Early in the summer I discovered an ultra cool location while on a bike ride. Meandering through the area I knew that at some point in the summer I would need to come back and shoot some portraits or fashion in this spot. While talking to one of my clients and discussing the spot, she eagerly expressed some interest in a shoot at the location. Over the last few years I have photographed Erin for her business, giving her head shots for marketing purposes. This shoot was vastly different being that it was not for her business and it was more casual with a flare of fashion. I suggested a white dress, giving the environment, I thought white would be most idea.. The shoot would occur later in the afternoon leading up to that beautiful golden hour light. This was one of the very first shoots with my Canon 5dS. Love this camera. At the same time I was shooting with such a beast of a DSLR, I had my Nikon F4 loaded with some 400 speed film. I wanted to play with the film while using the DSLR to capture some high resolution images. The results are beautiful, filled with light, texture, and a play on the environment.
Rome is the ideal client. He has a need for great portraits. While he has ideas of how he would like to be photographed, ultimately he leaves the creativity up to me. Back at the beginning of March I had the pleasure of having Rome in the studio for a shoot. I put together a working plan to photograph him against a white background, knowing he would want some full body shots. I also photographed him against a very nice muslin background that I bought for a trip I took to the left coast in February. Sadly it never got used on the trip, so I was very anxious to shoot against it.
I kept the lighting set up simple. For half the shoot I used a softlighter with my AB 1600. For the white, I used a parabolic with an AB 1600 and a bare bulb AB1600 to illuminate the white. I kept the background light off to the side a bit to add a bit of glare. With a few outfit changes, we navigated through the shoot with ease. I took him off the white and the other muslin for a few shots against the bare walls and window of the studio as well.
Rome is an R & B Artist, producer, and song writer. He is quite the talented chap. I first had him in the studio back in July of 2015. A mutual friend of ours produced a music video for one of Rome's songs. We were able to shoot the entire video in studio. During the shoot I popped off a few stills with the lighting having been set up for the video. I really liked the photos, as well as Rome did too.
Rome needed some updated images for his social media as well as for future releases of work. I was happy to have him in studio. You can see some behind the scenes as well as the results below. I will be working with him again in the next few weeks to create a different look. Of course I will share that shoot as well.
Over the years I have worked with Girls Inc of Holyoke to photograph key events or moments that are relevant to programs they have. I have photographed the State Senator as well as the Governor on their behalf as well as the many girls that are a part of their programs. The first time I became aware of Girls Inc being located across the street from my studio is when I saw a billboard advertising them in town. I passed by the billboard a dozen or so times prior to learning where they were located. I wanted to shoot a billboard, specifically I wanted to connect with Girls Inc and be able to shoot for them.
A year after learning where they were, I was asked to assist and make some photos on behalf of a friend who was doing some video work for them. I obliged his request and was introduced to the incredible work that Girls Inc does for the community, specifically the work they do for the girls that are part of the programs. It was a true eye opener and since then I have closely watched through the lens as some girls have transformed, grew, and become young leaders in their communities.
In 2012 I was asked to photograph some of the girls in studio. From the date of that shoot until recently they were able to utilize the photographs. Including the photo below, which shows the photos being used in newsletters, greeting cards, and thank you cards, among other printable materials.
This fall I was asked to photograph some of the newer faces of Girls Inc. They were ready for a new set of photographs and I was eager to have them in the studio again. Each shoot like this is required to be shot on a white background. Each photograph is to be delivered with a clipping mask, rendering the portrait available with a transparent layer. Girls Inc has a visual aid, kind of like a mood board, of how they want the photos, but there is always room for improv and trying some fun and new things.
I set the studio up with lights. I created a diffused bank and put a 7' parabolic behind the diffuser. I wanted a wide spread of light, but I did not want the harshness of the silver reflection from the parabolic. Basically I was mimicking a softlighter. I chose to use the parabolic because I wanted the light to be more focused towards the spot where each girl would stand. I used two other lights directed with umbrellas to the rear of the background. I pushed the power pretty high to get a nice white out. I wanted the main light to be wide enough for groups as well as individuals. The primary focus of the shoot was individuals but to also incorporate small groups of 2-4. Below is a photoshopped diagram of the set. It is a loose digital design of how I set the lights. The x indicates the spot in which each girl or group stood.
The following images are behind the scenes captured by Sarah at Girls Inc. Many thanks to her.
The following photographs are the result of the shoot.