Swords in the Studio

Swords in the Studio

Matt Goyder is an imposing fella, a giant of a man with equally imposing tattoos on both his arms. Goyder, as he prefers to be called, collects weapons: sais, swords, katanas, butterfly knives – you name it.

When a bloke like this asks you to do a weapons-based shoot in the studio, you don’t say no. 🙂

Saturday arvo saw us embark on  a shoot featuring weapons and very dramatic lighting (a single  octabox and reflector) to tell the story of Jatto, the warrior. I had a more complex storyline planned for this shoot but, due to circumstances beyond our control, we simplified it to a very straightforward concept: Big Bloke with Sharp Swords. ‘Nuff said?

I’ve always enjoyed working with Goyder and this shoot was no exception.

Goyder is a very focused individual who, despite his youth, is an old-school fellow who does not back away once he’s committed to a job.

He’d just come from a hard day at work and tending to his sick fiancee, but gave 100% to the shoot. It proved to be a fairly physically demanding shoot, with ample sword swinging, lunging and jumping, but not once did Goyder’s energy flag. I think the photographs show the extent of his commitment to the role and the raw physicality of the shoot.

This shoot illustrates that you don’t need a bevy of lights and assistants in a studio shoot — a simple approach can be as effective in creating stark, powerful images. For this shoot, I mainly used side lighting for dramatic effect, with a few Rembrandt lighting setups for the more static, posed shots.

You’ll next see Goyder at the Practical Portraiture photo workshop on Sunday May 2, where he will certainly be a lot less warrior-like. 🙂

Thanks to Pete Bowdidge for the loan of the gladius (short sword) used in this shoot.

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