“Which of my photographs is my favourite?  The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”
Imogen Cunningham

I got the chance to photograph professional glamour model Roxy Mendez a few weeks ago and thought I’d share one of my favourite photographs from the shoot with you.  I have to say that Roxy Mendez was an absolute joy to work with.  A total professional who really knows how to work the camera.  I very much hope to work with her again.

The photoshoot was held at a fantastic location and as I was walking around I spotted an area at the top of the stairs which was being bathed in natural light.  I had the idea in my head for a classic glamour shot, so cue Roxy in stockings and high heels and the result is the photograph below.

I setup the shot with Roxy facing the window and being lit from behind with my Elinchrom studio light fitted with a large softbox just next to my camera position.  I knew this would give me quite flat lighting but it suited the classic look I was aiming for.  To add a touch of rim lighting I positioned a second studio light on the stairs to the left and slightly in front of Roxy.  You can see the light running down her left side.  

Now, I readily admit that not all my shoots go to plan, and there are occasions when I make mistakes, as I’m sure happens to every photographer.  The sunlight streaming in from the windows was very bright and, despite having a large lens hood on the camera, there’s some flare entering the shot, which bugs me a little but not enough to stop me liking the photograph.

When balancing flash lighting with ambient natural light you can use a technique known as ‘dragging the shutter’.  It’s a term that simply means slowing the shutter speed down to lengthen the exposure and thus allow more of the ambient light to show through.  The burst of flash from your studio lights, or speedlight, is so fast that it usually ‘freezes’ the subject, meaning that camera shake often associated with slow shutter speeds isn’t really an issue.  My camera settings for this image were:
–  Manual Mode
–  ISO 100
–  Aperture f/5.6
–  Shutter 1/30

Click the image to enlarge and please feel free to leave a comment below.

Roxy Mendez by Paul Jones

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