• 11.5.14

    Tom Corbett Turns a Limitation into a Strength

    The rule is: never work with children or animals. For Tom Corbett’s latest shoot with British Cosmo, Tom broke one of those rules by using a horse as his subject. Tom has wanted to include Prophet, the horse, in a shoot for a while. “I had wanted to do this story for quite some time now,” he explains. “I wanted to do this English Countryside, rolling green fields story.” The overwhelming power of these giant, gentle creatures adds an otherworldly quality to the shoot. There is a natural grace of Prophet compounded by the human model’s work and the light apparel.

    They shot the piece in England, which, owing to its northern position on the globe, gets a different quality of light than most places in the US (where Tom usually shoots). The angle of the sun to the planet hits the atmosphere, and disperses light through the cold air in a unique way. “In winter you get this very, very soft light,” Tom says. “You get this low sun, and it’s very diffused, and you get some beautiful, beautiful light.”

    Horses can be a little nervous, especially when surrounded by strangers that have a lot of equipment. For that reason, Tom was constricted when it came to lighting the shoot. They couldn’t use flash or any bounce instruments; they had to use what light was available from the sky. Those familiar with Tom’s work will recognize a style that is usually powerfully lit, but he likes to use available light as much as any other kind. Each type of light offers its own benefits. “When you’re using available light you have this amazing freedom where you can just up and run to a new spot, and you’re not setting anything up,” Tom explains. “You just go with the flow, you find the photograph, and it’s really much more of a personal relationship with you and the subject. You find a moment together.” Those moments, leaped from one to the other, become more precious because they’re more private, more delicate. When all the pieces come together right, from a beautiful setting to an imposing natural force, with the close connection between subject and photographer, it creates something special. As Tom sums up, when these elements are all perfect, “It’s much easier to get a spontaneous picture. You’re able to have a happy accident.”

    Fashion Director: Shelly Vella
    Ashion Assistant: Holly Coopey
    Makeup: Lisa Valencia
    Hair: Heath Massi
    Model: Thea @ Established Models

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