John Remus III Photography | a photographers blog

LA Rooftop shoot with 8 models, yikes!

Two weeks ago, while in the Bay Area, I was contacted by my friend Elle Favorule. Elle is a make up artist that I met two years ago doing fashion shows here in Hollywood. She called because she was putting together a small photoshoot with the idea that it would end dirty, grungy and with harsher contrasty light.

Well the small shoot quickly blew up in to a much larger production. Elle told me a few days before the shoot that we now had eight people interested in modeling, two hairstylists, two wardrobe designers that wanted to bring their clothing pieces, and the original two make up artists Elle, and our friend Samantha Ward.

We started simple and slowly added different clothing, different makeup, hairstyles, etc. By the end of the day we ended on the dirty, greasy looking photos like the end shot above.

I’ll keep this short, and share a little bit after some of the photos in the captions after the break.

Enjoy!

Natalie was the first model I shot that morning, and she was stunning. Very few models can take such a beautiful headshot straight on and without having to force any sort of expression.

And the equally stunning actress Zoe Myers.
Zoe and I had actually met a while back – but both had to be reminded by Elle, haha.

More after the break..

Stand up comic Elizabeth Frances and Zoe on the rooftop. Our cloudy overcast morning suddenly became extremely bright and pretty much changed the whole lighting style I was planning on using. But we still were able to work with the weather. It just made standing out there a lot hotter than we planned.

Occasionally I actually get photos of me working!
Elle was sweet enough to take a bunch of photos throughout the day for behind the scenes type images. I actually ended up in about five of them! Haha, I need start bringing a videographer with me, actually.

Natalie was really sweet and very easy to work with. She actually stood there chatting with me as I adjusted lighting to get a clean image. I love this pose. We took a few more but I kept coming back to this one when sorting them in post.

Elle said something like this was what she had in mind when she set up the shoot. Hopefully she digs it.

Model Kyler Willet was a great guy to work with. We were on our way up to the highest part of the roof when he jumped onto the ladder and did some James Bond style pose – I think he even made some theme music. Anyway, I totally dug the pose and idea, so we setup a light and took a few snaps.

One lights setup on this shot. Direct flash, fired via Pocket Wizards. Like I said, it was bright and we didn’t have a lot of options after the sun came out. I’m actually standing on a wobbly chair, which is why I look so uncomfortable. haha.

The name of the other model escapes me at the moment, but, once on the roof we did a few different images of the two guys together.

The girls kept wanting me to get shots with the skyline in the background. But, I didn’t feel it was really important, or┬ánecessary, to have Downtown LA in every single shot. Which is why I have it behind the models in this image, ha!

Elle’s favorite shot of me working.
I’m about 6 inches from the ledge behind me! Yikes!

I really love sunglasses ads like this. But honestly, they’re always shot in a studio, and with much higher powered lighting than we were using that day.

This image we were going for a “You had your chance” type of feel. I like the vertical image shown here because it’s a bit more commercial and something that would work for a magazine ad.

However, this tightly cropped version really gives you a better view of the expressions and emotion in the photo.

Natalie, model Chase Olswang, and Zoe.
The make up artists were really digging this shot. But honestly, I like the attitude with everyone looking directly at the camera. Plus Chase really has a Clark Kent kinda look going on.

Zoe and Oneal.
We were trying to figure out how best to get these outfits working together. I wasn’t feeling it too much unfortunately.

This was a quick shot of Chase as he was being photographed by Ed. I liked his pose, but I also really like Chase’s look. I’ll have to work with him again at some point.

Group shot of everyone. You’ll notice that a lot of my images have grain added, and are processed to be much warmer (yellow) than it was shot.

Later that afternoon everyone changed, and Elle and Samantha (make up artists) added oil to everyone for a greasier, shiny, look.

Shortly after though grease was added in for a dirtier, messy feel.
This was when I felt it was really important that we use hard, directional light. The tricky part is that these are all shot at about 330p in the afternoon, on a rooftop… so it’s bright as hell out.

This was one of the last shots I did that day. And as unhappy as I was with the shot in-camera, the lighting worked out a lot better than I thought.

Here’s the shot from the top of this blog, again.

Overall, the whole day was great. The weather kept changing on us, and we had planned for overcast day. But, realistically you can’t be completely ready for a full eight hour day and all the lighting changes that come with it without a ton of gear.
I had a great time working with everyone. We all came together to do this whole shoot for fun – and it was a great way to spend a Thursday.

Group shot of everyone at the end of the day.
Elle, the makeup artist who put everything together is on the left scratching Kyler. Kneeling down is Ed, the other photographer on the set. Hairstylist and make up artist Erica Bazzarrini is center in the Obey shirt, make up artist Samantha Ward in green. Kneeling on the right is make up artist Caitlin Bond, and me standing on the right trying not to bump into Chase cuz he’s covered in grease and oil, haha!

Check back soon for images from my little sister’s wedding! Still have a lot of shots from that weekend to go through.

There are 1 Comments to this article

Charmayne Olswang says:
09/17/2010

Beautiful shots John!!! And I love Elle’s idea for the rooftop shoot, especially with the grease! :) Everyone did a fabulous job – the talent of many speaks beautifully.