Monday, August 18, 2008

Corporate Portrait

Being an annual report photographer in Denver and having shot for more than 25 years of corporate assignments, I have built strong working relationships with graphic designers and various other creative people in the industry. For this assignment, I was contracted to photograph "Tensie" for an Ethics & Compliance Report by my New York agent.

My client wanted both head shots and 3/4 length shots of Tensie in an environmental setting. Erik & I arrived about 45 minute prior to the scheduled shoot time in order to scout and set up lights in the location the client had set aside for us.

The client had set aside a very small conference room to photograph Tensie in. Upon arriving at our location the first thing I do is to conduct a location assessment. This assessment consists of the following considerations. Space size, existing lighting (if any/ambient), furnishings and available props.

This particular location worked well, we had contemporary furnishings, daylight windows to camera left and diffusion glass panels of the conference room camera right. The attached video will show the entire set up of the room and lights.

I used some of the daylight coming through the window as a fill light in the room. Sunlight was striking the back wall camera left, I was able to control the amount of fill using the blinds over the windows. We placed a single SB-800 strobe outside of the conference room and directed through the frosted glass panel. The glass panel was not really frosted, instead it had small holes in the frosted material. We did a test shot of Erik to see the quality of light the glass produced. The results of the light passing through the glass panel can be seen below.

I've attached a diagram to illustrate the setting we had to deal with in terms of setting.

After looking at our first test shot, I felt the light needed to be soften a bit more. I ended up putting a diffusion panel up against the glass to further diffuse the light before it struck the subject. The results of that additional panel can be seen here in the second photo of Erik.

If you look closely at the top of the frame of the above photo, you will notice some spill of raw "flash" light striking the back wall and ceiling. By adding additional gobo's to the flash, I was able to contain or prevent the spill of that raw light in the final images. Tensie arrived with several change of clothing for the shoot, we did 3 outfit changes in order to give the client plenty of choices. Here are a few more photos from the shoot as well as the accompanying video.  I have an earlier post showing similar lighting tools using a single panel and one strobe here.

If your interested in learning more about location lighting using small strobes, please visit Small Strobes, Big Results.  You can see results from our August 2nd workshop here.


Christian Davies said...

Hi Dave,

Great to see another video. Always informative. It shows the basics still get the job done.


Vincent said...

Hi david,

Tnx, very usefull for todays assignment!!

I honestly think you have to come to Spain to conduct workshops.....or maybe i should come to the US

Kind regards
Vincent de Vries &

CB said...

Thanks for this and all the tips you pass on. One item of curiousity - what are you using to get the pictures on the laptop right away? Is this "tethered" shooting, or do you have some sort of wireless card in the camera? Still learning about all this - thanks for your patience with my questions.

Jonathan P. Freeman said...

Thanks for the video. I'm looking forward to Saturdays workshop. This is the second video I've seen of your that you use the available window panels as your light source. This "thinking outside the box" or room is something I need to work on.

Thanks for the lessons.

Jonathan P. Freeman said...

Thanks for the great video. I'm looking forward to Saturday's class.

This is the second video of yours that you use the available inside office window to make your light source bigger. That's thinking "outside the box". Seriously I see two benefits here. One it helps make your small strobes bigger. Second its a great way to not be confined to the room. I'll have to remember this.

Thanks for the lesson. See you Saturday.

Benno Wonink said...


Thanks for the information.
It's for me as a beginner very nice to see how a pro make great pictures.


Pat Morrissey said...

David, thanks for sharing this. Your professional competencies make this shoot seem extremely easy, yet there are so many complexities to take into account. Your analysis of the available light and the mods you make to the original setup seem intuitive. is this purely down to experience? I'm grateful and envious.

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