I was asked to shoot portraits for London Communications agency, a client of mine I have worked for for many years now. The portraits were going to have quite a contrasty and slightly desaturated feel (the sort of feel I love putting on my portraits). The light was quite channeled and I used a beauty dish for this off to the side to give some shadow, I initially put a honeycomb grid in but was too harsh even for this shoot so a white shoot through cover was added which was perfect. the background was cleanly lit white and I wanted a clip light on one side of the face. I had an extra head to the side with a brolly and it was about 3/4 of a stop hotter than the from light which gave a nice clip which just lifts the shadow and gives a nice dynamic to the face, this of course had to be poly-boarded off to avoid lens flare as it was shooting back into the lens slightly. Below are a few examples. Yes they are portraits on a white background but it’s nice to make them as interesting as possible and good, strong lighting is the best way. Enjoy!
PS. recently got my hands on the new Lowepro Pro Trekker 450 AW which is an outstanding bag! you can fit so much in it, numerous lenses, 2 bodies, cables for my laptop and hard drives, all the other little extras you can think off for a studio shoot but its also outstanding for outdoors and my landscape work.. it even had a camel back water pouch space for summer shooting.. Genius..!
I was asked to shoot Stevie Ritchie (the guy from the x-Factor) for New! magazine. We were trying to make it fun and festive and keep the lighting clean but with nice highlights and spots to give hair a bit of lift from the background. We found this still of Steve Carell and thought this would work really well..the bright spotlit background, a nice soft light from the side to give a bit of shadow on one side of the face and then a strong hair light…
This is what i came up with. The client loved it and it was a really fun shoot to do. There was very minimal post production as it was shot as is. Maybe few tweaks of saturation and contrast but that was it really.
I was asked to shoot the members of a board of a company called Pentair. They are a very large multinational US firm who deal with many different areas, oil, construction etc. They were in the uk and I had a fifteen minute window in which to shoot them for a group shot. Now, there were eleven of them and this is too many to shoot in one go on a white 9ft colorama (side by side anyway). I decided to break the group up and shoot them in four sections and fit them together in post. In order to do this you have to mock up what the final image will look like in your head so it will look seamless. It’s easy shooting four small groups but sticking them together so it looks like they were all shot in one go is quite tricky. Lighting wise; I had two large boom arms with my elinchrom heads with silver brollies above camera and angled sown slightly with a head on the floor with a softbox attached to act as a fill light to clear away any unwanted shadows etc. The colorama was lit cleanly so they could be cut out at later stage with relative ease. I did my usual tweaks in post and gave them the contrasty and de-saturated look i do to most of my work. The result was great and the client was happy. Pleas feel free to comment!
I was commissioned to take a portrait of Salvatore Calabrese for the Mail. He is one of the worlds best (if not the best) cocktail makers and currently heads the bar at Salvatore’s bar, which is inside the playboy club on park lane, London. I had a rough idea how i was going to light it before i got there. I wanted it to be quite contrasty so i cross lit his face with a gridded soft box, this can throw quite a bit of shadow across his opposite side of the face, so a key light (highlight) light was used. I used a standard dish with a medium honeycomb inside to create a spotlight and avoid flooding of light over the bar. This created a nice highlight down his right side of his face.
As most bars can be, there was not much ambient light. To avoid having to raise the ISO too high i had to light the back bar with another head (third head now). A normal bare head would kill the mood so to avoid it looking too lit, i stuck a quarter yellow gel on to give it the same bar feel we had before, but just allowing me to shoot that bit faster and not burn in the ambient.
We did a variety of poses etc, he was quite good when it came to this so it really made my job a lot easier.