of purely financial gain but at the time all of the work I was doing was uninspired commercial work, so by shooting on film I was able to distance myself, take my time, break up the workflow and allow myself to slow down in general. There was no mad race to go home, upload the pictures, and start editing. Now I had to wait on processing time, look at my low res scans, decide with her what we, as a creative team, would like to show on the blog and then scan those pictures in at high resolution.
Shooting with Lindsay was also incredibly eye opening for me because she has a very clear idea of who she is stylistically and what she wants to align herself with. This helped me hugely as she was able to piece together outfits with accompanying mood boards which gave a clear indication of her aesthetic. This may sound like it would be this way with most stylists, unfortunately in my experience it isn't. Most tend to have their own agenda, which is fine as everyone on set wants something for their portfolio from each shoot, whether it be a MUA, Hair Stylist, Stylist or photographer. This can lead to conflict, as people can get too set in their ideas of how a shoot should be and not realise when all elements are combined what it needs to be to work. This often leads to be people being unadaptable on the day of the shoot, and while I have been guilty of this myself, when working with Lindsay this wasn't the case as we had a shared vision of what we wanted the blog to be. There is a great video of Nick Knight shooting available here, which shows how even when you have all the elements together you sometimes need to throw the entire concept out of the window and try something new for the images to work.
Over the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing all the shoots we did as Life Lived Out Loud. I'll be posting them in the order we shot them too so you can see the evolution of the pictures and aesthetic. I will also be showing my workflow, choice of negative conversion programs and an amazing video that I found which shows the best digital conversion of 35mm scans I have ever seen.
This first editorial is called Coin - Op Crush.
Location: We wanted to shoot in an arcade, mainly because we thought it would be cool and to give the shoot an Americana vibe. So we hunted until we found a small arcade in Glasgow.
Model - We wanted tall blonde and naturally pretty. We chose Charlotte McKelvie from Model Team in Glasgow.
MUA + Hair - Donna Gunn, is not only a great makeup artist but a brilliant Hair Stylist too and a great friend. You can see her work here.
Shooting style: I chose initially to shoot the whole thing with on camera flash but soon realised that it would be killing all the available light in the arcade. Remember I talked about adapting earlier? I had to change my approach, I opted to shoot the majority of the pictures with only available light and then utilising flash when I knew it would work aesthetically.
Camera - Contax G1
Lens - 45mm Planar
Flash - TLA200
Film - Fuji Superia 1600
Scanner - Plustek 8100
Software - Vuescan for scanning and ColourPerfect for Negative conversions.
Any questions leave em in the comments and I'll answer them.