I put on a lighting demo in my studio last night for the PMPA After-Hours program. My studio in SW Portland can accommodate large and small projects just fine but when you pack it with over 40 people it gets downright cozy! It just so happened that a former photo student and current body-builder friend of mine needed photos last night for a $25.000 competition she is entering and since I needed some new sports portraits for my website and book, it was they say, fortuitous! Laura is also an incredible newborn baby photographer herself littlelaurajane.com. Since she is a strong photographer in her own right, she had no trouble posing for the group.
We had a great time discussing lighting theory, placement and my favorite ~ modifiers! The demo was a preamble to my full-day lighting workshop at Stage 13 on May 12th.
It is so rare that a photographer gets to see what they look like when they are working so it was really cool that Danny Abrego of Portland Reign Photography sent me these pics of me! Thanks, Danny
Here I’m shooting with my homemade DIY Speedlite Ringflash to add some soft fill for the more powerful Alien Bees studio strobes.
We’ll be exploring this and way more lighting techniques in the full-day Lighting & Portraiture Workshop May 12th at Stage 13 in NW Portland. Find out more info here or here. Hope to see you there!
Providence Medical Center called recently for some new portraits of two of their doctors who were going to be going out and speaking at medical conferences. They needed shots together and portraits alone. So, early on a Sunday evening when the hospital was quiet, we nearly had the whole lobby to ourselves which made picking locations quite easy. They didn’t have a whole lot of time so I took along Canon Speedlites instead of my studio strobes to stay nimble and shoot fast.
I have begun to shoot a lot more horizontal portraits and in a lot looser fashion. This has been fun and I am excited to see the results. It keeps my peripheral vision engaged and allows me to see compositions and settings that I might not have noticed before when I was going in to “just do a headshot”. I’m enthused to see where this new direction takes me and present three of my favorites here!
Excellent final night with our speedlight class… they’re on their way!
So my favorite financial planner was in the studio yesterday for an updated photo for his website and various social media uses. We talked beforehand about the feel and emotional impact he wanted the images to convey. He said: Accessibility, confidence, warmth. And from that, it was my job to interpret it into a visual representation. At that point, decisions are made; lens selection, background selection, RAW or jpeg? (Of course RAW, just kidding!) lighting set-up, shutter-speed, f/stop, white balance, reflector, grids, gels, etc, the list goes on. And yet, it’s all so cool when it comes together, like building a puzzle on a deadline
(till next time)
What do you get when you bring thirteen naturopathic doctors into the studio, after hours, for a group shot for their collective website? If you stick with it long enough, the above shot! We started off with some simple groupings and as we shot some interesting forms started to take shape, much like arranging musical notes on a scale. After a dozen or so shots, I’d have them rearrange themselves then make my compositional tweaks. We ended up shooting about 8 or 9 groupings.
After the final shots, when I knew we had it in the can (memory card?) I let them do what ever they wanted for fun. That’s when all the personalities came out and I really like this one for all the different expressions. It’s always a good idea to have a final fun shot like this when shooting certain groups in the studio or on location. Even better when they bring the beer and pizza!
I really enjoy shooting senior images and working with high school juniors on their yearbook photos. It is such a special time in a young persons life and senior photos have morphed from the boring old “yearbook” photo of days of old (you should see mine!) to be more fashion-oriented with hipper, more modern looks. I think it will be awesome to look back at their senior photo set as what they looked like at a point in time before their lives really took off!
It seems I have done a lot of guys lately and specifically guys who don’t like to sit for photos! It’s always a fun challenge when after a few clicks, they ask “are we done?” My job is to take their nervousness or nervous energy and turn in into making them a participant and collaborator interested in the final images. I tend to shoot seniors quickly and have lots of staging, lighting and posing set-ups in mind even if we don’t get to accomplish all of them.
Daniel, pictured here, was one such fella. Very accomplished as a musician and cross-country runner, he had a no-nonsense air about him that took a while to break the ice and get him on my side. Even though I endeavor to keep to a minimum showing the subject images from the camera’s LCD during the shoot , in this case it helped to draw Daniel in and to be more involved with the shoot, once he could see the quality of the lighting and images we were getting. It’s always a good idea to keep your peripheral vision on high alert and allow spontanaity to happen during the shoot and not be so “locked in” to your original concept that you miss some great shots that are happening right in front of you.
I raided my daughter’s bedroom for her little keyboard which added a nice propping touch and a little hard graphic element to the first shot. The second shot was our last of the session where he trusted me enough to let down his guard and allow a bit of his true personality come out. He and his family was very pleased with our efforts
A little warmth for these cold days! Had some fun in the studio with pin-up models Miranda and Kayla, friends of my assistant Aaron. We set up several backgrounds and collected a vast assortment of props beforehand to create some cool situations the models could seamlessly move into. The lighting set-up was pretty consistent, large light bank for the main and some undiffused heads for edge. Aaron brought his extensive collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia and we used them for quite a few images from the shoot. These two images are my favorites of each of the models and I think the props helped with the mood of the shots – an old rotary desk phone from my Mom’s answering service and some glam sunglasses left over from a Halloween party.
On a rainy Saturday this past weekend I headed up to rural La Center, Washington in Clark County to shoot these senior portraits. About an hour north of Portland and originally known as a business center and depot along the Lewis River in the 1800’s, today La Center is mostly known for its legalized gambling in four casinos in the center of town but the city is still dominated by wide open spaces, farms and beautiful horse ranches.
We had originally planned to take advantage of the spectacular fall color but scheduling conflicts made it impossible to catch the peak weekend. The report on Saturday was early morning fog so we pushed back the shoot an hour to let the fog lift and give us some visibility of the beautiful views of the low-lying hills surrounding the families ranch. As the rain increased while I made my way up there on I-5, I started formulating Plan B. The family had recently built brand new stalls to shelter their several horses and they afforded many cool locations for some good pictures. I jazzed some of them up with a few Canon Speedlites and some colored gels to add some pop.
Portland Band Sweet Thunder was in the studio last week for some new promo shots for their website and marketing fliers. Check them out and about soon!
Don came to the studio recently for a new portrait to update his business card, website, and social media. He is a keynote speaker, communications coach and presentation expert as it says on his card. My time with him ended way too soon; he was one of those rare individuals completely comfortable in their own skin and he had much wisdom to dispense about the art of human communication. I was like a sponge trying to remember all that he shared with me and so much of it rang true from my own experience. I am a sucker for analogies and aphorisms and Don was full of them! I should have fumbled around with my gear more to stall him and hear a few more of his stories. Find out more about this great personality @ www.wrighttalk.com.