In the spotlight is an article series featuring up-and-coming shutterbugs that are about to put their mark on the world. Beauty and fashion photographer Pauline Darley talks about a recent fashion shoot she did at a busy hostel in Paris.
I recently organized a photoshoot at Les Piaules, one of Paris’s most popular youth hostels. It is a chic but hectic place and I really wanted to catch the metropolitan atmosphere in the shoot I was planning. To do so I decided to give the model five different stylings in different locations: in the cozy bar, in the foyer of the hostel, and on the rooftop terrace.
All these variables made this a challenging shoot. We needed to do five different setups in five hours and everyone who shoots fashion knows how it is; the stress of changing locations, looks and clothing. There is a lot of movement all the time, a stressful feeling you need to learn to love in fashion photography.
The lighting conditions varied greatly. In the bar and foyer I mixed ambient light with my flashes and had to take both the lamps and the light from outside into consideration. On the rooftop terrace the light was changing constantly all the way to dusk and then it went pitch black (well, as black as a night can be in a city like Paris).
Shooting on a busy location like this also meant that I needed to move around and be flexible. Using the lightweight off-camera flash Profoto B2 and the Air Remote TTL-S saved me a lot of time since it is super easy to set up and use. I could easily move around and stay out of the way so as not to disturb the guests.
The Air Remote TTL-S fully integrated my Sony a7R II with the B2 so I did not need to tamper with the settings. Using the TTL function saved me a lot of time when trying to find the perfect light, especially since I changed location so often. I just adjusted my camera to the desired settings and then the Air Remote TTL-S calculated everything for the necessary lighting power on the subject.
After each outfit, we needed to move to a different place, so the gear being so lightweight as the B2 was a game changer. When we moved from the main floor to the roof I could move the stand, the head with the light shaping tool and the B2 by myself, and I am not the strongest person in the world.
I am very happy with the result. Shooting in a location like this, where people are coming and going all the time, is really hard. You really need gear that is constraint free, trustworthy, and does not eat a lot floor space.