No makeup project shoot with Melissa Alice

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No makeup project shoot with Melissa Alice

Melissa Alice lives not too far away from me and she had some availability to come to the studio to work on this project shoot. I saw one of her photos on an internet modelling website and just loved the look of her curly hair and she would be just perfect for my no-makeup project.

She was keen too so we set a time and date for last weekend and I planned to do the no-makeup look for probably just over an hour and then spend some more time with her on some different looks with makeup. I was hoping the weather was going to be a bit brighter but unfortunately it was a little dull and drizzly outside so the amount of light coming through the window was not too great, but not too bad overall sometimes or so I thought. Looking at the data for the shots for different sets though, there actually were big differences in the ISO between sets.

The first set started off reasonably low at 640 ISO as I was using the 56mm wide open at f1.2:

The second set I needed a wider angle for the sat down shots and so had to swap over to the 18-55mm at f4 and so that got bumped up to 5000-6000 ISO and you can see the “grain” in the photos. Still looks quite nice though I think.

And then the final set with a bigger window not too far from some steps, I could go back to the 56mm but still the ISO was drifting around the 1600-2000 mark.


So whilst the ISO was pretty varied overall for these natural light no-makeup sets, the X-T2 really holds its composure.

Then next I thought I’d experiment a little with the look and do something Melissa hadn’t done before, something with a slight modern edge to it. On with some makeup and this look was quite simple against a white wall and I handheld a spotlight normally used for reading in the one hand and the X-T2 in the other hand. So nice when the camera/lens combination is light and manageable enough to hold in one hand (X-T2 and 18-55mm) … with a fast enough shutter speed of 1/160th second with the lens image stabilisation (OIS) selected to all minimise camera shake. The look of the light I also quite like and depending on how I positioned it in relation to the camera, I could get a ring-light look to it with shadow all around if I positioned the camera more or less next to the spotlight.  Position the light high up and to the side and you get a nice shadow coming off and down from the body.


Then to finish off something a little more styled with some steampunk clothing items I had. Two of my Profoto B2 flash heads were used for this and a reasonably wide aperture on the 56mm for the closeup portraits and the 18-55mm at f5.6 for everything else.


So overall a really enjoyable shoot, some great photos and many thanks to Melissa Alice for spending time with me.


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