Behind the Scenes of Out of the Fog: Shiloh Leath (Part 1)

 
Leah Schonauer
 

     On January 9th, I shared my personal project entitled Out of the Fog. Out of the Fog is a series that brings out the hidden thoughts of self-worth among individuals. Created with elements of mystery, surrealism, and dramatic qualities, symbols are used in each image to represent the idea of self-worth. The portraits also involve the models' perspectives of who they are, what their values are, how they doubt themselves, and what keeps them from being positive. Read more about the meaning and inspiration behind Out of the Fog by reading my introduction here: Introduction

     When I approached Shiloh to see if she would have any interest in being one of my subjects, she was more than willing and very excited to share her story. In fact, I still have the message she sent which read, “Yes I'm so so so honored you thought of me. I'm a huge fan of your work. Just let me know what to do.” With lots of happy emojis. That’s the kind of people I like to work with, people who are excited to make art happen, and are willing to go out of their way to make it work. Shiloh is a photographer as well, and has amazing work, which you can view on her page here: Shiloh Victoria Photography. Not only is her work incredible, but so is her story. Like all the other models, I interviewed Shiloh to answer the questions listed previously. Through the final images, I wanted to get across every essence of the pain that she has faced, and how she has risen from it. She is also very much for feminism and shows that through her images. I wanted to replicate the style of work she creates, because it is so much a part of who she is.

     If there is any advice to share with fellow photographers, I would say don't be afraid to direct your subject. YOU are the only one that has the vision of the final image, and it is up to you to explain it to the best of your ability. There is no other way that your model can portray what you see in your mind. If the photo isn’t working out how you had planned, take a short break and demonstrate what you want done. And of course, always be respectful and kind to your model in the process of working with them.

Leah Schonauer
Leah Schonauer
Leah Schonauer
Leah Schonauer

     The lighting set up was relatively simple. I prepared for the worst, and brought four flashes and stands with me, but only ended up using one. I used the one flash and a combination of ambient light for a more dramatic look. And with the help of my assistant, I used a gold reflector to bounce some of the flash back into the shadows. 

     The final images chosen to be used for Out of the Fog from Shiloh's shoot look very different than the shots straight out of camera. Next week, I will be sharing the specific look I wanted to share through the tones, use of fog, and other editing techniques. I will also be sharing more in depth on the symbolism and poetry shared along with these two portraits.

 

The first image was shot with my 85mm, 1/125 at 2.8, ISO 100. I really love the shadows and the light it brings to only part of Shiloh's eyes, created with the use of one flash off to the right and pointed down.

 
  The second image was shot with my 24-105mm, 1/80 at f/4, ISO 200. The same lighting technique was used for this shot to create a dramatic atmosphere.

The second image was shot with my 24-105mm, 1/80 at f/4, ISO 200. The same lighting technique was used for this shot to create a dramatic atmosphere.

Special thanks to Elise Baker of E.B. Photography for behind the scenes photos.

Live by faith & share through fotos.