A Room with a View

Yesterday I met up with Olivia Åhman to do another photo session. This time we had planned to shoot both indoors and outdoors, but we had so many ideas that we ended up photographing in Olivia’s apartment the entire afternoon. It was an overcast day, which gave a very soft light from the window. Occasionally the sun would pop out and give us harder shadows to work with. At one point we wanted more control over the light so we brought out a flash. For a few hours Olivia’s apartment was transformed into a photo studio, and we moved furniture around to make sure we had a clean background for the photos. Here is a selection of my favourite photos from the day.

Wrapping Olivia in a patterned fabric, and playing with the fact that her hands were visible through it.
A simple headshot of Olivia, just using the window light. We had a big white sheet on the right side to lighten the shadows a bit.
Trying to create a more dramatic photo by including the hand. I edited this photo to have a stronger contrast to emphasise the hand.
Next we boiled some water, and opened up the window. Our plan was to have a bit of the water vapour show, and it worked in a few photos, but I preferred the angle of view in this one and here you can not really see it. With a back or side flash you can make it more visible, like in the Taming of the Shrew photoshoot.

We then decided to spray some water on the window, to give them a bit of texture. This was an idea we took from the Moon River photo shoot, which is one of my favourites from the Cambridge era.

Olivia’s grandfather had given her an old camera, which we decided to incorporate. Also I like the contrast between the heavy coat and the lighter linen underneath.
I like that Olivia’s head is turned away in this photo, and the framing with the window.
Sneaking a peak of the imaginary neighbours across the road.
That must be a really good edition of Vogue.
After that we took a few more dance inspired poses. Here again we photographed Olivia just next to the window. This corner turned out to be a great spot.
We had originally planned to do a lot more dynamic photos. This is one of the few ones that we ended up doing. I had used 1/250s shutter, but it was not enough for a completely sharp image so I then experimented with Photoshop’s built in shake reduction. I was really impressed by what it managed to do, you can see my previous version without the shake reduction here.
The window is to the left, and we have an IKEA mirror to the right acting as a reflector.
Olivia had suggested that we should get some red balloons and to some photos with that and red lipstick. A happy raspberry?

Later on in the day Olivia’s friend Klara Jorméus joined us for a few spontaneous photos.

While Olivia was getting changed I took some photos of Klara by the window. Here looking at an imaginary neighbour doing funny business on the roof on the other side of the street. Here I am purposefully including her reflection in the window.
A few last photos, taken on the balcony by the staircase.
Switching places, Olivia and Klara were better lit, while the background remained dark.
One last photo on the stairs.

Many thanks to Olivia and also her friend Klara for a fun afternoon! If you want to see more photos of Olivia, check out our photo session in Gamla Stan two weeks ago.

– Johannes

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