Dade Freeman
Photographer & Trainer
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Sin City Style

Photographer Andy Leates invited me to join him on a photoshoot with the charismatic model Jemma Funge. Andy had a few ideas that he wanted to try out (which you can see here) but I had an itch I wanted to scratch after watching Sin City II: A Dame To Kill For (to be honest, I preferred the first one). So this was the perfect opportunity to put together my Sin City inspired shoot.

A little shopping trip was required to gather the right accessories - doing this helps finesse an image and make each shoot unique. I decided to stay away from guns on this shoot as I wanted the weaponry to be up-close and personal. Brandishing a cut-throat razor and knuckle dusters was definitely the right move for this femme fatale portrait. With the concept and look planned, it was off to the location.

The Setup

We used Moments Studio which has plenty of ready-made sets onsite and although it seemed a crime not to use them, I had to stay focused and shoot on a plain background, knowing I would need to lift the model off for the composite to work. 

I'd never used this studio before but I realised immediately that the working space is tighter than I would like and the lighting is older than I am used to, but you have to work with what you have, so we cracked on. Setting up two hard lights (with no diffusion) slightly behind and to the side of the model was the first step. (Ideally, I would have moved the lights further behind the model but there wasn't enough room.) The key light was a gridded spot off to camera right. I photographed in B&W mode so I could get a feel of how the shot would look in post. The hard light and look I used are typical of the film noir style. 

I knew this shoot would entail a lot of work in post production, so that part didn't phase me. Normally I avoid spot colour but it is an integral part of the Sin City style, so the flashes of red have been applied in each image. Should you want to try creating your own version of the Sin City look, Phlearn (a great resource) has recently put together a tutorial.

Finding and creating backgrounds, adding in effects such as fog, snow, rain, and lifting the model off the background are all challenges that I wanted to try to learn and understand a little more, and this was a great project for it. It was a fun photoshoot and I am happy with the resulting images. It is great when a model trusts in you and your vision and gives you what you need. :)

Sin City Inspired Images


Dade Freeman is a Brighton photographer producing portraits and headshots for actors, musicians, corporate business and other professional industries.