When the circus comes to town, I get busy. After doing photo shoots with Elina, a production coordinator with Cirque Du Soleil who were performing TOTEM in Nagoya, I was contacted by Gisselle. Gisselle works in the costume department at Cirque, helping the performers with their hair, costume repairs, and makeup, and she also designs clothes, so she knows a lot about the world of fashion. At the time that she contacted me, Cirque was already winding up its Nagoya production, so we scheduled a quick afternoon session and met in Sakae near the TV Tower. When we met, the sun was already low in the sky and the temperature was dropping, so we kept the session pretty short. For spring and summer photo sessions, I often shoot without flash and overexpose the ambient light to brighten the subject's face and blow out the background for a bright, sunny, airy feel, but in this case I decided to use an off camera flash. That way I could add fill light to Gisselle's face without having to overexpose the ambient light. I liked how her face stood out against the grey, wintry background and her black coat. I started out doing portraits as a "natural light photographer" but recently have been experimenting more with flash and discovering the possibilities it affords. I'm still not a fan of overly strong flash, which can give a surreal, staged look, but to the extent that it lets you control exposure of the subject and background independently, I am excited by the potential. In this case, I thought the darker mood suited Gisselle's exotic beauty and sleek figure. I also edited some of the photos in black and white to enhance the intensity of her eyes, and bring out details in her beautiful hair. I've enjoyed having the chance to work with some great models recently, but now I will likely get back to doing more landscape, street and abstract photography for awhile--at least until the circus comes to town again.
You can see some of Gisselle's clothing designs on her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Gisselle-Couture-Studio-200148146689722/