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Vintage Style/ 1950's Hollywood Starlet How-To

MrsSmith 11 84
3 Feb 2014 4:16PM
I need some assistance from someone far more experienced that I. First, allow me to explain what I am trying to do. I have a 15 year old daughter who has been getting down on herself lately because she is *gasp* a size 6 or 8. So I statrted a pet project for her where I redid her bathroom in a sort of Vintage "Hollywood Starlet" style. I have old school black and white 8x10's adorning the walls to go with the black and white theme of the classic leading ladies such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, etc. The idea behind it was to show her REAL women with curves and how beautiful they were. None of that fake surgical beauty we see nowadays. I need help with the finishing piece. Her. I want to do a photo of her that replicates that old school style and have that be a focal point in the room. Nothing too grown up, she's only fifteen. Something classy, soft, and black and white- but I want it to match that 1940's 1950's vibe. I tried to find local photographers who may provide this kind of sitting with no luck. I will have to try and do it myself. But to say I'm a beginner doesn't do my inexpirience justice. I need to know if there is somebody who can give me some pointers without speaking too technically. I don't need them to be perfect, but I do need the finished product to make the point to her that I am trying to make. Any guidance out there?

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StuartAt 13 1.1k 8 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2014 5:29PM
Take a look at Damien Lovegrove's work. Although his stuff is typical boudoir, I think he does the sort of look you are after (Fresnel lens lights). Once you know the technique, you might find a better/easier/cheaper way to do it. I shot this at Focus last year where he had a stand , using Lupolux lights.
MrsSmith 11 84
3 Feb 2014 5:29PM

MrsSmith 11 84
3 Feb 2014 5:30PM

MrsSmith 11 84
3 Feb 2014 5:31PM
Great! I'll take a look now. Thanks for the tip!
scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
3 Feb 2014 7:33PM
In the picture above, the key is in the shadows and the catchlights in her eyes...

The nose shadow and eye catchlights show that she is heavily front and top-lit (light in front and above model, and slightly off to the right of the lens) - proven by the hair shadow and the fact that her forehead is very bright.

There's fill-in on both sides of her face, not as bright as the main light, and the catchlights prove this again too. There's a background light too.

You could replicate this in your front room with 3 table lamps very easily.
MrsSmith 11 84
3 Feb 2014 7:48PM
Thank you! I am excited to try! So in the three table lamp scenario, would I have the center light higher than the rest?
scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
3 Feb 2014 8:09PM
Look at the triangle of catchlights in her eyes and answer your own question........the answers in her eyes!
DerekL 13 191 24 England
3 Feb 2014 8:40PM
This video explains the effects of different lighting set-ups quite well, although using studio lights. It may give you some ideas to try.
arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2014 8:58PM
I have 2 Arri fresnel tungsten lights for sale in the classifieds.
MrsSmith 11 84
3 Feb 2014 11:15PM
So helpful! Thank you!
orangejuice 12 43 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2014 12:20PM
The monochrome films of the day were not panchromatic and reds rended to reproduce darker than on modern materials or digital.

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