Places & Spaces | Week 7 With Diamond Rogers @ The Dequindre Cut

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This has probably been the worst week of my adult hood life, so many things happened, ones I don't care to explain, and others that deserve a good rant. One of the more prominent issues was my camera breaking on Monday, it was a tragic event. I'll probably have nightmares about it sometime in the near future, sounds funny but I'm so serious. It left me in distraught, The X-T1 was my dream body, and it's no longer with me, my XF 56mm took beautiful portrait pictures, almost effortless and now I was left with just my Fujifilm X100T.

Not the most popular complaint I get it, some photographer's would die for just the camera above, after all it is suitable for any type of job, as long as the 35mm focal length (FF eqv.) is suitable. Some people even suggested that I grab a TCL-X100 conversion lens in my time of desperateness, which will and always be an option, depending on how my IndieGoGo campaign goes.

But, as they say, the show must go on, and regardless of any set backs, I won't be quitting any of my projects, even if it means doing a full shoot with my iPhone 6+. My subject for the week was Diamond Rogers, I've known Diamond since she was 15, so I wasn't nervous shooting her, however I did feel a little insecure about my gear, the X100T is a powerful camera, but it's small form factor says otherwise, and because I was bringing Diamond in almost negative degree weather I didn't want her to think I wasn't taking the shoot seriously.

We decided to take the pictures on Detroit's Dequindre Cut, the reason I picked this location is because of the many lights it had, ever so many feet had a street light, so I wanted to use that to my advantage. Personally I don't think I've ever done a portrait session under these conditions, by that I mean at night, so the entire time I was doubting myself.

When we reached the destination it was pretty bland, Dequindre Cut is know for it's beautiful art, but that was hard to highlight with all the snow surrounding it, not to mention I didn't want to be to typical. I wanted to take advantage of the long trial, I knew I'd be shooting wide open so blurring out the trails long end was a perfect situation for this shoot, so that's what I attempted to do. Unfortunately I may have taken too much time on that one shot, by the time I was happy with my light, and camera settings Diamond was freezing, it resulted in the same shot several times, actually I don't think she changed her pose one time.

Diamond Rogers, Dequindre Cut | Edited in Lightroom 5

We wanted a cozy, yet cold look, I wanted it to appear as if she was focusing more on fashion than warmth, hence the oversized sweater, due to the coldness we had her use the turtleneck end as a facemask, partially because it was freezing and also to cover her nose from turning extremely red. The overall look was okay, but I believe it was too repetitive in the shoot, causing other images to be less appealing and overall useless.

One of my favorite things about that particular day was the sky, it was burgundy for whatever reason, something I've never seen, so I definitely wanted to capture that. I shot her from the waist up why kneeling on my knees to capture as much of it as I could. When I later went home to review the pictures I thought they would be even better if the sunset was going down, if we were to shoot this same scene during the golden hour I think they would have been a lot more impressive. I also thought a black and white look would give the photograph a different look, despite the pose being the same in each shot.

In each segment I like to talk about the model, I think it gives readers and beginner photographers a real life idea of what it is like to shoot someone who isn't a model, that way they can know what to expect in their upcoming sessions. Diamond was a trooper for going outside in that type of weather, though she voiced her frustration in between each shot. This wasn't a problem, because I felt the same way, but it showed me that if this was a paid session and my client came out to shoot in the winter that they too might complain, and with each complaint comes great expectations. These people are pissed, upset, for what they are sacrificing this images better be GOLD. In Diamonds case I can't say her services were worth the trade of these images, but given my circumstances and lack of equipment I think we prevailed. You can check out the few shots I took of Diamond below, due to the cold weather we only selected 4, you can also find the entire Places & Spaces series below, as well as directions to the location from this weeks shoot.





Gear Used