k8 photo

Blog

Graduation sk8 park

My friend Kevin approached me this year about taking photos of him in celebration of his upcoming graduation from A&M (congrats again Kevin!). I was, of course, thrilled about the idea as Kevin is not only a sweetheart, but adorable and has a great sense of style. I couldn't have asked for a better subject!

My assistant Seth and I met Kevin for what was to be the first of two shoots. A full location shoot in an urban environment followed by a short studio session the following week. Our location shoot went very well. Seth and I tried out the beauty dish balanced with the natural light and really loved the results - this is now one of my favorite ways to shoot on location. We were also able to talk a local chef into letting us use the bar at his restaurant for a few quick shots before they opened - one of the many perks of shooting early on a Sunday. 

Kevin's studio session was even better. I currently only have one backdrop large enough for full length shots - it's blue. My plan had been to convert all of the images to black and white in post, however, when Kevin showed up in a blue suit and yellow socks, it ended up being kind of perfect. In the end I converted a selection of the more "serious" shots to black and white and kept the rest in color. Lighting wise, I used the beauty dish high and to his right to light up his face. Then I had a gridded, medium soft box pointed at his left side and slightly behind him - this added the texture to his suit. LOVED the results :)

So what was meant to be a two part graduation series actually ended up turning into 4 shoots! Kevin's brothers were all coming to town for his big day and they wanted to hire me to do some shots of all of them together. Though I had never been there before, the first thing that popped into my mind was a local skate park. I went and checked it out the next day and was thrilled to find a graffiti filled pool amongst other fun architectural elements. 

Bailey and I met Kevin and his entire family there at 9 the next morning and got some really cool shots! Not only did they all turn up in amazing outfits, but they were so much fun to work with! For this series I had Bailey side light the guys with the gridded soft box and I used the sun to light their opposite side. In post, I used Frequency separation to smooth the skin and dodging and burning to pop the highlights and bring out the shadows. A high output layer helps give them the added shine and a small level of desaturation gave it the "grunge" appearance. I am super happy with how these shots turned out, wee! 

So the fourth shoot - was later that afternoon. The guys really enjoyed working with us and hired us to meet them later that day when they were all suited up. This was a quick session and I believe we used just the beauty dish for this one. The same post production was applied. 

In the end I really wanted all four shoots to have a cohesive feel, so I used the same post on everything and would often pull images together from different shoots to make sure they worked together. These were sooo hard to edit because I loved so many of them. That's why I decided to write a post about them and include several here as opposed to filling up my entire "people" gallery with just pictures of Kevin and his family. OH, and I forgot to mention that I had a couple of these images printed up on metal for my studio - the metal really compliments the shiny finish on them. 

ENJOY!

Katie StapelyComment