Glamour, Beauty & The Nude 2013 Maui Workshop Part IV - Private Shoots

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.8 iso800 1/160 @ f2.8

The fourth and final day of Rolando's workshop was dedicated to private shoots, where each photographer could book private one-on-one photo sessions with the model(s) of their choice in 1-hour time slots and work on their own individual ideas.

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.8 iso800 1/160 @ f2.8

This to me is really the most enjoyable part of the workshop since you can get as creative as you and the model want to be - the only limitation is time.

I wish that more of the workshop was made available for private shoots. We actually did get a day and a half of private shoot time (due to the way the rotation worked with 5 models and 3 teams of photographers, we started the private shoots on the second half of day 3),  but I had to leave for work in the middle of the fourth day which canceled out that extra half day for me.

Darn the luck. ;-)

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.8 iso500 1/320 @ f2.8

A one hour session may seem like a lot of time, but in reality it passes by QUICK. To make the most effective use of the time you have booked with the model, you really need to have all your ideas planned out and lighting setups ready to go immediately once the model is ready.

Since this was my second time attending one of Rolando's workshops, and because I could go home every evening, I was a little more prepared for the private shoots compared to last time. Not having to go back and forth to Hana meant that I could bring props and gear from home as needed for the day's shoots.

For example, I brought in a bunch of tulle fabric and just covered the living room floor with it for this shot with Devon below.

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.8 iso400 1/250 @ f2.8

To help save time, I also relied mostly on natural light for each shoot, adding a reflector to fill in shadows as needed.

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.8 iso800 1/125 @ f2.8

For the next workshop's private shoot day, I need to remember to try not to schedule a model immediately before or after another photographer's timeslot.  If one photographer books a model for a 3-4pm session and another photographer books her for 4-5pm, allowing for makeup/outfit changes and moving to different shooting locations, the amount of actual shooting time decreases.  In one case, one of my private shoot sessions ended up being only 40 minutes long. Perhaps it might help in the future if a 10-15 minute break were scheduled in between each timeslot.

Another thing I need to work on is keeping focused during a shoot because I tend to have a really short attention span.  During one of the private sessions, Rolando suggested a creative idea for a shot.  It sounded like a really cool idea so I stopped what I was doing and attempted to setup for that shot. Unfortunately, I did not have the right gear with me to properly recreate the shot he was describing and I ended up wasting a lot of the model's shooting time doing that. Had to save that idea for another time.

In the future I really need to work on making a set shot list, keep focused on it during a video shoot and try not to get easily distracted. (Easier said than done) ;-).

I had originally planned during the first 3 days of the workshop to shoot enough video footage of each model in order to create a short montage piece for each of them.  Due to time contraints, that didn't pan out as well as I had hoped, so I decided instead to just work on creating a single montage which featured all five models. This meant focusing mainly on shooting video and not stills during the private shoots.


I was able to schedule a 1 hour private session in turn with each model over the course of the 3rd and 4th days to get the footage that was needed. Shot all the footage with a Canon 60D, alternating between a 50mm f1.4 and the 85mm 1.8.  For camera support I alternated between a Manfrotto tripod and monopod, and added some slider shots with an Edelkrone Slider.  Also used a longer Konova slider as a makeshift jib arm for a couple of shots.


I licensed music from SongFreedom.com for the final video.  After editing everything together, I started playing around with the footage to a different piece of music and found that I was able to fit a montage of each model into different section of the song.  So in addition to completing the main video, in the end I was able to create individualized "teaser videos" for each model after all.

All editing was done in Final Cut Pro X on a MacBook Air.












The full length version which also has behind the scenes footage of our location shoots I am making available to Rolando for his website.  Don't know when it will be posted though.

So overall, this was a pretty good workshop and I'm really glad Rolando was finally able to bring it back to Maui after all these years. I've already signed up for next year's one and am already starting to plan on ideas for the next bunch of private shoots.

To sign up for the next Maui workshop, visit Rolando's web site.