As you know Hitchin Camera Club has been working with the Garden House Hospice for the past few years providing photographers to cover their various fund raising events. The week before last Terry received an email from the Hospice saying that they’d been let down by their professional photographer and did we have anyone who could step in at the last minute to help them out by shooting a fashion show. Fortunately I was available and found myself on my way to Knebworth Barns in Stevenage 2 days later.
The aim of the event was to raise funds for the charity, by showing the audience the range and type of clothes available in charity’s shops. The outfits consisted of both new and pre-owned items and was split into 2 parts with each section having a number of looks; “Day to evening”, “The wedding guest”, “Summer chic” and so on. After the show all of the clothes modelled were available to buy, along with a number of other items, and there was a small trade area representing local fashion businesses.
In the half time break there we 2 presentations from exhibitors; one about choosing colours that matched your own skin colour and for different times of year, and another about efficient organisation of your wardrobe. Needless to say there was also prize raffle and the end of the evening.
From a photographic perspective there were a number challenges to meet. With the event being in the evening even the outdoor “arrival” shots needed a little kick of fill-in flash to keep the faces bright, however the major challenge of the evening was shooting the models. The room had be professionally lit using a number of small self-contained coloured lights, however the majority of these were a bright purple, which looked great, but made getting a good white balance difficult, having shot events like this before I simply decided to revel in the colours and set my camera to White-Balance “Flash”, rather than trying to correct the colours out.
The second major challenge was that the models would be standing on small plinth with a clear top with lights shining up from underneath. Those of you who attended the presentation I did on portrait lighting will remember that lighting from below is best suited for Halloween effects, and never flattering, so I used a combination of on-camera flash (with a portable diffuser) to throw light onto the models (over powering the uplighting), and some editing in LightRoom to darken the background. This allowed the colours of the clothes to be seen clearly whilst minimising background distractions.
We’re contacted by Garden House Hospice 2 or 3 times a year to shoot their events so if you’d like to be involved please contact Terry, our club secretary.