I’m not really one for studio photography, but when I get an idea in my head, I like to put a bit of work in to get the results. Part of the problem for me comes when you’ve got a few photographers there on the night, and everyone ends up with the same shots.
My answer to this is usually to hang back and build the rapport from the sidelines, so that when I get an idea, I can work on that, rather than have a frustrating twenty minutes or so wondering how I’m going to play the session. In this case, the model changed outfits, and suddenly I couldn’t get the though of The Great Gatsby out of my head.
Incidentally, the cigarette holders in these shots are a complete fabrication, just to finish the look. I’ve always got the impression that smoking and the 1920’s went hand-in-hand (doctors still recommended the health benefits of smoking back then), and I think it’s the only time it’s ever looked elegant. I made a very quick background switch and a couple of lighting changes, and was happy with the results.
The Tamron 24-70 is great for these sort of conditions when paired with a full frame camera. Working space is tight, but I don’t like to use too wide a lens for this sort of thing since distortion can be unkind on people. I stayed above 50mm, and moved around to suit. It meant that I was able to work at a comfortable distance, which keeps things pleasant for your model. The sharpness of this lens is wonderful, and its ability to handle contrast well makes it ideal for this sort of lighting scenario.