Werrimull Debutante Ball, or ducking the wind and rain.
The Werrimull Debutante Ball is unusual in a few ways. Firstly as Werrimull is a small rural community. Geographically remote by many peoples standards, there is a stronger feeling of community than you would experience in larger towns and cities. Conducting a Debutante Ball in a town like Werrimull presents organizers with challenges less likely to occur in more populated regions. For example when it comes to organizing photographers for the event. Unlike centres like Mildura for instance, where, if there are 20 girls making their debut. There will be 19 photographers available. Each with either a studio or a favorite location available to cover all weather contingencies. The Werrimull Debutante Ball this year had only six girls. And only a very limited number of photographers willing to travel and provide weather and location contingencies.
Frankly, from our point of view. Or should that be from our accountants point of view, we should have stayed home. Designing and building a suitable set. Transporting it to a location away from our studio, setting it up, conducting the photo session then pulling the thing down and transporting it back home is not a five minute job. In fact, if we don’t count the two days Robyn spent working out how to design the transportable photo set. Buying props, or having them built. And only look at the photography day. Three people full time for 10 hours… well you do the maths. Not that we’re complaining. We had a great time. doing what love doing most of all. Meeting and photographing a whole bunch of terrific people.
Our first beautiful Debutante is Bianca and partner Michael. Standing in our main set. Yup, we had more than one setup. In this blog post I hope to show you each of the setups. Also the plan is to show each Debutantes and their partners either individually or as a couple. One shot of each person involved. And yes I know some people will have bigger photos than others. Why, because vertical images appear bigger on the blog. Some of our setups where horizontal. Others vertical. That is just the way it is. There is no favoritism. Just technical restrictions.
Monica, in our main set . Robyn has to have all the credit for this shot. She immediately notice two things. Monica’s dress and the way it flowed. And secondly the way Monica carried herself. Both would blend together nicely to create this image.
Moving in close on our main set, adding a kicker light and we have a half length portrait of Monica’s partner Brent. During the night we ran seven of eight studio strobe lighting outfits. Two of which were controlled by radio from our camera. The rest were optically slaved, which means they all fire at the same time without the need for cables running all over the place. The disadvantage is that if aunty Mary decides to take a picture on her little point and shoot camera. All our strobes will also fire. Luckily this didn’t happen. The safer alternative is for us to radio control all our lights. Downside to that is that radio is less reliable than optical slaves. If one radio receiver stops working, it may go unnoticed. Which isn’t fun.
Kimberly comes along, takes a seat and we create a timeless looking toned portrait.
Kimberly’s partner Mark, joins her on set for a coulor version of the same set. Remember, we are just showing you a random selection of looks and images we created on the night of the Werrimull Debutante ball. In fact all these images where shot in a local school room. Thanks go to the school for helping us out with a rain and wind proof location.
Sammy Jo, in front of our second set. A whole bunch of LED lights add sparkle.
This is Sammy’s partner, Jack. Photographed against our second set. If you’re wondering why the color difference between our main set and the secondary set. (I know you were…. ) The second set was lit by a different style of light. We wanted to make the second set distinctly different from the main.
The beautiful Claire, in front of the second set. This is the way it was originally planned to be used. For the girls all soft and glamourous. Then we noticed that if we hardened the light a bit, the guys looked good on set as well.
Amanda, on the main set, with a white background.
Right…. couple of things I have to tell you. It’s late at night as I do this. I’ve been shooting most of the day. My brain may have stopped working a little earlier. I haven’t covered all the looks and changes we shot at the Werrimull Debutante Ball. And yes I have dropped a couple of double ups in. Sorry about that. Now…. The man above is Amanda’s partner. His name is Jack….. Yup… Three Jack’s in succession. Who woulda thunked that. But it gets better, because, the last deb partner I photographed today, before writing this lot was…. you guessed it JACK. All good looking blokes though…. Must be the name ya reckon.
All in all the 2013 Werrimull Debutante Ball was a whole lotta fun to photograph. We managed to get the setup and pull down done without getting wet. Plus we now have a great set of pictures to show the girls.