Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Workin' My Style
A new twist-for me. I have been shaking up my usual editorial portrait lighting style with some harder edge lights and doing more Photoshop post processing to get a sort of movie poster look. This post will talk about the shoot and a follow-up will talk about the Photoshop process.
I had an business feature assignment to shoot this salon/spa owner that has been in business for 30 years. The time was Saturday late morning which if you are NOT a style savvy woman (which I am not, I am more of a diamond in the rough) you discover that salons are a madhouse at this time, with scads of stylists and clients milling and dashing around.
The subject was NOT happy to be photographed and had a full client load. A little talk on my part got him almost OK with the idea and I shot some "haircut in process" shots with available light to start.
He kept squirming about doing the portrait but after a recon of the premises I politely took over a section of the lobby, moving a couple of displays (with permission.) I set up two small light-slaved strobes on stands slightly behind the subject plane for the edge lights and another radio controlled strobe shooting through an umbrella at camera right. I set my shutter speed slow to burn out some of the background which had employees and clients constantly on the move. I then grabbed one of the cheerful staff ("if there is anything you need..."-YES stand here and look like your boss!) and shot a couple test frames. then made final tweaks.
After trying to scare me off by telling me he would not be available for an hour (to which I said: Okay, I can wait) he came up to the lobby, saw I was all set-up and said, "OK let's do this." I told him this would take 4 minutes and proceeded to pop through shots and give him direction, not taking any time to "chimp" the images on camera, trusting my quickie test shot. At three minutes into the shoot I waited for the camera to clear the buffer and then "chimped" a frame. The subject was calmer but ready to go so I told him I had 25 more seconds, I banged off a few more frames including the hero above, and shook his hand, mission accomplished.