Having very similar ideas and being both very keen on experimenting with natural light, setting up a photo shoot in one of Malta’s most spectacular beaches was a natural course of action.
Matthew Grech, a very young yet, very talented, photographer spends hours just thinking about the concepts and dedicates a lot of time to research different ideas and techniques to apply to his photo shoots. He is also very selective and searches for the right model whose looks compliment the overall concept of the shoot.
Matthew also believes that high-tech equipment is always of an advantage to a photographer, however, it is not this aspect that distinguishes him from all of the others.
In fact, as part of my styling and creative work, over the years I came to understand that successful results in a photo shoot demand:
– Knowledge of different eras of fashion, art and photography. These elements will inspire new ideas.
– Understanding where your inspiration is coming from, and your ability to express this and communicate it to the rest of the team.
– A thorough analysis of various photographic rules and techniques.
– And last but not least, a good selection of the subject.
A photographer and a stylist’s work can therefore be compared to that of an artist. Just like the impressionist artists of the early 20th Century, who used to experiment by painting their subjects at different times of the day to study the effects of light to create different moods, a photographer using natural light must also understand that the various aspects of light are fundamental to achieve the effects s/he desires. Understanding the source of light, whether being natural or artificial, the amount of light, and its direction, will make a considerable effect.
Other techniques that can be applied to create interesting results are the ‘depth of field’ and the ‘rule of thirds’. The depth of field, whether in the foreground or background, creates a very interesting visual effect whilst the rule of thirds create a very interesting composition and layout in a photograph. Matthew also believes in ‘quality’ rather than in ‘quantity’. During a shoot he prefers to focus on the set-up and concentrate on the quality of the images taken even if this implies a lot of time just to capture ‘one’ – but ‘perfect’ – image.
A good colour combination is also essential. For this shoot an analogous combination was selected. This combination is created by using hues that are close to each other on the colour wheel, such as different shades of blue and green. This type of combination creates a very soothing contrast and balances the visual impact. Hence, the selection of the blues and the greens. Being a beach shoot, we wanted to create a fresh, relaxing feeling and selected hues such as mint and sky blue to match the natural greenery of the seabed and the blue of the eyes of the subject.
A minimal but striking contrast is always very effective, and therefore our make-up artist Rachel Gilford decided to use red hues for the eyes and the lips which are in complete contrast with the whole look.
Finally, the selection of the location is of utmost importance. Ghar Lapsi, a unique, hidden, tiny bay with natural rocky swimming pools proved to be the right location for this shoot, reminiscent of Sicilian beaches of the 50’s with its crystal clear azure waters, old boat houses and colourful fishing boats.