Got a jump on 2013 with a few guys in the studio last week for some business headshots and wanted to try some alternatives to the usual way I pose and photograph portraits. While much of it has to do with the willingness of your subject to stretch or to move a certain way, it’s my job to make sure they look good, natural and at ease. These fellows were quite different from one another but the goal is always the same… make a few great shots they can use for their marketing materials and get a few outstanding ones for the blog! So here they are… you can tell by the last one we do have a lot of fun doing this!
Helping me out for a book project on Lighting, my friend Kathryn (a fine photographer herself) and her daughter Adrienne came to the studio and posed for several different portrait lighting styles: butterfly, split, loop, Rembrandt, etc. and kept their energy up throughout the shoot! At the end I wanted to make a shot just for them and this one became my favorite. I think what I really like about this portrait is their expressions, almost those “Mona Lisa smiles”, serious but friendly. If you spend a lot of time looking through lenses at people you will become attuned to very subtle difference in looks, expressions, postures and poses. I love the gentle hand Kathryn lays on her daughters shoulder, protective yet not firm, a strong bond that will never diminish.
Mother’s Day is a great time for portraits, either for moms themselves or as a gift for your favorite Mom! Come in by yourself or with your Mom for a portrait session or call the studio at 503 768-9878 and purchase a gift certificate. Mother’s day is Sunday May 13th, 2012
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!
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
Little Nolan came to the studio a little while ago to have his very first photo session. We cranked up the heat so the little fella stayed warm and cozy but we may have overdone it because he was so comfortable he fell asleep several times! I had photographed Mom and Dad’s wedding in Hawaii in 2008 and it was awesome to welcome their first child into the world and to see their family grow. I love the expression in this first one…must have been an interesting dream!
OK, so the books are out and it’s been wild getting feedback and emails about them from readers all over the world! We’re currently in discussion about another book that I am very excited about if it gets final approval. I can’t say much about it right now but suffice to say it is a subject very near and dear to my photographic heart.
Since the pace has eased up a bit around here I thought I would post some of the images either used or shot for the books and provide a little backstory on each one. First up is this shot of my neighbor Damien for a story on urban farmers and for the Canon Speedlite System DFG. With little daylight left I wanted to explore the whole warm/cool visual tension with Speedlites. The Canon 5D Mark II was set to an indoor tungsten balance to turn the background a deep blue and the foliage behind Damien was lit with one ungelled Speedlite at around 1/8th power. Since the camera was set to tungsten white balance and the flash produces daylight white balance without a gel, the whole background goes blue or very cool tones.
A second Speedlite @ about 1/16th power and mounted on a stand with an FJ Westcott umbrella-style Apollo softbox was used as the main light. I taped on two full CTOs (color temperature orange) gels and shot about 12 frames. Set-up and tear down took about 15 minutes.
In post production I decided I way overdid it with the CTO’s and backed off the saturation for less intensity of the colors. I now have a full kit of 1/4, 1/2, and full CTO’s for next time. I like the visual tension between the two different color families. What do you think?