I have the pleasure of knowing Kayla Pavia from Stamford, CT. She's a great actress and comedienne and I was very happy for her when she moved to California in 2011 to follow her passion. When she was still on the east coast, we had talked many times of doing a photo shoot together.
This set was interesting and taught me a few good lessons. The idea behind the final product/goal was simple: photograph Kayla making varied expressions as if she were indoors in a studio. The idea was that the background would be plain black or white as if there were a backdrop behind her.
But the realities of the situation:
- I did not/do not have a studio.
- We were photographing outdoors with blaring direct sunlight.
- Kayla was standing in front of a garage door that was not matte, but had paneling that created shadows and would inevitably end up in the background of the image.
We went for it anyway. I tried my best to minimize the shadows with fill flash. A lot of Photoshop went into removing the undesired shadows and background textures. I may include some before and after images in this post at some point. The NY Loves Me photos were fantastically intense in color and were an accurate depiction of how hot it was outside (early August). Afterwards, we went indoors. The images with a black background were created in a garage with a black plastic tarp in the background which would eventually be photo-shopped out.
Looking back on them, these images were more to appease me than anything else because of how dramatic they turned out. Kayla brought fun, loose, casual outfits and was ready to smile, laugh and play and here I was trying to get dramatic, sullen looks out of her. But being the good friend, sport, actress she is, she went for it: