Last time FashionPhotographyBlog.com spoke to Linh Le from Hong Linh Photography she had informed us that she had finished a photo shoot over a weekend that involved UV paints. The results resulted in a beauty shoot inspired by African tribes. From the feedback that we received about that post, we asked Linh if she could tell us more about the technical aspects of putting a shoot together for our readers. Linh shares with us her top tips for photographers who are thinking about taking on a shoot with UV paints and the key things to look out for.
1) Control all lights, including the ambient light! Linh revealed that failure to do so can have unflattering results, as she explained “My rehearsal shoot was a complete disaster! I set everything up in my living room and it was quite late at night, so there was no light coming through the window blinds, doors etc. My plan was to use our dim light as the ambient light. But the results were just horrible. The skin looked extremely uneven and red. It was really frustrating; I tried all sorts of settings. But that was not the problem; the problem was the lighting, the colour temperature of the lights. They were too yellow. So, I changed the LED fairy lights, which I used as back light, to a different set and because the shoot was during the day, I was able to use the daylight coming through the thin curtains and the results were completely different.”
3) Use a fast shutter setting and a low ISO, the settings Linh used were 1/8 sec, f2 and ISO 200.
4) To help your camera focus in such low light, Linh also recommends that it is also helpful to use a torch.
5) Test the colors first – Linh advises that “Some of the colours such as gold and silver glow less than others, so make sure you test them out first and mix them if necessary.”
6) You don’t need to go all out on expenses. You can pretty much get all you need cheaply in one site as the photographer revealed that “Getting all the supplies for the UV shoot was easier than I expected. I ordered the colours and two UV light tubes on Amazon, which were about £60 altogether.”
7) Use low wattage for subtle effects as Linh explained “As I did not want the glowing effect to be too extreme, I only used 20W UV lights, so this will depend on your personal style and taste.”
8) Using fabric as backdrops has its advantages. You can play with the effects of different backgrounds simply by changing the color or pattern of fabrics. Linh shared that “For the background, I bought curtain fabric which was dark but had interesting patterns on them which I wanted to be visible on the image.”
9) To get some back light in order to separate the model from the background, you can use fairy lights as the photographer has done on her shoot.
10) When asked if she can give us one last secret, Linh shared that getting the balance of lighting right is essential, “I think the secret lies in finding the perfect balance between the UV light and the ambient light, which is a matter of trial and error.”
There you have it, according to Linh Le, that’s basically all you need to set up a shoot with UV paints. Of course, shoot requirements may vary, depending on the result you want to achieve.
According to the photographer, the biggest challenge with doing UV shoots is to find the best lighting setup and camera settings and finding the right balance for your shoot can only be figured out through experimentation.
I hope this anyone who is thinking of doing a UV shoot and don’t know where to start. We’d love to see and hear about your results! Once again, we’d like to thank Linh Le from Hong Linh Photography for sharing her top tips for doing a shoot using UV paints. Do you have another tip? Post them in the comment section below.
To find out more information and see all the images from Linh Le’s UV shoot as well as other shoots, you can check the blog on her website www.honglinhphotography.com
You can contact her via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographer: Hong Linh Photography
Make Up Artist: Sophie Le
Models: Wendy Ng & Ana Santos