Behind the Scenes: The Kimono Fitting

Kimono Fitting, Behind the Scenes - Austin, Texas

Kimono Fitting, Behind the Scenes – Austin, Texas

Today is part one of a two-part behind the scenes look at the Kimono Photo Shoot that I was on last weekend. It was a collaboration with Kirk Tuck, who was the primary photographer and the true portraiture expert. My role was to take the behind the scenes photos of the kimono fitting and photoshoot. Yesterday’s post includes a few portraits I snapped in between Kirk’s studio session.

Since fitting a formal kimono is an involved process and not very comfortable to travel by car, we decided to do the fitting at Kirk’s house. An available bedroom was pressed into service. Anna and her mother were joined by Miyako, who did the professional fitting.

I delivered 40 behind the scenes images of the fitting to the client, of which I selected eleven for this post.

Anna started off looking like any high school teenager. Flannel and jeans would be transformed into something special over a 40-minute process.

Ayako, Anna’s mother, and Miyako discussed which combination of fabrics they were going to use.

I was called back in at the appropriate time, and I documented the layers of clothing built up to create the elaborate formal kimono. Like many of the ancient Japanese rituals such as the tea ceremony, or flower arranging, dressing in the kimono is a meticulous and exacting process. There is a combination of artistry and tradition that dictates these things.

I brought my Fujifilm X-T10 with an assortment of four lenses since I wasn’t sure of the available space. I started with the 23mm f2 prime, which gave me a decently wide view in a small room. I then switched to the 35mm f1.4 to get closeups with shallower depth of field. You might notice the difference in focal length between the 2nd and 3rd photographs. The 35mm, which has a 52.5mm equivalent focal length, allowed me to focus attention on Miyako.

I took the photographs in RAW and JPEG, but I only used the JPEGs. The excellent Fuji skin tones did a fantastic job. I only minimally processed the photos in post.

The available ceiling and window light was more than adequate, especially when using large aperture primes. I dynamically adjusted the exposure compensation, some of which I added an additional 1 2/3 stops of light. Of course, shooting through an EVF made it easy, since I can see the exposures I was getting in real-time.

Anna seemed fairly serious until the end when she began to smile. I’m sure the kimono isn’t very comfortable, but what an experience.

Was this the final inspection by mom?

Finally, here’s the team. Ayako, Anna, and Miyako from left to right. Miyako came to Austin about a year ago from San Jose, California. Previous to that, she did kimono fittings in Japan.

For more information about her services,
contact Miyako Uchida on her Facebook Page.

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