With a little down time on my hands, I finally decided to revisit my first cover shoot in June of 2010 and apply newer post-processing techniques I'd picked up in the years since. At the time, I was satisfied enough with the results, probably in the same way that two years from now I'll feel like my current work is sub-par. Such is the life of a creative.
Or I'm just OC.
The exact details are a little hazy, but I remember being really excited when I found out I got assigned to shoot the cover for the August 2010 issue of Health&Lifestyle magazine.
Not only would it be my very first cover, it was also the first time I'd shoot in a studio. I absorbed as much as I could in the days leading up to the shoot, reading up on any material I could get my hands on and watching lighting tutorial after lighting tutorial online. This, after just one year of owning a DSLR, led to quite a bit of anxiety.
I got reassurance from our then-head writer, Edwin, that Phoemela Baranda would be a treat to shoot. Being entirely unaware of the who's who of the Philippines (a recurring theme in many ensuing shoots, I'll admit), I found out that Phoemela had been in the industry since she was 13 as a model-turned-actress-turned-TV host.
The day of the shoot, I remember checking, double-checking, and triple-checking my diagrams and ratios for each setup so we could transition smoothly between each look. Something someone failed to tell me was that I was supposed to provide "pegs" for the stylist. The only direction I ended up being able to give was that the issue's theme centered on cosmetic surgery.
We had rented out the studio for three hours, but from start to finish, minus the short lunch break in between, I took 193 pictures in an hour and 14 minutes on just one body and lens. I knew to bring backups but never ended up using them. The diagrams and ratios? I followed maybe one. I learned a lot from that first shoot, invaluable lessons I'd only get with more experience.
Apparently, post-processing was not one of them. Thankfully, I knew enough to shoot in the RAW format, something I didn't end up using to its full potential the first time around because of my unfamiliarity with it as well as the software to handle it. I'm still far from truly developing my own style, but I've gone through my favorites from the shoot and started from what is essentially the equivalent of a film negative and applied techniques I feel I lacked two and a half years ago.
I just hope this post won't come back to haunt me in 2014.