For this post I thought I’d give you a look at what went into photographing this portrait of Ashton…
So this is a portrait that I took the other day and what I really like about it is that it wasn’t taken in a studio but was taken in the living room of a client’s home. The reason I say this is that when I first started out I was so hung up on the fact that I didn’t have my own studio and thought that it would restrict what I could do, when in reality it was and is quite the opposite. Sure there’s nothing quite like having your own space where you can leave kit constantly set up and create sets without having to dismantle at the end of each day, but we do what we do right? When all we would need to use in a studio is a wall then we can use anywhere so long as we have the space for our lights.
The footprint or rather, the space needed for this portrait was minimal. The background canvas as it comes on a roll was placed behind Ashton by sliding it along the boom arm of a C-Stand so no need for 2 stands, a cross beam and the space that takes up. The lighting was a single Westcott Rapid Box Switch Medium Octa on a C-Stand positioned camera left and then there was me using an 85mm lens to frame the shot with camera set on a tripod, so not much at all. But, would you know that from the final result? Would you be able to say if it was taken in a living room or a studio?
The Behind the Scenes picture above isn’t a mistake but shows the set up for the photographs I was originally there for taking headshots. You can see I was in a home environment (I’ll go through this particular shoot in a post v.soon) and the space that was taken up. Obviously for the photo of Ashton a different background was used but the canvas on the C-Stand actually took up less space than you see here because the softbox being used as a background here has quite a bit of depth to it. Also the light here is on camera axis but for Ashton as I’ve mentioned it was positioned camera left.
Actually the big advantage I have found from not working in a dedicated studio and instead photographing at the client / subject’s home is that they will be more relaxed. I say more relaxed because there will still be those initial nerves / anxiety I’m sure but compare that to going to a studio, which is alien to most.
Now even though I say this when we move home in 2019 I’ll have my own dedicated studio space that I can walk across to but this is where I’ll go to work and will be able to create sets, hold occasional teaching sessions, open days and so on and that I really look forward to, but I’ve no doubt that the majority of my future work will still be on location because that’s what I love to do and has to date given me my best results. Does this make sense?
- Sony Alpha A7 RII Mirrorless Camera
- Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM (G Master) Lens
- Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO Ball Head with 200PL Quick-Release System
- Manfrotto Q2 L Bracket
- Westcott Rapid Box Switch Octa (Medium) 36″
- Elinchrom ELC 1000 Pro HD (could have used a Speedlight instead)
- Canvas Background from Gravity Backdrops
- Sekonic Lite-Master Pro L-478DR Lightmeter (Elinchrom)
- Tether Tools TetherPro USB 2.0 A Male to Micro-B 5-Pin Cable (15′)
- Tether Tools Jerk Stopper
- X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo (Black)
ISO 100, 85mm, f/8.0, 1/125sec
YouTube LIVE Broadcasts
Now with regards to the retouching / post processing I’m going to be hosting a YouTube LIVE Broadcast on Monday 12th November at 8pm (UK) to give you a look at what went into turning the out of camera picture into the final print ready version.
Here’s a LINK to my YouTube Channel to subscribe (it’s FREE) but make sure to also click on the little bell icon so that you receive a notification when I go LIVE.
I’ve also been having a bit of a play with the Black & White profiles that are now available in Lightroom so I’ll also cover these during the LIVE Broadcast…
Right, that’s all for now but check back tomorrow for a SUPERB interview we’ve recently recorded for the HE SHOOTS, HE DRAWS episode with Photoshop and 3D Wizard Corey Barker!