Sometimes the ingredients for a stylish fashion photo-shoot can be very simple. Sometimes you just need a fashion photographer and a model in a suit. For these photographs taken in the atrium of St. Pauls Cathedral in London, we didn’t need much more. The photos needed to be all about simplicity. Shot with a single flash and a diffuser box, they were really quick to realise.
Lines of contrast
Jacob’s dance background really came into its own in this fashion shoot. By deliberately placing him against the benches outside the cathedral, he was instantly “framed” by the rectangular shapes carved in the limestone’s background. To create the contrast and tension needed in the shots I got him stretch out into a series of diagonal poses. That way, the line of his body would cut against the rectangular background and project him forward through the photograph.
The smooth and the rough
The other area of available contrast was the metallic sheen of Jacob’s suit. I knew it would catch the camera flash’s light, whereas the gritty, porous limestone would soak up the glare. The juxtaposition of these two elements together with Jacob’s athletic posing really helped to create the necessary contrast. The modernity of his suit against the aged, solid backdrop became a reflection of one against the other. It carried a complimentary sub-text as if to say “this stone work is built to last – just as this suit is”.
Jacob was a great model to work with and quickly understood what was needed to make the photographs work. I know some fashion photographers choose not to show the models the shots in progress. For me, it’s almost an essential part of every fashion shoot so as to create a better understanding what each person wants from the other.