Back in February, in the sleepy haze of just having flown back to the UK from a holiday the night before, I treked myself outside of London to Glyn Dewis’s studio for a Physique Photography workshop he was holding there.
Glyn had arranged for two physique models for the shot, Nigel, a body builder, and Caroline, a figure model, both of whom he has worked with a fair bit before. Both were very lovely subjects to work with and very fun to shoot.
To start Glyn walked through a lot of what he does for shots and important things to keep in mind when you’re shooting physique models. He had a lot of great tips for studio kit he recommends for shooting tethered and regarding good studio lights. Ah, one day I will have a studio.
He had split his studio space in two so that when it was our turn half the group could shoot Nigel and the other half Caroline, and then we’d swap after a bit of time. He started with setting up a shot with Caroline and showing how he works through the shot as well as pointing out some important posing tips for enhancing the figure by just changing the way the model stands. Then he followed up setting up the shot for Nigel doing a similar explaination of showing how he’s setting up the shot and getting the look he’s going for. Next, he turned us loose.
I think I started off a bit shy. It’s a bit overwhelming to be on the spot in front of the group, as only one of us could shoot with the flash at a time, and having to pose and direct in front of everyone. I did some similar poses to Glyn’s setup for my first couple. And while I was waiting for my next turn, I knew I was only going to get the shot Glyn stagged and wasn’t going to get the shots I wanted unless I did. So I started suggesting doing this. Or doing that. Turn this way. Look at me. And wham, some super awesome intense shots I love.
Then we swapped and my group went over to shoot Caroline. I felt a little less nervy this go round. We did the couple starter shots Glyn suggested doing and then I was all like, let’s do this, what about this, turn like that, could we maybe put some weights on that bar and you put it on your shoulders and BAM, awesome shot:
We did some really ultra moody shots of Nigel as a larger group next. Nigel had asked Glyn for a headshot that he needed for a movie casting. Glyn had an idea for a really intense front on shot. He’s posted his resulting shot that he did that day on his blog. The one I got is here:
Then we played around with light painting a model. I’ve done light painting in a studio before with my Portrait Photography class but not where you were using it as the sole light to actually sculpt the model with. It was interesting and there were some fun shots out of it. They had this slight blurred softeness to them. Definitely something to try again.
The last activity for the day was doing some shots for Glyn and his buddy, Dave, for a personal project of Glyn’s. He does this projects for himself where he tries to recreate existing photos or posters himself which tests him on figuring out the lighting and the posing and whatnot to get the exact shot. It’s a really good idea and one I’m planning to poach for myself and my own personal projects. He said he usually uses movie posters for ideas because they have some really good challenge in there and so for this project he was using the poster for Looper. He was going to be Bruce Willis on the poster and Dave was going to be Joseph Gordon-Levitt. We did Dave’s shots first. Setup the lighting and pose we thought was needed, took a shot. Compared the shot to the poster. Tweaked a few things, tried again. Risne & repeat until you get the shot you’re after. Then we did Glyn’s shot setup. Worked up the lighting, set the pose, and then yours truly, as a fellow Nikon user, got to take the shot since I could work the camera. HA! You can read Glyn’s blog to see the shots for the poster he calls Loopy and see the resulting mock of the movie poster called Blooper.
Once we had those out of the way, it was almost time to part our ways. But not before Glyn talked us all into posing for a group shot together and making us strike the bodybuilder competition poses. I felt like such a dork but whatever. You can read Glyn’s review of the day and see the group shot on his blog post on the Physique Photography workshop.
It was a really fun day and though a lot of it was not new info to me having played around studios before, there were a tips and other gems of information I picked up that were very useful. It was a great opportunity to see how another photographer thinks and works when trying to get a shot. Glyn is a really great guy and it was fun getting to spend the day playing with him and the others in his studio.