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Lighting Tutorials – Lighting diagram [cont]

Well it’s Friday and I still have lots to do but I’m excited for the coming weeks. I have a few exciting ideas brewing and I can’t wait to get started on them.

How’s your photography coming along? Please drop me a line letting me know what you’re working on or trying to learn and let’s see if we can’t figure it out together.

Have a lovely weekend. See you next week.

Model: Danielle and Make up and hair by Martin Rab

Lighting Diagram for a beauty image by David Otokpa

Lighting diagram from the nice folks at

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Lighting Tutorials – Lighting diagram

Following on from the last post, we’ll continue with our lighting tutorial. Let us look at another image and the lighting set up for the image.

Model beauty image

Model: Danielle, Make up and hair by Martin Rab


Lighting diagram from the nice folks at

Have a lovely day.

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Exposed – Lighting diagram and image :-)

Not really what you thought it would be is it? Well I’m posting images and the lighting diagrams.

I’ve been very busy these past couple of days and haven’t had any time to type up anything for the blog and last weeks post was also quite a bit to take in so I’ve decided to keep it light this week.

Have a great week.

Here’s an image shot for a mock jeans ad. Camera settings at ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/160 and a focal length of 150.0mm.

2 lights. One gridded for the background (camera left and behind the model) and one gridded softbox (camera right and beside the model)

Sexy Jeans Ad

Mock Jeans Ad. Model: Christina

The Lighting Diagram was created at

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April 17, 2012 - 8:47 pm

Chris Ihidero - Hey David, this is very good. Keep up the good work.



Photo Shoot :- From planning to execution [Part 2]

Back for day 2 of the planning to execution of a photo shoot series. Today, we’re going to look at what I put together and send out to the entire team. I also have this and update it or add any information I need as the day approaches. Read through, and feel free to ask any questions you might have.

I got the original template for this from another photographer called Sans Talbot, who is based out of Austin Texas. Anyway, feel free to modify it to suit your needs. The lesson here is that proper planning is needed to keep things as productive as possible.

The shoot was supposed to involve a female model who couldn’t make it on the day so I had to change the story slightly on the day. You should always leave room for some surprises and be ready to improvise.


David Otokpa logo

Project Title: Street Fight



This is an un-commissioned photo shoot to show the raw and animal side of humans.

Images should depict the violence in a graphic but not shocking way. The aim is for the viewer to be comfortable looking at the images and find them aesthetically pleasing. The mood of the images should be set using location and light.


Project Description:

The shoot narrates the story of a chance encounter between 3 strangers. 2 men and one beautiful woman. She catches the eye of both men and in a bid to decide who gets her they get into a street fight.

Traditional kick-boxing meets street fighting in an extreme and brutal way.

Both male models are geared up to fight and rather than use regular boxing gloves or bandages, their arms are wrapped in cotton ropes. On some carefully staged scenes, pieces of bottles will be attached to the knuckles of the boxers for an even bizarre and extreme look.

The female is strong and fashionable. Watching the fight with a look of slight enjoyment on her face at some moments.

Interaction between male models and female model should be present. (Direct line of sight and showmanship is important.)

There should also be a group scene with people taking bets and watching the fight. With an aim to include people dressed in various styles and classes.



David Otokpa

Reference Images and Ideas:


reference images collected online for photo shoot not all shot by me.



1 Female Model: Cancelled.
5’10 and taller.

2 Male Models: Mun Dhariwal & Conan

6’ and above.
One clean cut and one rougher looking.

Model Requirements & Nudity level:


Should be comfortable posing with models of same and opposite sex.

Model Release Required.


Wardrobe and Look:

Fighters to wear suits and change into street / gym clothes.

Female model is to be elegantly dressed.

Hair & Make up:

Blood / special effects make up.


Location Address


Sunday, August 22,2010

Call Time : 10am – 6pm.


TFP. (Time for Pictures)

Photographer will make a selection of no less than 3 images to be retouched and delivered to models.



As always, questions and comments are welcome.

Have a lovely week. See you next week.


To see the resulting images from this shoot please click to view the “FIGHT CLUB” Series in SPORTS & FITNESS section of my PORTFOLIO.
You can also download a pdf copy of the production file “HERE


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Photo Shoot :- From planning to execution [Part 1]

Hello and welcome back! How was your mini holiday? I hope you got to shoot and practice with your cameras. I want to apologise for the late post. I was supposed to post this yesterday but I had 2 shoots over the break and lots of work to get done.

I mentioned last week that we would be looking at the process I go through when planning and setting up a photo shoot.
For easy consumption, this post will be divided into 2. Today I’ll talk about the process and tomorrow we’ll go through a call and production sheet of an actual shoot.


I spend lots of time reading, watching movies, visiting museums and galleries, looking through any and everything visual as I love feasting my eyes and my mind. This is probably the most important part for me. It keeps me excited and challenged while also staying in the loop of what is out there and what is not.

You don’t want to spend valuable time planning and executing a shoot only to find out it has already been done; believe me, it can happen.


Ideas can start out from the lyrics of a song, a character in a book or movie, something visual I have seen or from a figment of my imagination. Once I have that, I start to do some in-depth. I read around the subject and more importantly collect pictures or visual ideas that represent what the idea means to me. (This stage is very important to enable visual representation of the idea to the team that will execute the shoot). At this point, I’m gathering images of what I think the location should look like, the hair, the make up, the colours I want, etc.

Once I have a direction for my shoot, I try to pick a date when the shoot will hold and then set a time line to work to. Then I start searching for a team. Hair and make up artist, a stylist, models and an assistant(s) if I’m going to need one.


Putting together a team is always tricky. The right or wrong team can make or break a shoot. If you have people you’ve worked with before and want to call on then that could be good but be sure to continuously try out different teams so your images don’t all look-alike. It’s also a good way to build a list of contacts you can call on at various times.

At this point, things become fluid and I’m doing a few things at the same time; location scouting, hunting for models coming up with lighting diagrams etc. I make sure to always give every member some leeway to express their own creativity.  So while I might show the make up and hair artist visuals of what I imagine I want, I give them time to research and come up with unique and fresh ways of interpreting the brief. I find this process yields great results.


By now I’m in the final stages of what I want the images to be. The idea is all developed, any props have been gathered, styling and make up is all but set and I’ve drawn lighting diagrams and created a shoot list. I sketch or collect images reflecting the poses or compositions of the intended final images so once we’re on set we can set about creating those particular looks. I aim to get the planned images done and then I’m free to experiment.

Be sure to always leave room for surprises and be sure to try for a surprise once you’ve gotten your “safe” shot.


We will look at the production sheet tomorrow. See you then!

Here’s an image from a shoot based on the idea “beauty and time”
I’ve used and kept a lot of the negative space here to represent time and loneliness. The image was created specifically to be viewed as a large wall print.

Time, Beauty and Lonliness

An image from the series "Beauty & Time"

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