Fox in studio

Reunited with a good friend of mine, we always have the best times shooting together. 

When creating a mood-board for this photoshoot, i wanted to play with  aspects of bold clean lines and cold tones to compliment the androgynous aesthetics of the shoot. I particularly loved the challenge in simplicity with this theme, focusing on the basics to get a strong shot.  Lighting wise i stuck to my go-to one light to the side setup, very much Rembrandt lighting. Primarily this lighting is all about shadows for me, which for me helps in getting strong shots.

With the blue gel sneaking in on the third look once again. I am clearly having fun implementing gels where i can. I did struggle settle on a color at first for the gel, but thats just my typical indecisiveness of choosing something that fits perfectly.

Look 1

Fox in studio - Miss Hepburn Photography

Fox in studio - Miss Hepburn Photography

Look 2

Fox in studio - Miss Hepburn Photography

 

Look 3 – Here you can see i brought out my colour gel trick.

Fox in studio - Miss Hepburn Photography

Fox in studio - Miss Hepburn Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a great fun it was to put this set together, never a dull moment!


Credits to the great team involved –
Model: Fox B 
MUA: Kallen Townsend / @kontouredbykallen
Images processed with Infinite Color Panel & Fine Art Actions in Photoshop.

Nels in studio

Going Lolita
– using a coral Back drop hired from sunshine co.
This photoshoot was originally inspired by the Lolita look, which turned into taking advantage of the pink tones coming from the coral backdrop.

Mixing wardrobe options and playing with looks, super happy with the results from this series!

Behance: https://www.behance.net/gallery/76853061/Nels-Lolita

Credits –

Model: Cornelia
Make Up: Clanelle Burger
Photography & Retouching : Miss Hepburn Photography

Impromptu with Alana

I had a great time catching up with Alana (Sapphire Flex) on the last day of 2018, fitting in her tight schedule we did a quick shoot close by. Shooting mid-day primarily indoors , so taking advantage of all the shadows and shapes available.

Here i went for an originally simple set-up due to time constraints and enjoying the spontaneity of the shoot. Taking images back into the editing room that’s where the real work kicks in, as one see’s the incredible potential of the shots taken. Never-mind the perfectionist in me gets to come through at full force.

Have a look below to see what we got up to on her visit to Cape Town from Johannesburg.

I will let you in a little secret, the buildings in the window come from my Japan trip, i am so curios how many people are able to pick this up.

Thanks again Alana, always love our little sessions !

Bella Rosafine

Bella Rosafine

This being one of my creative photoshoot sets. I basically had collected VHR cassette tapes from a friend of mine almost a year ago, with the intention of a shoot i had in mind. As months turned into about a year i never got around to shooting this idea. Then one day i found the perfect subject.

Now understanding that time had passed, so the original shoot approach has changed, which as a photographer you learn to get used to your ideas morphing a little. But i was 100% sure Lindi would be perfect for the shoot. So with my small team of myself, Lindi & the make up artist. I set out to shoot this look.
There is no definitive concept behind it, more a theme that ended up becoming a very fantasy approach to my delight.

As you can see from this behind the scenes, i laid out my background before placing my subject. Then once Lindi was on the floor i moved the VHS tape around as i saw fit.

If you would like to see more imagery from this shoot, you are welcome to pop over to my Behance and have a look at more imagery.

Or leave a comment on either platforms on your thought’s of the shoot!

Credits to team / parties involved with shoot:
And a huge thank you’s to everyone participating to one of my delightful creative adventures 🙂

Model: Bella Rosa / Lindi Van Aswegen
MUA: Amy Louise
Head Piece: Llamas in Tiaras
Wardrobe / body pieces : Flock it
Photography & Retouching: Miss Hepburn Photography

Ring light Beauty

Beauty series taken at ‘Make it Bright’ Make up students class.
With about 10 minutes to spare per look for shoot, the setup remains simple with a make up chair and constant Ring light for taking photo’s. Ring lights are really great for catch lights in the eyes. Also, with being a constant light you know what you are getting while shooting. The only catch is this light can be a bit of a hassle to reposition when changing angles, so when there is minimal time to shoot it can be a challenge. Otherwise i can definitely see why the ring beauty light is a popular choice for low budget simple setups.

Scroll through below to see various results – Images are retouched.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Model: Devon Julia
MUA: Make it Bright

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left to right
1)
Model: Nataliia
MUA: Make it Bright Student

2)
Model: Lisa
MUA: Make it Bright

3) Model: Milana
MUA: Make it Bright Student

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Model: Savannah
MUA: Make it Bright Student

Jade in studio

Head shots taken of Jade in Studio.

Shooting at Knext Level Photography’s photographic studio in cape town.
From a basic single light setup, to a more creative three light approach.

Giving me two looks in essentially a simple white infinity curve space these were great light setups to work with to create different emotions.

Model: Strange Jade
MUA: Mooigemaak.
Photography & Retouching: Miss Hepburn Photography

Look 1
single light beauty dish strobe lighting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look 2

Three light setup. Strobe gel lights on back drop and model for colours, diffused studio light on model for added fill light.

 

 

 

 

A beauty photo series

Beauty series with – Charli X Boi

Taken in studio setup this was my first beauty approach series. This photoshoot is originally planned for great material to work on the beauty side of photo retouching. Plus with the amount of creative photo-shoots i have taken on board in the past, i thought it was a great idea to do something with the more commercial side approach.

Look 1 Gypsophila // “Baby’s-Breath”

Basically the flowers were bought and Charli created he’s make up looks around the flowers that were chosen. Flowers are seasonal and its one of those situations where collaboration is on a minimal budget. As i don’t have the exact recommended macro lenses for this approach just yet, my 80ml prime lense actually worked out perfectly fine for this setup. I then moved onto my 24-105mm zoom lense for paired look, as the room was not big enough for me to do required pullback of the prime lense.

Look 2 Dianthus caryophyllus // “carnations”

Light setup existed between beauty dish and a soft box. I definitely would love to invest in a reflector stand in the future when shooting in this approach. You don’t want to need an assistant to do that job for you on set. With Robyn’s hair i felt it would be great to subtly add accent lighting to her dark hair for added definition.

Look 3 Spider Chrysanthemum

The type of photo retouching that are applied to these photographs are very high-end. Definitely not the kind of editing one may apply to a regular shoot like Boudoir or wedding imagery, it is too time consuming for that approach.

One of the important things i definitely picked up during editing these shots is having a game plan. As discussed in Pratic Naaiks introductory lesson. It’s a phase i skipped as i rushed myself into these images.Only to discover hours later that it could have certainly saved me some time.

Then there is the removal of ‘peach fuzz’ – this comes up in unflattering lighting very easily and as every person has fine hair on their face, such detailed photography will pic up on these small things.
– move bar for preview

There is this incredible trick on how to add eyelashes to your subjects eye. Eyes are incredibly important to get right when editing imagery for beauty, its the first place people will look at. Adding lashes are simply great to create fuller volume and complete the look.
– move bar for preview

I have to mention the beauty of Infinite Color Panel, while i feel choosing colour tones of imagery is something i constantly feel the need to work on. This extension for Adobe Photoshop as been a total game changer and exactly what i needed to give imagery the finishing touch.

Big thanks to my wonderful dedicated team involved for this setup
Hair & Make up artist: Charli X BOI
Models: Robyn Blessie & Tuscany Rhys.

Image content can also be previewed on Bechance profile here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Photo Retouching

While i have been retouching my own photographs for many years now, there are some alignments that have taken place and have presented the opportunity for me to take some great courses by Pratik Naik – ‘The Retouching Series‘ to learn from the masters on the retouching front.

So there’s a couple of things that i have come across during this quest, such as quite a few photographers absolutely hate retouching. While its strangely enough one of my favourite parts of processing the image and giving it the final touch.

Also i find that there is an unfortunate stigmatism to retouching being the crutch to bad photography, i truly feel retouching is about enhancing a great image. Even the top industry photographers use professional retouchers to ready an image for publication. Because sometimes blemishes just cannot be concealed, and other times there is just one step missing to enable you image to go over the envelope and create that wow factor for the audience.

Personally as a retoucher there is usually a game plan through the whole shoot, so i keep my capabilities in mind and how i can use them to make the best end result with time constraints given.

slide over to preview retouching

Skin clearing & overall toning preview  (Click & drag for preview)

Currently i am focusing on creating good clean skin complexion, while keeping the face looking as natural as possible. While i have only made it through the first main course which is over three hours broken up into little segments on the basic properties. I would say it certainly has helped me speed up my productivity which is super handy when retouching client work.

Slide over for retouching preview

Skin clearing with colour correction preview. (Click & drag for preview)

As seen in my click & slide over retouching previews, on very simple setups for portraiture. You will be able to see me focusing on the skin toning & blemish removal. Not changing the original face structure too much as i feel it is important to keep the subject looking close to their natural form as possible. This might sound strange to some but it is quite easy to change the form of facial structure when evening skin tones.

If you have any questions on my current approach to retouching you are more than welcome to pop me a question in the comments below. There is quite a variety of topics i can touch on the retouching front, so this blog post is really about opening the discussion where i aim to write more about this topic. There is so much to unravel with Retouching and i am pretty excited to learn more.

Starrlight in the making

With this photoshoot my main aim was to tell the story of my dear friend and most importantly to celebrate her.

My general process with portrait shoots like these are not the same to most client work, the trickiest part always is coming to a final decision on what direction i am going. I would tend to obsess on my ideas before coming down to something final. With knowing she’s a popular Burlesque dancer who’s about to go for a hip operation. This is quite traumatic for any dancer out there. I first had to find something inspiring to me. My go to for starting my idea process always begins with Pinterest and behance getting lost in research.

” When I say I want to photograph someone, what it really means is that I’d like to know them.
Anyone I know I photograph. ” – Annie Leibovitz

I particularly found one image that i loved with a girl being photographed with just fairy lighting and used that as a base ground, and i brought in other elements such as the glitter and organza to compliment and give me play around grounds to go with.

I don’t feel like the message should be so transparent in my photo’s as viewers will always have their own way of interpreting. Instead, its about captivating something very special, the essence. While like most photographers that’s where our creativity comes in hand to eternalise a moment the best way possible.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At this point of the shoot i had Starr sitting very much to mirror my original reference source i found online. The result wasn’t giving me quite what i had imagined. After grabbing a few shots and once i got my lighting at an ideal setting, i decided i needed to put her in a easier position that gives more play. Laying her down on the ground was definitely a better option because i could sculpt the organza much better for a controlled backdrop.

One of the important things to remember is while shooting we need to trust that we have prepared all we can before hand. Because in order to truly connect with your subject and make them at ease, you cant fiddle or tinker too much. This kind of approach i like to take in my  photography proves why i have found with time, that getting stuck with the technical aspects is not ideal and does not allow me to truly embrace the creative side of things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credits to great team involved:

Subject: Diva Disastar – “s.a.’s dame of burlesque”

MUA : Sam Ellenberger Makeup Artistry

Assistant, Video footage & Hair : Fox bruins-lich

BTS Video preview of photo shoot Below:

 

 

Japan – i could never be prepared for you.

As a South African, I always thought it was very important that I do my research before I travel to one of the countries of my dreams, Japan. There were many useful articles that I came across, such as ‘First trip to Japan?’ https://www.alajode.com/first-trip-to-japan/ and ’10 things every traveler should know before going to Japan’ https://theculturetrip.com/asia/japan/articles/10-things-every-traveler-should-know-before-going-to-japan/? .
But no matter how much i read, i had no idea what kind of feelings this incredible country would leave me with.

We picked up our pocket WiFi at the airport to share between myself and my husband, and went off to catch the train from Narita Airport into Tokyo. It is night time so I can’t see too much, but understanding me being a huge Futurist & Blade Runner type fan. Japan at night is the stuff of my dreams, and I had uncontrollable tears coming down my face as I realised I somehow managed to get to the country, and capital, of my dreams. We started with Tokyo.

Japan Tokyo

 

Here are some of the things that stick with me that no one could possibly prepare me for while traveling across Japan:

 

Just how quiet Japanese people are

Catching a train, or rushing in the subway, there would be hundreds of people. In fact, there often is empty streets, and whenever something hip is happening, you know by the amount of people gathering in one space. All the people together are not talking unless they have to, or talking on a phone, as it can be rude in most places, especially on the train. In South Africa, we are very chatty, never mind the obvious language barrier In Japan.

Fruit and veg

I think it is time to accept those are a thing of the past when in Japan. Ok, they are there in Japan, but most of the fruit and veg are imported – so, for example, a basic apple would cost practically R20 for one apple. So food lifestyle is nothing like i know at home, but a definite culinary experience. Probably the best beef I have had in my life was in Japan, and I don’t even consider myself a carnivore.

No Sugar

In at least 90% of the meals you eat, when you eat like a traveller, you will not have excessive sugar in it, provided you are not eating a crêpe or an ice-cream dessert; although we did have doughnuts in Tokyo for breakfast on our last days, and even those only had most of the sugar in the icing. Talk about healthy. Not only did I realise how much sugar is in foods at home, but I started craving coffee in the morning — and I do not normally drink coffee with my ADD tendencies — because my body was like “where am i supposed to get all this energy for the day” ?

Doughnuts and Coffee
Great spot for breakfast when you crave the sense of home – DUMBO Rappongi Tokyo (https://bestlivingjapan.com/dumbo-doughnuts-coffee-azabu-juban-minato-ku-tokyo/ )

The large buildings

Ok, now understand, in Cape Town, our city is pretty tiny and I wont lie about that. I LOVE tall buildings and skyscrapers, so this was quite something else. Japanese modern buildings are surprisingly grey and dull. so the best way to see them for me was at night. I mean, you can walk safely in the street with your fancy SLR around your neck in quite streets and you are safe. ‘Only in Japan’. From electric strobe bright light neon dreams of buildings in my face… I get the tingling feeling just thinking about it, to digital billboards the likes of Dotonbori, Osaka. Plus, land space in Japan is minimal, so tall buildings are legitimately everywhere. Even the small town of Kochi on our journey had bigger buildings, they felt like the equivalent of Cape Town CBD with building volume. This did cause some difficulties with google maps as the building density did interfere with our GPS accuracy.

Osaka Dotonbori

Tokyo ApartmentsJapanese Buildings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese trains

Can we just understand that not only does South Africa have the worst problems with trains due to many unsettling reasons, but Japan has what has been considered the best train transport systems in the world. This means another dream achieved of walking where we want, averaging about 18000 Steps a day between myself and my husband, because thats exactly how you experience a country. In fact, my poor man had to massage my feet at the end of the day by the time we reached Kyoto. My feet were legitimately aching in agony from daily intense walks. I am no where near a fit person, so my body is like yo lady! The Hiroshima station was vibrating under my feet, and it sounded like a rocket was flying above us. At this rate i had witnessed so many crazy things I think I had become numb to the crazy of Japan. So i was giggling as to what the hell was that?
Chris tells me “Oh, it’s probably their Shinkansen skipping a stop”. Train station is a little on the old side, so the speed of the train creates a little tremble. I mean, if I did not get enough Sci-Fi inspiration from Japan I don’t know, but I know their trains I will probably talk about for the rest of my life. It is so incredible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking Japanese

Ok, so i tried a cool app called Duolingo to learn some Japanese a month before the trip. Obviously, I failed the reading part because that was quite next level, so I ended up writing down popular good-to-know phrases for my travel. Such as excuse me and thank you, almost more important then hello in Japan because the locals carry a lot of pride with being so traditional in unique ways. So, going to a local place in Hiroshima, popular for it’s Soba Noodles, it was the regular ‘Konichiwa'(Hello) happy face! Then waitron enthusiastically went on in Japanese and this tidal wave of words you don’t understand hits you in the face. Needless to say, we all giggled and continued with various sign language of pointing and nodding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are practically no chairs

So what I’m saying is you walk, and you hit like 10,000 steps and you can’t sit. Most likely no one in Japan takes a break but I’m like holy-cow. Only obvious places with seats are train stations or parks, but this is all part of being a tourist type of thing. So, after touring Nagoya Castle, my feet were reaching tipping point, so when i realised it’s a 30 min walk home, I pretty much napped on the bench in the park with my poor husband sitting there tolerating my madness.

Shopping agenda

The current exchange rate is 1 Rand to 8.8 Yen, and most parts of Japan are not as expensive as I imagined. In fact, a lot of prices were very much close to home. I guess that’s what years of inflation has done to us. Dinner and lunch varied to similar pricing as to what i would have paid if I ate out at home. Clothes on the other hand, I for some reason thought would be unaffordable. Then again, I am not a person who buys clothes at recognised brands. I love finding unique things, after all, being in Japan I definitely wanted all the kimonos. I know when I go back to Japan, I am going straight to Harajuku for all the wild hip clothes to stock up on. Clothing is top quality at normal rates, R150 to R200 a t-shirt average, unlike what we are used to at home. Again, not a label brand, which is why I reckon it was affordable. Such heaven.

My friend recommended I maybe write multiple blogposts about Japan so I don’t let the memories slip. Never mind helping my word vomit on this experience. I think I’ll leave this one here to kick things off, and see what happens.

Something I agree with from one of the articles I read, Japan can really open your mind to a whole new world. I love Asia just that much more as it hits me in the heart every time. Its unpredictable life lessons and richness in culture. I feel humble every time, and truly hope we get to go back again soon, even if it means painful hours of flights. Because stepping off the airplane to embrace the unknown gives you that feeling of. ‘This is what life is all about’ OR our favourite saying became ‘It’s all a part of the experience’.

Me in Kyoto by Gion