Salon Swish – Fashion Show

Salon Swish – Fashion Show

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I covered a fundraising fashion show for Swish, a salon in downtown Tacoma. It was short and sweet, but a lot of cool hair and makeup concepts, the people at Swish definitely are on their game. It was my first visit there, so I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. It’s a cool place, has a nice, fresh vibe as you enter. Lots of fun colors and things spread around the space, a location that I’d actually like to shoot in.

I spent a couple minutes taking shots of the staff getting the girls ready. I’ve started taking a new approach with covering events… As much as I like to not use any lighting for events, as I feel that it’s much more of a documentary approach to the photography rather than a staged shoot, but a lot of the times the lighting is just bad. Let me take that back… not bad, but terrible. Lighting is either so dim that I have to make adjustments to the camera to counter, and I get grainy images, or the lighting is really harsh, forming terrible shadows on the subjects. This location was half and half, the salon area had decent lighting, but the runway location what about the worse I’d ever seen. Hence the first time I started working with an assistant roaming alongside me with a light. More specifically, a hot shoe flash unit stuffed into a 2′ x 2′ softbox. Lots of people and busyness, so no light stands here. We were moving too quickly, so Alice, my assistant, hand-held the lighting rig. This gave me incredible flexibility and speed to execute quick, off-the-hip shots that turned out pretty good. Shots that look nice and crisp, and allowing a bit of lighting control over my rather out-of-control environment. If you are interested in this highly mobile lighting stuff, I have a post coming very soon that goes into great detail on this topic (also happens to be the same setup I used for the shoots on the Maui trip). Now back to the event…

I’m really glad I brought the lighting in, as the colors in all the makeup work really pop, and the colors are much more clear and true. I shot a lot of these with my macro lens, letting me get nice and close so that you can see all that detail the salon designers applied. A lot people think about bugs, flowers, etc. when they hear the work “macro,” but macro lenses are among the sharpest lenses out there, and are great for even portraiture and general photo taking, or… eyeballs. 🙂

The fashion show was fun, and I got to spend some time with a couple of the models after the show was complete. Found a couple fun locations in the building, and using the same mobile lighting setup, snapped these.

Not too shabby for a “hey, can I steal 2 minutes of your time for a quick photo” setup, eh?

Much more coming up, guys! I’m still pumping out the Maui wedding photos, plus the trash the dress shoot, along with some great pics from a hike I went on while visiting the island. Oh, and the gear posts… Lots coming! Hoping to have those out in the next few days.