Contrasty Corporate Portraits

I have been (half way through the job) asked to shoot portraits of all the members of a large investment house in london(about 90 in total). It was the usual white background type affair, but I could light it and tweak it in post to my own specifications. I chose to light the portraits with a soft covered beauty dish above camera and straight on with a silver reflector under the light at about waist height and a silver reflector to the side kicking in a bit of light to the side of the face. I wanted the end result of the portraits to be quite contrasty and punchy so in order to achieve this you can go one of two ways.

Firstly; shoot it contrasty with the lights coming in from the side at 30 degrees keeping it soft yet still giving a nice gentle fall off of light, which is usually enough for portraits of this kind.


Secondly; shoot it flat and push the contrast in post production, but to do this  I aways find it easier to slightly under expose and use reflectors to create lighter areas or slightly darker areas, (remembering that a slight shadow on the face once pushed in post becomes main shadow area so cant be too dark beforehand otherwise it will limit just how far it can be pushed afterwards).

I chose the second route….

The results of this are below, although the client wanted them in colour I have added some black and white ones as well. I also slightly desaturated the image and took a touch of green out too. I think they look a little different to most run of the mill work and somehow seems to really work well, giving them really good depth and quality of character.




Copyright Jesper Mattias 2013

4 colour portraits, desaturated and contrasty.

Copyright Jesper Mattias 2013

4 black and white portraits.