I recently shot this Afro hair collection with Nicole Iroh from Headmasters. The collection named “OBSIDIAN” is a celebration of afro hair and hair with a naturally curly texture. Many hair collections of this type usually straighten or use wigs to change the colour and texture of the models hair but we really wanted to celebrate its natural and cultural styles with braiding, plaiting, dreadlocks and afro itself.
IMG models got in touch and let me know that they had a girl in town from the dominican republic, Elah who they would like me to shoot. As you can see, she is phenomenal………she moved like no one I’ve ever worked with before, had flawless radiant skin, incredible hair and was a joy to work with! This all tied in perfectly so I enlisted the help of make-up extraordinaire Carol Brown from Terri Manducca agency. Her skin work is incredible and makes shooting and retouching a dream!
Styling was kept super simple as to keep the emphasis on the hair.
THE SET UP
I set up a grey backdrop and two black poly boards either side of the model to stop any bounce back from the background lights.
The lighting consisted of four flash heads. Two Lencarta Smart Flash were used to light the background fitted with grids to control spill. The left hand background light was set relatively low and the power input of the right light was minimal as I wanted some, but not strong shadow.
My key light was a Lencarta Elite Pro, fitted with my favourite modifier; the Lencarta high intensity reflector (with grid) to keep the light strong and directional and set directly above where I was shooting. The fourth light was a Lencarta Elite Pro fitted with the standard reflector and grid. This was the only light in the setup which was fluid and changed position throughout the shoot to pick out certain parts of the hair.
I was shooting in black and white with my own settings in both my camera and tethered in Lightroom. The settings gave the skin that dark glossy tone and i also added some grain in post pro which I think works really well. For a simple starting point, try the blue filter black and white preset in light room for a similar look and play around and personalise your own at a later date.
The shots have been extremely popular with publications and press so far with offers of editorial, features and a cover in trade and consumer press.
See more of my work at http://www.tonylebritton.com and you can follow what else I’m up to on Instagram @tonylebritton
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