- Sony a7R II
- Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM
- Backdrop: Click Props Backdrops Manor House Damask (Large)
- Floor: For video - Click Props Backdrops Vintage Wooden Floor (Large), for photo Click Props Backdrops Old Master Brown (Large)
- Lighting: Strobepro Xpro 600W HSS Studio Lighting and Glow EZ Lock Deep Parabolic Quick Softbox (48")
- Camera Settings: 1/200, f/4.5, ISO 100
Editor's Note: In our continuing series of behind-the-scenes looks at epic portrait photography shoots, our friend Kat Armendariz from hushXpose in Las Vegas, offers her expert tips for making the most of a photo shoot with a client.
This week, Kat gives us a behind-the-scenes look at a photo shoot with a very imaginative young client.
When working with kids, it's important to let them be themselves - to be silly and crazy and fun - and not try to stifle their creativity and imagination with a pre-determined course of action for the shoot. Adaptability is key!
Let's see how Kat approached this steampunk circus-inspired photo shoot.
The Key to Kid Portraits? IMAGINATION!
There's nothing quite like the life and vitality of a child, and in this case, that energy helped Kat create a portrait that's truly stunning.
"Lynzzie is my 15-year-old creative assistant. She’s known to show up in costume on a regular day and then go with me to run errands in the city while still in full costume. I love it! She’s a great reminder to be fearless like a child with a great imagination and just be you!
This shot was done after a planned shoot with the 7-foot angel wings she completed with us at the studio. She has a creative bug in her like us at the studio and it’s always itching to come out and play!
She had been working with all of my ideas all day and the second her feet hit the floor from scooting off of the posing stool she was around the corner and into something else! She knows that when she’s with me that there are no limits with artistic ideas. She was changing out of her wings and her draped fabric costume and started rummaging through our wardrobe racks. I laughed and followed her back there to see what I could help with. I’m always bringing in props and costume pieces so with some new things and old things we came up with a steampunk circus look."
Pull the Look Together With the Right Accessories
Though the focus of attention in a portrait is obviously the subject, you have to set the scene for the shot with the accessories you choose.
You can have a gorgeous model in the perfect outfit with ideal lighting, but if you have an ugly background or props that don't make sense, the photo can still bomb!
"My backdrops and floors completely pulled the look together! I used the Click Props Backdrops Manor House Damask for the backdrop to give it an old (and some might say creepy mansion) vibe. The floor tied it all together with a peeling wood look. In the photo, we used the Click Props Backdrops Old Master Brown floor, but in the video, we showed how you can use something similar for the same look by using the Click Props Backdrops Vintage Wooden floor."
"The coolest part about the backdrops is that they are a heavy duty matte vinyl and they completely wipe down clean! I can even mop them after we’ve been trampling on them all day with stiletto heels and lots of furniture! They have been the #1 best investment I’ve made since owning my studio.
(A little secret: I was charging $1,500 per session in May 2018 when I purchased 12 of the Click Props Backdrops. WITHIN 2 MONTHS, I was able to jump to $2800 per session AND was shooting my first F.L.O.D. Magazine cover because of the full studio sets I could offer! Umm... I sound like a late night TV sales host but I’m completely real! Google me! Kat Armendariz, Kat on the Web!)"
"As much as I love the 7-foot wings, I still have to say that these circus images are more my (our) style and some of my favorite from the shoot! So I guess that means we have a new challenge! We get to keep creating to really tap into some out-of-the-box wing ideas in the future!"
In the video above, you can get more details about this epic photo shoot. Be sure to check that out to get TONS of behind-the-scenes footage.
Additionally, Vanessa Witholt makes an appearance in the video to chat about pro tips with hair styling. She and Kat discuss how to problem solve with bright colored hair, editorial vs boudoir, and so much more.
Subscribe to Kat's YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on more of her PhotographyTalk articles: Kat on the Web, Unleashed.
Gear Used for This Image
Kat Armendariz is a published studio photographer in Las Vegas. She has a passion to create out-of-the-box portraiture and to give women an experience that will be a stepping stone to new found confidence.
Her photo studio sits in the heart of Las Vegas where she gets to work with incredible clients from all over the globe. Her studio, hushXpose, is a compilation of her two studio names: Hush Hush Shoot (boudoir photography), and Pose Las Vegas (glamour photography).
hushXpose offers an all-inclusive Hollywood experience where Kat and her all-female team work with clients one-on-one to create custom sets and scenes tailored to their clients.
Kat and her husband, Ephraim Armendariz, also own the US District for Click Props Backdrops, which specializes in professional-grade heavy-duty vinyl studio backdrops. Click Props Backdrops let you choose from an extensive and exclusive range of multi-award-winning backgrounds and floorgrounds to give you the opportunity of offering clients a multi-set portrait experience.