"We'd love to get some couple shots, but not that fancy-shmancy stuff you see all the time, could do it like rough-looking and kind of f*%&§$-up?"
That was the assignment I was given.
I agreed for two reasons:
First, it's right, you see all those "fance-shmancy" Black/White wannabe fineart shots of couples all the time.
And secondly I kind of got a spleen for f-ed up stuff anyway.
So I did some research to find a site here in Cologne, that meets my requirements, being kind of dirty.
I couldn't do it in my kitchen though, it's just too small.
So I found kind of a scrapyard - it's got everything you need, like shipping containers with grafiti on them, a garbage disposal, that hasn't been emptied for, appearently, years.
We got litter all around and a bough.
Yes, you read that right.
I don't know how it got there, but as a photographer I don't really care, because it's there and I can use it to compose my pictures.
On Saturday, the day of the shooting, I got there and met my clients.
Time to do some work!
Luckily I spent a few hours beforehand to get some inspiration.
Poses look very different, if you change the setting and add some dirt.
But how to really show things are as f-ed up, as you'd like to show them?
Add a bottle of beer and cigarettes.
Since public drinking is perfectly legal over here, not a problem.
The real struggle, I feared, was to show the affection they have for oneanother.
But that turned out to be not a problem at all.
You need to be blind to miss that.
Apart from the environment, the clothes, the booze and the smokes, it's just a shooting in which you want to photograph two people.
And that's the simplicity that gets the magic.
Gear-wise I was using a Nikon D800, a 85mm 1.8 and the Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8.
Not because you need a full frame camera for that, but because I just love using it.
Later on, in Lightroom, there wasn't much to do.
Just the usual stuff like adjusting exposure by a bit and do some minor cropping.
The final look was provided by the Analog Efex Software, you can get freely now - along with other software.
The thing that really amazes me, is that you only need to change a few things and get something completely different.
Yes, that's a truism, a platitude, but hardly physically realized in all levels.
I learned a lot that day.
The full album can be viewed here: