Jide Alakija

01 Nov 2006 2,042 views
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Fashion photography time. I'm currently working with Sarahlouise on producing some shots for her portfolio and some stock stuff too. This was one we did today with "Autumn" being the theme. I wouldn't say it's finished yet but some how I'm not sure what else to do with this particular shot. I spent an hour working on the lighting on this one and still I'm not sure I've got there yet with it. I even tried a mono version and I think that was a bit stronger.....oh whatever....here it is.

I'm hoping to get some more new material tomorrow as I'll be going out to get some stuff for a magazine commission I'm working on.

Streetphone is back but with a twist this time. I've decided not to use my camera phone anylonger as I'm having problems getting it to connect to my laptop. It's now my Black and White Street photography blog. Check it out

comments (30)

  • Suby
  • UK
  • 1 Nov 2006, 00:39
Cool, will be doing a fashion theme next week or the week after, just building up the images. I really do love fashion shoots, they are really really fun.

Interesting lighting, did you use natural lighting or what?

Jide Alakija: Thanks Suby.

The lighting for this one was actually quite challenging. It was taken at about 6pm in a dark room so the only real light sources were the studio flashes. I used one soft box for Sarah and head with an umbrella for the background.
The leaves add a really lovely effect.
Jide Alakija: Thanks Tony.
  • Rabani
  • Malaysia
  • 1 Nov 2006, 03:05
I think, what bugs you really is not so much the model and the lighting but the background. It doesn't add up don't you think.
Jide Alakija: You sir are now my very good friend...you have demonstrated that you know your art! Thanks for the comment.
  • Oz
  • Canada
  • 1 Nov 2006, 03:31
Maybe a darker background, i am not digging the leaves "indoors"...
everyother thing looks fine but there is something that makes me almost say "its not done yet"!!!! maybe the background, maybe the whole theme.... Light looks very good, i just cant pin point it...

Take care!!
Jide Alakija: I tried a darker BG but didn't get what I liked...I think having some trees or something a bit more interesting would have worked....hmmm
Autumn indoors, hmm, very difficult to interpret. This shot is a touch confusing, in that the movement of the leaves seem to pull the eyes away from the model, as do the horizontal lines in the BG.
Difficult one to call Jide, I hope Wirld can give you some answers here. Regards, Neil.
Jide Alakija: Thanks neil...totally agree with you on teh BG.
  • Kay
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 1 Nov 2006, 09:06
Great pose and shot but the leaves 'falling' in a room dont work for me. The wall and especially the wires detract from a nice concept,

A friend introduced me to your blog, I visit everyday and i think you're doing a great job..
Jide Alakija: I agree on the distractions. I think this is one of my experimental concepts. Thanks.
  • manju
  • Singapore
  • 1 Nov 2006, 09:09
Excellent !
Jide Alakija: Ta...
  • Peter Obey
  • Ireland
  • 1 Nov 2006, 09:26
Love the concept of the falling leaves but hate the shot - the angles are all wrong, it looks more XXX than high fashion! The scarf she wears also robs the photo of much needed elegance, it makes her look like she has no neck! Her hair could do with a bit more volume and the fact that her eyes are shut is a big turn off. The wall in the background also makes the photo look really contrived. So in the final analysis, i would have to say that this is really bad because it does not sell the model or the clothes.... maybe the leaves... maybe!
  • Peter Obey
  • Ireland
  • 1 Nov 2006, 09:32
Love the concept of the falling leaves but hate the shot - the angles are all wrong, it looks more XXX than high fashion! The scarf she wears robs the photo of much needed elegance; it makes her look like she has no neck! Her hair could do with a lot more volume and the fact that her eyes are shut is a big turn off. The wall in the background also makes the photo look really contrived. So in the final analysis, I would have to say that this is really bad because it does not sell the model or the clothes.... maybe the leaves... maybe!
Jide Alakija: Hey Pete.

Well your response is really strong and seems almost overly critical as you have not really made any suggestions. Thanks for the comment and in response to them I think you have some valid points but I don't think all of them are.

Her eyes don't look closed at least her face doesn't express them as so. Considering the angles, I'm not even sure what you mean? Can you explicate a bit more on this issue, from what I can see there aren't any angles. When you say XXX, I take it that you are referring to Glamour, I guess that's debateable, I do agree that it may not be percieved as high fashion but really what is high fashion anyway? Some of the things I see in main stream fashion mags fall very short of this and they are highly regarded in my opinion. Neck???? Dude it's Autumn and you wear a scarf!!! No neck please! Hair? Hmmm....I think I could agree with you there but I'm not sure it's that important in this case.

Overall I see you have some valid points but just a matter of opinion, I don't think it's all wrong except from the background!

Waiting for your response.
  • johnnyg
  • United Kingdom
  • 1 Nov 2006, 09:49
Jide, as you know I love your work but this shot does nothing for me. It's too much and too little at the same time. Leaves indoors as a marketing concept just does not work on any level. Colorama do some very nice back drops that would help for indoor concepts which is why the likes of the BBC usess them so much. The lighting however you achieved it is spot on as usual. Looking forward to tomorrow.
Jide Alakija: LMAO! The first line of your comment made me laugh! Well it's only a concept and work in progress. I agree and I would say you have actually helped me improve on this one.
  • micki
  • United States
  • 1 Nov 2006, 11:23
Please keep sharing from your shoots like this. I would love to learn from one who is out there doing this regularly.
  • Jamey
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 1 Nov 2006, 12:06
Nice shot. The lighting looks fine, it's the blurring of the face I'm not too sure about though.
Jide Alakija: Thanks Jamey, no blur in this one. Must be the light.
  • Peter Obey
  • Ireland
  • 1 Nov 2006, 14:10
Can I suggest that you schedule some time in your itinerary to watch a few episodes of America's next top model - Living TV, Mondays at 9pm, reruns on the same channel on Tuesdays at 8pm. Seriously, it will help you understand what it takes to produce excellent fashion shots, and pay particular attention to the panel evaluations at the end. Buy yourself copies of vogue, W, harpers etc and devour the images you see. Study the works of the likes of Testino - http://www.mariotestino.com/main.htm.

In fashion photography there is only so much you as a photographer can do (you direct the shoot)... but the model has a big part to play, which is why the bulk of my critique was directed at her and not you!

Angles - She looks like she is recovering from a split that went wrong... like she slipped on a leaf and was getting back up when you took the shot... her body looks strained!

Face - her eyes do appear shut... the whiff of hair, on her face seems to split her forehead into two! And back to angles, the angle at which she tilted her head made her chin jut out unattractively.

The scarf - The rustic colours do complement the falling leaves but it totally jars with the spandex 'thing' she is wearing, it is also rumpled and most importantly leaves her neckless. At risk of sounding like a broken record, a long neck instantly adds elegance to any fashion shot.

XXX – Her legs are too wide apart, I don’t like the way the heel of her boot points directly at her you know what! Her off shoulder top is too off the shoulder… it is almost as if she was half way through the process of being undressed!

What is high fashion? – High fashion is edgy, moody, complicated, lavish, it is about strong faces, svelte bodies, it’s avant-garde… which is what I presume you were trying to achieve here, the aim here was definitely not to do cataloguey a la next directory type fashion… I am right?

In closing I would like to say that you are an incredibly talented photographer, your work speaks for itself.... but I am not sure that fashion shots are your forte just yet... you need to be passionate about fashion to excel at fashion photography... it is more about feeling and natural instinct than technicality and precision.
Jide Alakija: Now Peter, that's much better. You've given me something to work with. I must admit I too am only learning about this area of photography so I am only but open to all opinions. Now to your comments.

Angles - I'm not sure the pose works for this concept but it was actually copied or rather taken from a fashion shot on another concept, the leaves weren't part of it, we only tried to modify it a bit. So it's a debateable on that one.

Face - I don't think that's something to argue about, I clearly can see her eyes open and her mouth compliments it, remember I have the original but that doesn't count as it's not what I'm showing. Anyway again very debateable.

Scarf - "a long neck instantly adds elegance to any fashion shot" - not all the time. Especially when you are wearing a scarf.

xxx - I'll leave that one open to interpretation, in that I'm not saying that I don't agree with you.

I was really just trying to convery a concept involving the season of the year, now if I have a logo of a scarf manufacturer/designer it might just work, but a little might IMHO.

Dude, I really like it that you have said what you think is the right thing it gives me something to think about.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 1 Nov 2006, 14:33
I read all the comments with interest. The photo you produced is of good quality. It seems that the attempt at making it a fashion shot is what brings on the comments.

I am not a fashion person and don't know how a model should pose, but my common sense tells me that if you shoot fashion, you have to see the fashion and that would be what she is wearing. Measured against this simple requirement, my comment is that I can not really see what she is wearing, except maybe the scarf. The boots are mostly hidden and the thing she is wearing shows as a black mass. I guess modeling black clothing (CK stuff) would be difficult and lighting would then be very important.

What is on her hip - is it an accessory?

In short my comment is that if I had to buy fashion from this photo, I would not properly see what I am supposed to buy.
Jide Alakija: Sometime the point of a shot it not so much what you are buying but the look to which you attribute yourself too. I think if as you say it was selling some clothing then it would be the scarf with this sort of look. I think that would be the point. Remember some shots don't even show you the clothes but more the look.
  • Laurie
  • United States
  • 1 Nov 2006, 14:41
I think Peter did a great job of providing a very substantial and informative critique.

I think I would have liked it in an outdoor setting with the leaves, or at least with a "blank" background as opposed to the wall that is there.
Jide Alakija: He's a star.

Yup I agree on the background!
  • Abiola
  • United States
  • 1 Nov 2006, 15:04
The fact that you are indoors just makes the whole concept of autumn/fall in this shot look quite unnatural...try shooting outdoors...the natural lighting will add another dimension and a more colorful touch...you didn't pick a winner with this one...my friend. One solitary star
  • PhotoSam
  • United Kingdom
  • 1 Nov 2006, 15:45
abiola is slightly right....but other than that i think its absolutely outstanding...8.5/10
Great one, your modell is very natural!
  • Mia
  • US of A
  • 1 Nov 2006, 16:11
Just read what everyone's said and I guess they have a point or two. For me, the one thing that doesn't really appeal is the pose. It appears almost stiff (although she did a good job by pulling off good facial expressions to portray some ease) and I dunno... it doesn't go with autumn leaves and the entire set up. Autumn for me is about bringing out a particular richness out of all the colours and, you could say, speaks for a more "relaxed and fun" atmosphere, as opposed to say winter, which speaks elegance and coolness. But then, I haven't really experimented with fashion photography. I did like the idea behind the shot and I think for starters, you've started with a BANG smile

Love the scarf, the black outfit and minimal ornaments. And she's very pretty too smile She appears confident of her sensuality and THATS a big bonus. On the tech stuff, the lighting is perfect.
  • Steve
  • United Kingdom
  • 1 Nov 2006, 20:03
Away from the majority again - I quite like the leaves and I don't have a problem with them being indoors. It looks like they've been thrown in from the left, whereas they might look better if they'd been dropped from above. I think a plain background would work better, or maybe if there was more distance using the one you've got so the features weren't so distinct.

Could maybe do with a touch more light on her face so we can see her eyes more clearly, and I'd prefer to see her right leg/foot included. But hey, what do I know, I don't shoot people. smile
As a model, I think SarahLouise has great potential. As for this picture, it should have been shot against a white backdrop and kept simple.
I only have comment of a slightly negative element. I would have preferred to have seen slightly less white space at the top and more at the bottom. As there is an autumnal element to it a couple of leaves on the ground around the model would have added more than the blank area at the top. Just an amateur's opinion however.

Lovely idea and well executed.

Loving your anti-spam move...not! wink Sure fire way to avoid spam and reduce the number of comments you get...again imho.
  • asoe
  • United States
  • 2 Nov 2006, 00:51
firstly i want to say that you've done something right to have so many visit regardless of how strong some of the comments are. and i want to add that some people are dumb. i will refrain from making a list.

i feel it should be said, though not always understood that art, in any form is not dictated by a definition, of any kind.

and now my thouhgts on your photo. a lot can be said and felt in style in regards to setting. how will this photo be seen. i can imagin it blown up and on the wall of a clothing store. one that repeats the theme of hard wood and molded walls. one with warm fall colors and muted tones. or five foot high and leaning on the floor once again matching the room. where spot lights and natural light combine. in that case this is tip top. even in print, if the theme is connected.

i would also adore this with a plane backdrop that blends into the floor, where only the model and the leaves are focused on. in this case i would work with more contrast, either stark white or a dark grey where the tones of the flesh and the clothes are not lost or muted but focused on. that in it's self would create more contrast in the face and clothes and your lighting would still be excellent.

in the end we are all still learning, it's not a matter of what you know but what you're willing to try, and fail when need be that will turly help us progress.
  • shooter
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 2 Nov 2006, 17:08
Jide I think I would echo the comments of Peter who described succinctly the post, I must say I have wondered about this girls posing in previous posts as it has on occasion appeared awkward or incongruous...
  • nev
  • Australia
  • 3 Nov 2006, 03:31
A lot has been said about this photo already jide. I like that you experimented with the leaves. I think they could have worked despite the background if the look from sarahlouise was one of disbelief or amazement that they are even there to begin with. i think more light on her face as suggested by others would have lifted it a bit. i think i agree with simon too about foreground. Nice work
  • chunter
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 3 Nov 2006, 09:32
Hi Jide. Sorry, pushed for time so haven't yet read all the other critiques, so apologies if I'm repeating what's already been said.
I'm interested in this area myself, so I will come back and read them in due course.

The background is my main problem. Nothing about the attire of the model is in keeping with the dated décor - dado railing, deep skirting board and wall-fixed wiring - so it seems incongruous. It needs something doing with it, either all white or graduated from dark to light somehow.

Overall it seems a bit dingey and could do with brightening up, perhaps with stronger autumnal colours. No problem with the leaves - in fact I think it could be raining more of them.

Tell you what, I'll give it half an hour of work and send you a copy and see if it's any improvement or a complete travesty! See ya!
  • àsìkò
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 4 Nov 2006, 09:30
WHATEVER this is fashion photography jare, fashion photography hasn't got boundaries, go on jare
  • Jon
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 4 Nov 2006, 10:58
Great idea Jide. Really like this.
  • Brent Vermilyea
  • 8 Dec 2006, 06:17

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