Pro Climber Emma Twyford in Da House

12th Oct 2011

 I hadn't seen Emma for a couple of years. In fact the last time I saw her was a British Championship held on a wet and windy Saturday in Blackpool. Bad weather seems to be a reoccurring theme in our shoots! I first photographed Emma Twyford when she was 15. Perhaps that should have read "tried" to photograph her, as pouring rain most definitely stopped play. Torrential rain was once again on the menu just a week ago when we tried to get together and take some photos for her new clothing sponsor Marmot.

Fast forward a week and you guessed it, another wet day! But by the time Emma arrived at the studio it was barely spitting with rain so we opted to do a couple of shots outside. So if I couldn't get a nice "Outdoorsy" or climbing shot, then at least there was an opportunity to try to get something a little different against the fabulously decaying backdrops and industrial deriliction that rules near the studio.

First up we opted to shoot agains't a rusty old gate to get a little texture into the shot, I liked the idea of this set up, the colors of the gate almost matching the color of Emma's top, sadly it was almost over before we began - yep you guessed it and rain doesn't go particularly well with Profoto flash kit so we had to just grab a couple and then high tail it indoors.


 As you can see from the diagram below, it was a pretty basic set-up. A single Profoto flash head fired through a 3ft Octobox and angled almost to miss Emma, the edge of the light just spilling on to her.Emma 1

For the next shot we didn't really have a brief, the only input I'd had from the client was "a portrait we can use on our website and in any printed media to illustrate who Emma is" I thought about a head and shoulders style portrait, but in the end decided to go for something a little more contemporary. I still wanted to include a few bits and pieces of climbing paraphernalia like a rope and harness. I quite like the shot below, but I'm not totally happy with it. The hair is a little messy and I don't like the spacing between the harness and clothing, but its OK.


 Again the lighting set-up was pretty basic (see below) two rim lights and a front light.  The front light was fired through a 4 foot Octobox to produce a soft light and some nice catch-lights in the eyes and placed on a boom just above her head and about 2ft away. The rim lights were placed either side of her and just behind the shoulders and fired through small softboxes with grids to prevent lens flare. I opted to use a 50mm f1.4 lens at f2 to keep the background slightly out of focus

Emma 2