1940's inspired photo shoot

1940’s inspired photo shoot

On my last post I mentioned spontaneously finding myself in a photo shoot with the vintage model Shanona Dreem. It was such a good experience, that we decided to get together again and arrange a 1940’s inspired black and white film photo shoot.

I was actually rather nervous about this shoot, because the previous one resulted in such a nice arrangement of photos that made me feel, I couldn’t possibly reproduce that level of awesomeness. I’m happy to say that we got few keepers this time too, even though I shot only 20 frames on 35mm film and few shots on 6×6. I’m sad to say I don’t have the 6×6 shots yet, because my Rolleicord actually broke during this shoot. I was able to take only few shots with it until it suddenly malfunctioned. I had to rely on my Leica M6 for the rest of the day. I should have the 6×6 pics soon enough though, and I’ll post them later.

We didn’t have as good lighting or settings as last time, but here are my favourite shots from the day.

This is my favourite image of the shoot. Such a classic look and a beautiful image! I could have use one stop less light, as Shanona’s face is a bit over exposed — but otherwise really nice image.

I’ve been having such nice results with pulled Tri-x lately, that I wanted to continue experimenting with the same recipe again. I shot these images at ISO 200, because I really wanted to reduce the contrast in the negatives. It might have actually been a bit of a mistake, because I managed to over expose some shots pretty badly. I was somewhat upset with myself, as I should’ve known how to meter better. But then again, the lighting was mostly pretty demanding. There was a lot of direct, very bright sunlight from the setting sun. I still seem to struggle a lot with that kind of lighting.

Super nice, actual 1940’s outfit.

We happened to spot this old Volvo. This isn’t actually a posed image, but Shanona stopped for a moment to fix her outfit. It seemed like a nice candid moment, where something real was taking place. I couldn’t help but to take the shot. There’s other, posed, versions of this scene as well, but for some reason I liked this one the most. The car isn’t from the 1940’s, but it was still too nice looking to pass.

 

I had a bunch of other shots as well, but this time I really wanted to pick just the best and leave the other ones aside. I was prepared to take at least two rolls of photos… quite possibly three. I even had a fourth one in my bag, but in the end, I was struggling to finish even the first roll. Even though I’ve been shooting film now for quite some time, I’m still amazed just how much it slows you down. I was actually somewhat disappointed that I came back home with only one half finished roll of film, but now that I think about it, I’m glad I was picky and really picked my shots. It would’ve been awesome to get 15 keepers, but to be honest, three good images from a single shoot is more than enough.

Next time I really want to take this whole thing to medium format too for historical accuracy. I don’t feel the 35mm format is the best thing for this kind of stuff. First time in ages, I’m not super exited about having all that gain. For a good looking model with an amazing outfit and makeup, I would perhaps prefer a smoother look and slicker level of details. Grain and grit is awesome for street shooting, but this time I would’ve enjoyed a cleaner look for sure. But other than that, super happy with the results once again! Special thanks of course to Shanona Dreem for coming along!

You can find Shanona’s Instagram profile at @shanonadreem — give her a follow for more vintage vibes!

Pekka

Graphic designer and a 35mm film photography enthusiast. I enjoy straight photography on natural/available light and in-camera techniques. I'm inspired by early and mid-1900's classic photojournalism, street photography and documentary photography. Currently shooting mainly with Leica M6, and Olympus OM-4.

More Posts