Photo Life is proud to partner with Seneca students to document their journey through the school curriculum. This week Tara Muhlberghuber shares about photographing a couple’s vintage-themed session.
Class: Photography I
Assignment: Images to Music
Student: Tara Muhlberghuber
Professor: Ray Steinke
Assignment Guidelines: Choose a song that is 2 to 3 minutes long and illustrate it with images.
For our last major assignment we had to customize an entire photo session into a story. It ended up being the highlight of the school year for me; they still are the photographs I’m most proud of. I realized after shooting “Images to Music” that I love art directing and creating something timeless for couples in love. A new dream was born.
What was great about the assignment was that it showed me where I stood at the moment, in relationship to this newfound dream. I had the passion and ability, although I also discovered where I needed to grow. I faced challenges throughout the shoot—all things that I would later learn from. The first thing I did before I began the sketches, budget, wardrobe, and location was to select a song I would have the entire project based on.
I knew I wanted to create something timeless and sophisticated yet still playful. I went with a classic tune from Billie Holiday, “I’ll be seeing you.” Once I booked a couple, I also booked a backup in case the first one fell through. I cast Kayla Nicoll and Rhys Young; they were perfect for my vision. I took down their sizes and began my search for clothing suitable for each scene. I looked inside vintage stores in Kitchener Waterloo, White Tiger and Patina Vintage, even in my Grandma’s closet! The storeowners who helped me select the pieces offered me exposure on their websites once I completed the session. I then began calling owners of locations I wished to photograph. I called a farmer, a cafe, a Google building, and the Duke of Wellington pub. All understood my terms and were completely okay with me photographing a school assignment within their space.
The weather on the day of the shoot was a blustery blizzard. It really helped my vintage story come to life. My models were good sports; for bearing the cold they were getting free pictures and lovely prints. I used the 100 mm the whole time. The telephoto lens was great; it really helped me with the snow. I was able to focus clearly and sharply on my models from a distance and get great results. I had imagined something classic that could show that their love was timeless. So I picked the most romantic eras. I am very thankful for the models’ dedication; I couldn’t of done it without them. Having completed the assignment, I realized what direction I need to take and whom my target audience is. I look forward to my future as a couple’s photographer!
The Seneca @ York Independent Digital Photography Program is a two-year diploma course that prepares students for a freelance career and provides them with the necessary skill set to work in a multidisciplinary studio.