• Haze Kware

Karate photoshoot Behind the scenes

Feat. Cassandra Sampieri


A place you may have already seen on this channel… And it might be the last time. A karate photoshoot inside the Château de la Reynerie. Not a well known landmark here but an interesting place to shoot in!



Things are changing in the city of Toulouse, and the past 2 years locations have been reluctant welcoming photographers and filmmakers, unless of course you have a huge check in your pocket.


Making these spaces completely out of reach for creators is a bummer. Small brands and companies that wish to create with photographers like me will have to dig deeper into their wallets, or find other solutions for their images.


What can I say, what can we do? I guess nothing, we have to adapt and that's part of the job. I am still happy we got to make this last one there. Cassandra Sampieri is a young Karate athlete with a promising future and the goal of this session was to show different sides of her personality… Because yes, she is more than athlete!


Athletes are not always super comfortable posing, especially when creating images not directly related to their sport. I have to say that Cassandra did a fantastic job.


This session happened the day after I thought my GODOX flashes, the AD1200 pro and the Pixapro Citi 1200 pro died. The batteries seemed dead, I was pissed and had to find a quick fix for this shoot… only to realise 24h later that I just had to press that silly tiny button to wake the batteries. So if you own these flashes, know that if you don't use them for a while they automatically go to sleep!


I jus wish I knew this earlier! So what I did, and you will probably see it in the BTS, I mixed 2 different brands of flashes. The Broncolor Remote has a hot shoe on top of it, which lets you stack another remote. And that’s what I did. I put a Godox remote on it and was able to work with 3 strobes for some images.


Cassandra Sampieri - Château de la Reynerie (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 50 mm f/3.5 R LM WR

1/125sec f/7.1 ISO 100



You've seen these a couple times before, when I have the time I like to create them at the very beginning of the photoshoot. It's a slow process, taking each individual shot takes time. But it acts as a warm up for the rest of the shoot. I get to know the athlete, I get to see how they move, which helps me greattly for the rest of the session.


Cassandra Sampieri - Château de la Reynerie (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/125sec f/2.8 ISO 50



These were the easiest ones to make. Classic poses, in a Kimono, I don't really have to direct her, she knows exactly what to do.


Cassandra Sampieri - Château de la Reynerie (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/125sec f/5 ISO 50



Of course we had to get a bit more creative, add some mood and play with this amazing location. I knew I wanted to do something with the mirror, I just wasn't sure how. It became obvious once she was up there. We only used one light for a dark contrasted look... It took me some time to find the right framing and angle to avoid my own reflection in the mirror.


Down below are a series of portraits that are usually dreaded by my athletes. They are not models so you are taking them outside their sport, outside their comfort zone. An easy trick for me is to get rid of any unnecessary accessories. Two different approaches in the pictures down below. The first ones were made with only the light coming from the window. The last one with a flash placed camera left.


To be honest, I prefer the ones without flash!



Cassandra Sampieri - Château de la Reynerie (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R LM WR

1/125sec f/1.7 ISO 50 (No flash)



Cassandra Sampieri - Château de la Reynerie (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R LM WR

1/160sec f/1.7 ISO 250 (No flash)



Cassandra Sampieri - Château de la Reynerie (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/125sec f/1.7 ISO 100




Only 2 images we made with a bit of smoke. You should now be getting used to it! It adds that surreal feel to the image, that touch of epicness. It also helps hide flashes that are in the way. The smoke for that high kick covered most of my light stand, so I didn't have to rely on Photoshop to get rid of it.



Cassandra Sampieri - Château de la Reynerie (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 30 mm f/3.5 R LM WR

1/125sec f/5.6 ISO 100



I just came back from Paris and Grenoble, so I had to skip a few posts on the blog and on YouTube. But I will be posting again tegularly quickly so don’t go too far. See y'all soon!