Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How I Got The Shot #2 - Business Card Portrait

Sometimes clients need a little more creativity in their business cards.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then imagine what you can paint in someones mind with this business card!

Check out the details after the break...

Creative Process:
I had a client call me back up after a recent family portrait shoot.  He does a lot of corporate work and has business cards he uses.  He also does a lot of community work and also is very active in refereeing basketball games for high schools in his home state.   Meeting a lot of "non-work" contacts, he was looking for something that he could use as a business card besides his corporate ones.

I was given a lot of creative freedom on this shoot.   I wanted to give him something that was inviting, but also was memorable and gave the card a feel of his strong personality.

This shoot was done on location at the clients house.  It was initially going to be done in their back yard, but weather conditions did not permit, so we were moved indoors.
Generally, clients don't always have ideal locations for shoots inside, but this client had a spacious living room with some very interesting folding wall baffles at our disposal.

Nikon D300
Nikon 50mm f/1.8
SB-600 Speedlight
SB-28 Speedlight
Radio Popper JrX STUDIO Trans/Rec
Light Stands
Lumiquest Softbox III attached with a Speedstrap

EXIF Info:
Shot in manual at 1/250th - f/5.6 - ISO 400 @ 50mm
Shot in RAW

Lighting Setup:
Two lights were used in this shoot.  One main key light(SB-28) on the subject and a light used for the background.
The main light was enclosed in the Lumiquest Softbox III, positioned camera right and above the subject.  The softbox was deliberately placed a longer distance away than normal.  Why?  I wanted to control the spill of the light, but I wanted the light to be a little bit harder than what you would normally get with the softbox being close.  Flash power was roughly 1/8th.
The background light(SB-600) was placed behind the subject and off to camera left, very close to the background panels.  We shot the lights so it would skim across the background.  The background light was setup at 1/16th power and the zoom head was set to 50mm.

We have the pose down, the lighting is right, now just a little bit of Photoshop work to complete the image.

Post Processing:
And there we have it.  A strong, powerful pose that can be used for the front of his new business cards.
All I needed to do was add a little contrast, saturation and some other basic adjustments in Camera RAW.

Preparing the image for the business card was pretty straight forwardI already have my monitor calibrated using the Spyder2Express tool and software.  So now I go into Photoshop and resize the image to fit business card dimensions per the print labs size specifications.  In the final product, I  put the client name on the front at the bottom of the image.  On the back of the card, I matched the background color with one from the front.  I used a light brown tone from the background panels.  Then added full name and contact information with a tasteful font.

And for those who like lighting diagrams:

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