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Experiments in Light | Colour | Form Photography with MODEL MIA VOL. 8 @ Tekumi Studios

A few weeks back I came upon a photo on Instagram that had me intrigued. It was a studio portrait taken of a model with a snake wrapping around her arm and I knew in some shape or form that this would be the inspiration for the next studio series.

Most of the time all you need is that one piece to build an entire theme around and so with snake in mind the set I was imagining would start to resemble something inspired from Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

With the jungle theme decided it was time to shop for props. I ordered some fake vines off of Amazon and knew I could use my real indoor plants to add to the greenery. I also asked our wonderful model for the shoot, Mia ( if she had any snake print outfits and lucky for us she had a couple of great looks to choose from. Now, all we were missing was a snake 🤔 I don't know how evident it is from the photos but I opted for a fake snake that would look real enough in photos and while it may lack a bit in scale-y authenticity it made up for not having to deal with a wild reptile on set for the day. Maybe I'll circle back to this theme in the future and use a real one, who knows! Below is what it started to look like which was pretty close to the final set. We did manage to pull the vines away from the backdrop and have them more hanging in it's own space between model and backdrop to add some more depth.

For lighting, I wanted to create a very mystical, in the jungle, treasure hunting (did I mention Raiders of the Lost Ark as inspiration?) vibe using a more retro styled colour theme of red, orange, yellow as the primary and blue as an accent. The Godox SL200 constant light in the top left with the blue gel was positioned there to give a magical moonlight feel to the overall scene. I used an RGB in yellow as a rim light and an orange RGB as a fill light for the model. The Godox AD-300 Pro with grid and 90 cm softbox was the key light set off to the left side of the model. And finally, the look couldn't be complete without a bit of hazy smoke. Lets take a look at some of the studio events participants in action.

And below are the final images from this set. Shot on a Sony A7IV with a Sony 50mm 1.2 GM. I did use a 1/2 blackmist pro when shooting to soften the image as well as editing with grain to achieve a more retro look to the final images. Looking back at the images I think I would have liked if I had asked the model to try more various poses and to shoot from different camera angles but my shooting time was a bit short. Overall, however, I think the end result was pretty cool and it was a ton of fun to imagine and put together. I can't wait to see the photos from the other participants as I got a preview in camera and they looked real good! Thanks to Micah, Mike and Bill for coming out and bringing your good energy and ideas.

What do you think? I'd love to hear any feedback in the comments below!

For the 2nd set, it was much more simple and I wanted to revisit the use of tulle fabric in studio. I think this fabric gives off such a beautiful and sophisticated look to the image and it's a lot of fun for the model to play with. I bought red for this set as I wanted to incorporate a red rose as another prop to harmonize the colours and really make the image pop with contrast and colour. I initially had planned to do a series with shutter drag but in the end I went with a 1/250 shutter speed and kept the images more classic looking. After editing and retouching in Photoshop I really like how these turned out. What about you? Let me know in the comments!

Well, that's a wrap on another studio session at Tekumi Co. If you're in the Tokyo area and want to join in the next one there are limited spots available but you can find all Tekumi event info on the Meetup link here.

Thanks always for reading and catch you in the next one!

- d.


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