Model Portfolio: Mayumi (Ohayo! Mayumi)

Shooting gravure always presents a unique challenge of working with daylight and time. For this book, we decided to go to Baguio to have a different feel from the last books. Granted the weather, bikinis and swimwear were out of the question.

Light from a colder region seem to have a different softer quality to it. You can be shooting at dead noon, but the light doesn’t too harsh, and still within workable range. I never used any flash or strobe in all of these shots.. just a trusty pair of silver and gold reflectors. I used either one or a combination depending on how much warmth I needed in the shot. Well, it also worked that Baguio was quite foggy at times giving use a huge softbox light all around.


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Shooting natural light challenges me in making the best out of every situation. With strobes, I’d take it for granted that I can light up a scene, but when the requirement is to make the look natural, learning how light behaves vis-a-vis direction and time become crucial factors.

First tricks you learn in shooting with natural light is making back lighting work for you. When you have light this soft, you can afford to over-expose the background. Run after the crucial part of the shot (your model), and let the background burn a bit. I never really followed the metering the metering system my camera provides during back-lit situations. What I do though is measure for the light coming from the back, and then adjust to over-expose at least by a stop on my intended focus in the image. Of course it would also help when you use reflectors to bounce this light back to the model. This reduces the over-exposure gap you would have to compensate.

When you’re dealt with a stronger than usual light source (like this one of Mayumi lying down on the stairs), I made my composition where the direction of the light is angled at a highlight. You could see this from the sudden white rims along the outlines of her arms and hips. Reflectors are then placed on the opposite side to reflect back this strong source providing me a mid-tone range of light to work with her.

For that same source of light, when it got softer during the course of the day, it worked to bombard the source on Mayumi. It looked like a huge softbox.

Get your copy of Mayumi’s gravure book, Ohayo! Mayumi here.

Production Credits
  • Make-up / Hair: Marichu Salud
  • Styling: Hannah Kim
  • Model: Mayumi Yokoyama

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