Womanwise 01

The challenges of creating the kind of environmental portrait that I like to do for newspapers sprang into sharp relief from the first session we booked for this series.
Environmental portraits can, when they aren’t too heavy-handed, offer a particularly potent shorthand for character and background story.

The three actresses who make up HaHaHa Productions were keen to do the shoot, but the sets for their most recent production were already packed away.
Time was running short on the deadline and options for a location were running slim.
Double dammit.

In the end, I settled for the lowest common denominator of my ambitions for the project, a studio shoot. These were actresses, though, so it would be possible to indulge in a bit more drama in my lighting than normal.
I also decided to ditch the white background that has been pretty much the hallmark of this phase of my career, in which I create portraits that are, more often than not, lifted off their backgrounds and stripped into graphic layouts.

When Nikki, Mairoon and Penny arrived, it was clear that the lighting would have to be even harder, with tighter posing to compensate for the challenging range of clothing they were wearing that morning.
Ultimately, it was a troubled but dignified start to the project.

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