In this edition of Camera Diaries I want to share with you the experience and some “behind the cameras” of shooting a team of excellent hairstylists. They’re part of the crew of Chukro Maddafakka studio, located in the heart of Östermalm, and they’re in charge of styling the looks and dreams of Stockholmers every day.
I was delighted to be invited by manager and owner, Jony Chukro, also known as Mr. Maddafakka, to shoot the portraits which would then be used on their website. Why I became so excited, well because the Chukro team is different from many others I’ve met. They are cheeky, cocky, dedicated to their customers, wild and daring – a bit like myself, I must say.
The task wasn’t that simple. Jony had an idea of what he wanted, the photos should have a bit of a dramatic look to them, and be original in some way. They should look very relaxed and stylish at the same time.
I showed up on a cold January morning at the salon, and the guys we’re already there, all in their best clothes, hair well styled, of course! You know, being a team of hairstylists, they needed to show what they stood up for. I placed a flash with a white bouncing-screen and a radio receiver to my right-hand side, and had a radio transmitter plugged on my camera for off-camera triggering. On my left-hand side I had a metallic silver bouncer/reflector. This would create a stronger bright light on one side of the face and a softer light on the opposite side for portraits with some added drama.
We did a round of portraits of them looking into the camera, standing in between the flash and the reflector. After this round we stopped as we waited for one of the girls, who was stuck in a delayed train on her way there. This delay turned into something positive, as it gave me time to talk and share a tea with the team. That helped them relax a bit more before we did a second round of photographing. This time they were sitting on one of those hair stylist cutting stools. This round of photographs turned out more natural and they showed more of their personality in them.
This is why when someone asks me for portrait photography tips I always say, take some time to get to know the person, sit down and talk to them for a while, in order to get a little bit more personal before you point the camera at their, perhaps, shy faces; only then you’ll be able to see the real person come afloat thus more natural photographs.
Here are the results:
For this session I used a Canon 7D camera with a 35mm 1:1.4 Sigma Art lens. And with the camera set in Manual mode I had the following settings: f2.8 – f2.5, shutter speed at 1/250 s – 1/200 s, ISO 400 – 200.
I took those shots and turned them into black and white, not so much had to be done apart from balancing the shiny and shaded areas of the face during post-production. Jony was very pleased with my work and the photos are proudly displayed on their website already. Which you can find here!
Want to ask me a question or just get in touch? I’ll b happy to help you!
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