8 Weeks of Portraits

Week 4 - Francesco Scavullo

Week 4's photographer is Francesco Scavullo.  Scavullo grew up on Staten Island, using his sisters as models while shooting images with his father's camera.  Despite his father's initial attempts to get him into another career, Scavullo went on to became a famous fashion photographer.  He is best known for his covers of Cosmopolitan magazine, but also created many celebrity portraits.  He was known for his meticulous attention to the details of the shoot - makeup, hair, etc.

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My model Carrie and I decided not to go with the 70's and 80's look of Scavullo's photos, but instead put on a more modern twist, i.e., no big hair or shoulder pads.  She came with some jewelry and hats to use as props and a few different outfits, and we got to work.

Many of Scavullo's images were shot with "clamshell lighting" - a light above the camera aimed at the model and a white reflector under the model to give more light to the areas that would normally fall into shadow.  My aim was to create images using this technique.  After some technical difficulties with my lights, and improvising ways to hold up the reflector in my makeshift sunroom studio, we played around with a few different lighting setups.  Some worked and some didn't, but that's the point of the class...to learn new things.  

While I don't think I'll be getting jobs with Cosmo anytime soon, it was a fun evening trying some new techniques which I will absolutely use in the future, because I like the clean look of the images. 

Next up is photographer Albert Watson...I have a few ideas brewing, so we'll see what happens next week!