Lighting Location Portraits

January 23, 2014
BYOL - Bring Your Own Light
 
My wife and I just completed new staff shots for our church, Hermitage Hills Baptist.   I've got to say, I am very pleased with our finished shots.  The assignment was to photograph 5 individual staff members on location plus a group.  As with many of these projects it was birthed out of a need for newer, up to date images.  And oh yeah, they need them tomorrow...literally. The new web site is going live and these need plugged in right away. 
 
We went to The Mill in Lebanon for our venue. If you've never been there, picture a place very much like The Factory in Franklin.  It is a beautiful old building that is in a constant state of remodeling. There are beautiful wood floors, open ceilings, wood beams, everything you need to make great portraits except...wait for it...LIGHT!  Surprise!  There are windows and some skylights, but they are in the wrong places for portraits.  
 
I know, you are thinking, he here goes again, he's going to beat up the "available light" photographers. Nope, I'm not going to do that I just have a simple statement:  Without additional lighting I don't know how you could have done this job.  At least, not yesterday with the light we had to work with.  You also probably couldn't have done it today, because there wasn't much light either.  The fact is that wintertime in Nashville there just aren't that many days you get to shoot.  I'm also not sure how you would do an inside environmental portrait with available light, in color.  Many different color light sources, too many to use to your benefit in my opinion.
 
We packed two different light kits and used them both. My trusty Elinchrom Quadra battery powered light and our Dynalite 800 with built in Pocket Wizard receiver and two heads.  I needed all of these to deliver what the Art Directors vision was for the shots.   If I had time I would have taken some available light shots to show you a best case scenario, but we had a pretty full plate. In fact, we ran out of God's light halfway through the staff shots.  No problem, we finished up after 5:30 and used only our lighting.  You can be the judge, but I think we nailed it.
 
First up was Dan.  It was 3:30 and the sun is setting on the opposite side of the building, so I decided to use that as my edge light to keep him from blending into the background.  By adjusting my shutter speed I'm able to get the right combination of flash and available light. 
 
 
Fuji X Pro 1
Tomorrow I will show some more portraits, all shot in this same building, but different locations.

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