In this shot, I wanted to create a strong but creative portrait that expressed everything about my subject. The Dr is a cool guy. Professional, personable, well travelled, loves, music, art, food etc. I really like to get to know as much as I can about my subjects and express these elements in the final image.
We agreed on two locations for the shoot. The first was his personal apartment as it offered a more relaxed and creative space to shoot a strong personal image. The second, his clinic practice to take more corporate style images Corporate Portrait – Making Sunlight
When I arrived at his apartment to scout the location (I always scout if I can to plan my gear and shot list) I was immediately drawn to the large white dinner table and a huge colourful art piece on the wall. I had my shot.
I love to use reflective surfaces in images. Not only do they offer really creative potential to pump up a pic, but they can also really push you to be more creative with your lighting techniques.
First, I set up a Canon 580 EX II behind the subject with a tight grid to separate him from the background.
Then, another Canon 580 EX II + grid on boom stand angled over the middle of the table just to add fill into his face and remove small shadows in his eyes created by the overhead strip box. I also added a 3rd Canon 580 EX II with flag just behind the subject as a tiny fill for the overall back wall area as the corners were too dark.
Finally, my key light was a Profoto Compact 600r, Profoto 1×6′ strip light with 30 degree grid on boom stand raised just above his head height and 1ft in front of his face. The grid allowed me to control the spill of light on the reflective white table surface which then bounced soft light around nicely.
As I was shooting low and with a long lens, I was able to avoid any reflective hot spots from my lights.
After many many shots to tweak the four lights, we were done. Note that I deliberately allowed light fall off at my end of the table so that the eye would be easily drawn into his face.
Had I not scouted his apartment before the shoot I could not have created this image. I would have probably taken a very nice shot and certainly had to carry a lot less gear!
Exif: 125th, f4, iso 100
Gear used: Canon 1dx, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 II, main light Profoto 600r + Profoto 1×6′ stripbox + grid, 3 x Canon 580 EX II + grids, pocket wizard mini flex TT1.
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