Assignment 5- Personal Project

The final assignment asks you to apply all you’ve learned in the course to build a collection of 10-12 final images on a theme of your choice.

For this assignment I decided to do a couple’s photoshoot with a central theme of; Love. I wanted to put a little bit of quirky-ness into the shoot, so decided to use a vintage picnic as my central scene. You will find my initial planning for this assignment here.

Prior to this assignment I did a lot of research into wedding photography and couple’s photoshoots to gain experience on how to capture the relationship between a couple. My aim was to see how to relay that love into my photographs, and truly capture the essence of the individual couple I am shooting. I also wanted to research a photographer who was renowned for their vintage flare, and came across the amazing Marianne Taylor. I learnt through her work the importance of the little things in a photoshoot; such as plenty of props! This was hugely important for my vintage picnic, and definitely came in useful when planning this aspect of my assignment. You will find my research of this talented lady here.

I also did plenty of research into composition to learn the best angles to use and tips on positioning couples effectively in the frame. I used classical paintings for composition ideas, and noted some contemporary photographers who have taken influences from these paintings. I noted the importance of small embraces, the romantic effect a photo from behind the couple can bring, and how a blanket can work wrapped around the couple to provide a metaphor of union. You will find all this research here.

Lastly, here you will find my reflective account on how well my completed project matched up to my original ideas.

Below are my finished images. I set my camera to spot metering in order to gain more control over the exposure for each shot. I measured for the subject’s face, which generally worked well to provide me with an overall good exposure. I set my camera to RAW for maximum quality images, and used my 50mm prime lens with a wide open aperture throughout to create soft images focussing solely on the models.

Image 1- (ISO 100, 1/4000, f3.2). I began by capturing some images of the props in my vintage picnic. This works in ‘setting the scene’ for this photo shoot, and introducing the viewer slowly into all the different aspects of the setting bit by bit. In editing, I simply used curves to increase the contrast slightly, and added a colour fill layer of blue and pink, changing the mode to ‘soft light’ and choosing a low opacity. This worked in creating a vintage-type effect to finish of my image nicely.


Image 2- (ISO 100, 1/2000, f2.8) I captured these vintage suitcase props; purposely slightly over-exposing the image in order to create a hazy effect. In editing, I simply added a light blue fill layer, then changed the mode to ‘screen’ to further create a hazy and dreamy feel.

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Image 3- (ISO 100, 1/500, f3.2) This is the central image of my photoshoot. Everything came together perfectly, and I captured my models in a vintage-style picnic scene. The sky is slightly over-exposed, as I metered primarily for the subject’s faces in order to expose them 100% correctly. In editing, I increased the contrast using curves. I also added a blue and pink fill layer, again using a low opacity and soft light mode, in order to achieve a dreamy, whimiscal and slighly unrealistic effect.

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Image 4- (ISO 100, 1/500, f3.2) This image was a direct result of my “relaxation game” which I asked the couple to do. I gave Chris three objects to tell Ruth a story about. This resulted in the couple relaxing, and produced a lot of laughs from Ruth, which I was able to capture in this lovely shot. The eye contact between Ruth and the camera strengthens this shot in creating a bond between the viewer and the subject. The two subject’s faces fall on the thirds lines of the frame which creates a strong composition in this image. In editing, I simply used curves to increase the contrast, and added a light blue fill layer once again.


Image 5- (ISO 100, f3.2, 1/1250) I brought this photo frame prop along to further my ‘vintage’ theme. I directed my couple to ‘rub noses’, and captured this shot against the sea to create a nice background. In editing, I again created a light blue colour fill layer, and changed the mode to ‘soft light’ to enhance the old-style vintage effect.

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Image 6- (ISO 100, 1/1250, f3.2) This is a close-up version of the previous shot, but I feel that it looks very different. Chris’s hand is naturally caressing Ruth’s face in a beautiful way. This is a very tender shot, and I think it appears very natural. In editing, I added a curves layer for contrast, and again added a light blue colour fill layer with a low opacity and soft light mode.

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Image 7- (ISO 100, 1/640, f3.2) I instructed my model’s to embrace each other, having learnt the importance of the small embrace from my research into painting compositions. I then got Chris to kiss Ruth’s head, but asked Ruth to smile at the camera. This works in creating a very nice moment between the two models- showing Chris’s love for Ruth, but at the same time, keeping that connection with the camera through Ruth’s eye contact. In editing, I used a curves layer to add contrast, and again added a soft light, blue colour fill layer at low opacity. This helped to create a consistency of editing throughout my images.


Image 8- (ISO 400, 1/2000, f3.2) Prior to capturing this shot, I adjusted my ISO to 400, in order to enable me to increase my shutter speed; therefore allowing me to capture the couple moving without resulting in image blur. This is my favourite shot of the set, simply because it appears the most natural, and candidly captured shot. I love the relaxed and happy moment that is passing between the couple, giving a small insight into their relationship. In editing, I added a curves layer for contrast, and added a light blue colour fill layer at a very low opacity.

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Image 9- (ISO 400, 1/2000, f3.2) I love the natural feel of this image. As I have expressed a lot in this course, I have a great love for candid style photography, and I think this shot achieves this. I got the idea to wrap the blanket around the couple from my research into the composition used in classical paintings, and specifically Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’, where the subject is wrapped in a blanket, and the couple are kissing. This then gave me the idea to use a blanket as a metaphor for unity between the couple- and I think this works superbly. Again, I wanted to create a vintage type feel in editing, so added a little contrast through curves, and created a light blue colour fill layer.

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Image 10- (ISO 100, 1/250, f3.2) I discovered this back alley in this small seaside town in Ireland. I thought it would make a great shot of the couple having a private moment down a quiet alley. I instructed Ruth to stand against the wall, and asked Chris to ‘block her in’ in a sense- this creates quite a personal and romantic scene. I also added a cream colour fill layer to match the colours in the scene, and adjusted the opacity to low, and the mode to ‘soft light’.

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Image 11- (ISO 100, 1/250, f3.2) This is another of my favourite shots from this set. The ‘almost kiss’ creates a beautiful romantic moment between the couple which I love. The old door and pottery sign works in furthering my vintage theme, and adds interest to the shot. I also added a curves layer for contrast, and added a slight cream colour fill layer once again.

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One thought on “Assignment 5- Personal Project

  1. Pingback: Assignment Five: Write-up | Hans Photography

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