This week, my kindhearted friend and adopted-as-mentor-whether-she-likes-it-or-not Rebecca Jackrel taught me a whole lot about studio lighting.
A local martial arts studio needed a photographer for some shots of the students for their annual trading cards. They asked me only because I'd taken some photographs for them before just for fun. Knowing full well I haven't a clue as to what I'm doing, I told them I had to decline since I knew I couldn't do a great job.
I told Rebecca about passing up their offer since I didn't have any of the equipment needed for taking professional portraits -- and then there's the problem of me not knowing how to use any of the equipment even if I had it. Well, long story short, before she knew what she was really getting into, Rebecca agreed to do the photos for the studio and train me in studio lighting at the same time. Oh, and she agreed to do it essentially for free. Oh, and she's doing this a mere week before heading up a photo workshop to Death Valley followed by a 6-week trip to Ethiopia to photograph endangered wolves. In otherwords, at one of the most crazy-stressful times, Rebecca was is still ready and willing to volunteer her time and skill to a bunch of kids and a budding photographer with about 10 bazillion questions to fire at her.
Did I mention yet that she is kindhearted? Yeah, double that.
Anyway, my evenings this week were filled with learning how to set up a studio situation on location, work lights, get people set up for portraits that look awesome, and even seeing what software and processes to use for editing and getting the photos online for clients to view and (crossing fingers!!) purchase. It's been pretty amazing, exciting, and most definitely fun.
Do I now want to take studio portraits as a profession? Nope. I'm still a documentary and wildlife girl. But I do know a whole lot more about proper lighting and the gear needed to make it happen, which is invaluable experience that I will need for all sorts of situations in the future. And it was fun!
At the end of the week, I went with Rebecca to her house to help unpack the gear from her car -- or so I thought. As I followed Rebecca into the house expecting to get some room ready for all that stuff in the car, she led me into the kitchen where she promptly popped a bottle of champagne and poured us each a glass saying, "And this is how you wrap a shoot."
I dig it.