Headshots



 I was asked to take pictures for a company Christmas card again. The card turned out OK but a few people couldn't make it and got left out and I didn't feel the final picture represented what the company does well. It would have been great for a heavy equipment supplier or a group that trims trees or something but this is for a telecom that provides voice and data services to some of the largest companys in the south. I didn't want another normal group shot again and it's pretty hard to get 30+ people that work in a 100+ mile radius away from their desk at the same time at a time of day where the sun won't make harsh shadows. I couldn't control the background where we were going to be and I definitely can't control the sun with a group that large. This time I decided to shoot each person full length on my version of a white seamless and composite the all together as a large group. This was going along great until I was told some people wouldn't let me shoot full length shots so plan A was scrapped. I don't remember plans B through somewhere around Q but finally decided to just shoot headshots on white. This would be easy to control the lightning and I can concentrate on each person to make sure I get a good shot.

 Everything was shot in the lobby of the main office over a few days as time allowed. I had to tear the "set" down each day and put it back the next when I could shoot another group. I made it easy on myself by taking iPhone pictures of everything including flash settings. I was able to get set back up in less than 5 minutes this way.  For the background I used some white ripstop nylon I have with a Alien Bees AB800 on 1/4 power shooting through it from behind. This made a clean white background and I didn't have to worry about any of the wrinkles showing. The main light was a 60" shoot through umbrella with a Nikon SB900 set to 1/2 power. I have a SB-800 and another umbrella but decided not to use them to keep it a simple as I could. I only have two PocketWizards so I put one on the camera of course, the other on the AB800 and put the SB900 on SU-4 mode. I only had 1 shot where the 900 didn't fire. I never figured out why but this isn't a wedding or a sports event so it didn't matter. My shutter speed and aperture were set to knock out the ambient light. I set my camera on a tripod and just had to get a good expression and hit the button. The expression is the hardest part. The button pushing part is the easy part.

The dog works here too. She's the official "dropped food disposal supervisor" and she takes her job very seriously.

 Here is a test shot just to check the lightning.
 I may try to use it. I'm digging the pocket.

I plan on doing more like this but play with the lighting a little, colored gels on the background light and maybe bring in the other umbrella. I have a few ideas.

Here are two iPhone shots of the set up so I could remember where everything was set. Simple and clean. 





We threw this guy in here just for fun and in case we missed anybody we have a replacement employee fror the card.

3 comments:

canvas prints said...

i love the minion picture. we just got one from Disney when we was out at one of the parks.

canvas prints said...

i love the minion picture. we just got one from Disney when we was out at one of the parks.

canvas prints said...

i love the minion picture. we just got one from Disney when we was out at one of the parks.