It’s always fun to work with new people, for new clients and in new locations, and on the day we spent shooting with Anthea Turner at her Surrey pad for TV channel Create and Craft, we got to do all three.
We had our brief – a set of lifestyle shots with Anthea in various sets around her home, mainly with a Spring and Summer feel, but we also wanted to get ahead with some festive shots for next year seeing as her tree and decs were still up for Christmas 2011.
Her house has lots of nice large windows that let in plenty of light, and we were able to pick the dining room with some nice diffusing fabric on the windows to soften the background. The only tricky part was the fact that it was actually a pretty grey and windy day, and the light kept changing as the clouds moved, so balancing the natural light with a load of studio fill-in actually became quite time consuming. The flash and camera settings required constant tweaking and quick shooting to ensure we got the correct and most flattering exposure for the weather at that second.
As we moved around the house we developed our compositions to include more complex lighting set-ups, with strobes hidden round corners to add accents in certain blurred areas in the background, or to blow out other parts to white to simulate bright windows. Despite the contrived lighting rigs, the results were actually very natural.
Anthea being the consummate pro that she is, we didn’t have to worry a great deal about posing her – all we really needed to concentrate on was propping her surroundings correctly for a balanced shot that the clients would be able to use in their magazines and promo material.
Lighting wise we used a mixture of 6x1 softboxes, 2x3 softboxes, and standard zoom reflectors bounced off walls and ceilings, all from Profoto. The 6x1 were great for giving full-length backlight and side highlights, while the 2x3 was used close to Anthea to provide a soft keylight on the front. The harder reflectors were in the background to give pools of light when bounced around the rooms.
As we were shooting Anthea using products that will be for sale at the Create and Craft channel, it was important to make sure that these were prominent in the shots where they were included, but also that they didn’t take over the image, as the intention was to give a natural lifestyle feel rather than ‘posing with a product’.
You can find some of the images in the latest issue of Craft Club magazine from Create and Craft. Visit www.createandcraft.tv to find out more, or visit www.antheaturner.com to see what she’s been up to lately.