When you think of an American beauty pageant, it’s hard to not instantly imagine stereotypical, slightly cheesy images. However, times are changing and American photographer Lindsay Adler is taking a fresh approach to fashion photography in her first photoshoot with Miss America 2022.
For all the images in the shoot, Adler used her go-to camera and lens combo: the Canon EOS R5 with the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 lens. She also used Profoto lights and a range of modifiers including strip softboxes, an umbrella and the Westcott Scrim Jim.
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This year America’s crowned beauty queen is Emma Broyles, who became Alaska’s first ever winner. She studies biomedical science at Arizona State University while also advocating for women’s voices to be heard, and opening up about her experiences living with ADHD made her stand out. When discussing her shoot with Lindsay, the pair decided that they wanted to create images that were fresh, modern yet timeless, combining fashion and portrait photography.
In a post on Adorama, Lindsay shares what went into the setup of each shoot, why they decided to take certain pictures and how they came out. Wanting to achieve a shoot that was both stylish and contemporary, Lindsay split the shoot into three main concepts: warm tones, timeless black-and-white and ethereal high-key.
By shooting three very different setups, Lindsay was able to experiment with different lighting techniques to create different effects. In the first set of images, she wanted to create images that have soft, warm tones, so had to diffuse the light and make sure that the entire scene was evenly lit.
In the black-and-white images, Lindsay shot them on a dark background using a white and a black V-flat on either side of Emma, using a Profoto light with an umbrella and diffuser for illumination. This helped to create a flattering, classic portrait without too much light hitting the background.
In the final set of images, Emma and Lindsay wanted to shoot an ethereal, high-key set up, which meant using a backlight and a big diffusion panel that would also act as the background. Two V-flats were set up in front of her face to bounce the light back from the scrim, which would be just enough to create a soft finish.
The outcome was a beautifully shot, well-lit, contemporary series that wouldn’t be out of place in a fashion magazine, Emma’s social media feed or the Miss America website.