Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How I Got The Shot #24 - Couples Portrait Shoot

Pictures can say a lot of things, and sometimes you want to use them to show others an emotion or to capture a feeling in a moment in time. 

I had the pleasure of being picked by Layne and Neica for a couples portrait shoot.

Check out the details after the break...
Creative Process:
During the pre-shoot consultation, the clients had expressed what they wanted - a very simple but elegant set of black and white close in portraits.  A great idea to be sure, but as we always want to do - we want to give the client a little bit more than what they ask for!!
The shoot was taking place at the clients residence and once I arrived, I knew that we could give them a little more for their time.

Clients home - Ohio.

Nikon D300
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
Nikon SB-26(fill light), SB-28(main light)
1/8" grid
Lumiquest SB III(fill light), SB LTP(main light)
Radio Popper JrX trigger/receivers
Frio cold shoe adapters, light stands, black gobo used as a background

EXIF Info:
Shot in manual mode
1/250th @ f/7.1 ISO 100 - for in close portraits
1/20th @ f/4 ISO 800 for environmental portraits
Camera quality setting - RAW

Lighting Setup:
For environmental portraits:
SB-26 @ 1/4 power 1/8" grid to camera left, Ambient - window light to camera left, tungsten lamps to subject/camera right/left and candle light at subject front.

For  close up portraits:
SB-28 @ 1/4th power(main) through a Lumiquest SB LTP above and to camera right
SB-26 @ 1/8th power just below camera as a low fill through Lumiquest SB III

Layne and Neica had great fun posing for the shots.  It was a lot more "work" then they had ever thought, but I remember them commenting that it was fun work.  I'd mentioned before when doing a self portrait why I am not fond of being in front of the camera.  I wanted to do that though as a reminder to myself that there are some important things to remember when taking the role of photographer.  Make it fun for the client and if the shots don't come out right, it's MY fault.  it is up to the photographer to do whatever it takes to get the shots required.

Anyway - digressing back to the images....

Now - to the environmental portraits.....

Like I was alluding to earlier - Neica has a beautiful house.  Superbly decorated.  Not too much stuff around, but enough that you know it is lived in and comfortable.  We talked about how they spend nights together sitting on the couch, a glass of wine, perhaps some TV - always great conversation.

Just seeing all that great stuff, I said to them, "You know....I have a great idea.  I know you were wanting a certain type of shot, but if you have an extra 10 minutes, maybe we can try something a little different."
I explained to them my idea and they thought it sounded great!  never hurts to ask, does it?  The worse they could have said was no.  I knew that I already had great shots in the style they had requested - now I wanted to give them that "something extra".

That is when we came into these shots:

Lighting Diagrams:

Close Up Head shots:

Environmental Portraits:

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