One of my first experiences here in Australia was having the pleasure of working for one of the countries most iconic organizations, the Royal Flying Doctor Service. On one such occasion I was asked to take the board of directors’ head shots to be used in internal publications. On another, I photographed the handover of a newly sponsored vehicle for the RFDS to use. You can see these images on my website, but I’ll give you a little insight on how I lit them.
I work with a mobile studio, including a half roll seamless and Paul C Buff Alien Bees.
I used an Alien Bee 800 in a Fotodiox Pro 60″ Octagon Softbox as the key light, camera right and at an angle to the subject. The large soft light gave the clean light I was looking for. A second Alien Bee 800 was gridded and used as a hair light from behind the subject. The third light was set below and behind the subject, set about a stop up from the key in order to make the background go white. The pure white or 255 white background will allow the RFDS the ability to drop in the head shots in newsletters and other publications of their choice.
The real fun however was shooting a dozen board members in about 20 minutes. When it came time for volunteers to go first, it was a bit like pulling teeth. Between the “I take an awful picture” and the “You’re going to airbrush this for me, right?”, time was ticking away. Once the first volunteer sat on the chair I had borrowed from the cafe outside the office, the rest came together like a well oiled machine. I was shooting tethered to my Apple MacBook Pro which allowed everyone involved to have both a good laugh and build their own confidence see how well the first images were turning out.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, Meet and Shoot is a fantastic photo meetup group in Atlanta that offers unique and creative photo shoots for photographers of all skill levels. Back in April 2011, Meet and Shoot offered a Pin-up styled shoot. Some of my favorite personal images are from this particular meetup, but I felt that my post processing was lacking on them. So I decided to revisit some of them, one in particular that I’ll be talking about here.
Shawna is a lovely young lady from South Carolina who came down to model for this shoot. I took a few different looks with Shawna throughout the day, even getting in front of the camera with her.
One of my favorite looks from this shoot was just simply Shawna, with a bit of confidence in her eyes.
While the composition leaves something to be desired, she does a wonderful job in front of the camera. So its up to me to make a more compelling image with my lovely model. I start thinking of what would work well with this image and the patch of brick on the background is what jumps out at me. I did a little google-fu and decided on a different type of brick wall image.
I had to create more of a foreground in order to make it work; as well as create a realistic shadow that she may have cast being as close to the new background as she appears to be. I recently invested in a Wacom Intous 4 tablet and this image was going to make the most of this accessory. After some careful masking, cropping and cloning; I ended up with my final image.
I’m very pleased with how this came out and its still one of my personal favorite images. Not for any one part, but how all of the aspects of the composite fit like puzzle pieces should.