facetime portraits

"you don't need the best equipment to capture striking images."

Instagram: @skyes.shutters

Skye Reed, a first year fashion photography student talks to anonstyle about the inspiration behind her FaceTime portraits and how she has stayed creative during lockdown.


So, Skye, how are you keeping creative during lockdown?

Firstly, I am trying to stay creative during lockdown by filling my day with creative things, even if it's not practicing my editing skills its filmmaking, painting, or drawing. However, saying this, I have tried not to put pressure on myself to be overly creative all the time. As this is such a difficult time for everyone, it is an opportunity to gain a good balance between rest and productivity that we can't usually find in our hectic lives.


I have been taking time to listen to my mind and body and what I actually have a desire to do, when I'm not ticking things off of my to-do list. This helps me have no expectations for what I am creating. 


What inspired your FaceTime shoots?

I was inspired to do the facetime shoots purely to keep producing content for my Instagram. I'm trying to grow a following on there in order to make some income from client bookings while studying, and kickstart my career in this industry; so I try to be consistent with posting. It also motivates me to practice photography and I find the best way for me to learn is by doing; so by doing shoots regularly, I can do so.


As a result of lockdown, I had minimal content for my Instagram so I tried to think of ways I could continue creating and practicing. I saw one of my favourite photographers (Cvatik) post a facetime shoot he did and it inspired me so much to try it myself. It was definitely a challenge but it was a really nice way to access models and challenge my photographic skills under the circumstances.  


As I am unable to scout a location or work with a makeup artist, the model and I have to discuss creative direction together; it begins with me and the model talking about which part of their house has the best daylight at which time of the day. I am planning to do some more facetime shoots with different models with different types of light sources, but for my first attempts, I wanted to use a light source I am usually confident with using.


On both occasions the best lighting has been opposite a window, so the next step is to discuss the corresponding background. I usually ask what the model has around them that could better the background aesthetically, for example, bedsheets, plants, etc. I ask the model to move things around and also try to prop their device in different areas for different angles; it takes a lot of trial and error but if you and your model are willing to dedicate yourselves to the shoot for a while, it will be successful. 


To take the photos I use the in-app "facetime photo" which comes out the same quality as an image taken on the device, which isn't as high in quality as I am used to capturing in, but better quality than a screenshot. Editing the images is a challenge, as I am so used to editing in raw and the photos have such little information in comparison, that it really tests what I have learned.

I would recommend everyone gives this a go, it is a great way to stay creative and work with models and also a great test for your photographic and editing skills. It just proves that you don't need the best equipment to capture striking images. It is humbling to know that top of the range equipment is just a tool, and that your creativity is what you harness to produce images that you and other people love.

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