The Local – The Shoot

Masons Arms by L Morley
Masons Arms by L Morley

During the time prior to the shoot I had plenty of time to think about how I wanted the images to look. I naturally did my research and looked up August Sander, The Taylor Wessing Portraits and various others and I was unable to find anyone had really done anything the same as this.

Without really knowing what style will get me the best effect I decided I would try a range of options. I visited the pub on a few occasions to scout out the best locations and settled on two areas, the first was a dark corner which I would use artificial studio lighting and the second was near a window where I could use natural lighting. I also decided that I would also try converting the natural light images to black and white after reading that this method can work well. All that was left was to arrive on the day and persuade those around to have a picture made.

Set Up 1

My initial plan was to use a two light set up, with one key light providing the most light and a second fill light preventing one side of the person being to dark. However once I started to put the lights into place in quickly became apparent that I would only be able fit in 1 light and this forced me to rethink the positioning. I decided to bring my key light further round the front and find a balance between a side angle that brings out detail and having sufficient illumination to ensure the subject is lit correctly.

Working on my own meant that I would have to use my subjects to experiment with light arrangements in order to get each one how I wanted it and this presented the problem of working with already nervous people in front of a crowd watching on in the bar.  I spoke to each person and talked them through everything I was doing at what the images would be used for and this put people at ease and helped with getting volunteers.

Set Up 2

This was an easier set up as I was using light from a nearby window, however I still had to consider the strength of the light and the time of day and I also thought about using some sort of gobo to diffuse the light if it was too strong. On the day there was no direct sunlight streaming through the window and the light was soft enough tone used with further diffusion.


With both set ups in place I approached the customers and once I had my first volunteer then others decided to follow suit. After a while it was quite the talking point and I was getting to know some of the locals much better.


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