Portraits on location, the finishing touch

January 27, 2014

Debbie was our only woman in the group.  No, she isn't a pastor, but she oversees all our children's ministries and has lots of responsibilities and people she directs.  Marlene and Sherry found a bright red door that would make a great backdrop. It wasn't however without challenges, like glass in the surrounding area that would reflect my lights plus we could see through to the vacant room behind her.  Too fast of a shutter speed and it turned black over there, too slow and it almost blew it out.  That was a problem because I couldn't totally eliminate that room.  We landed on an exposure that made sense for Debbie.  The finished image is fun and I think a good example of her personality. 

Fuji X Pro 1

It was cold in the common areas of the building.  The first thing Marlene and I did was buy a coffee to warm us up while we scouted locations.  We noticed this restaurant had a great little table out front and some pretty glass by the doors, this was our spot for Johnny Gonzalez.  We think it looks warm and inviting, that is accomplished by allowing the color temperature of the lights inside to affect the overall exposure by dragging the shutter.   Johnny loves working with kids, and they enjoy hanging with him!  Coffee is a part of those meetings, and here's the shot:

Last up, is Mark our pastor at Rayon City.  This is our Hispanic church located about 5 miles away from our main campus.  Jokingly referred to as "the pretty pastor" we knew this one had to be great.  He was last up and brought several wardrobe options, so we had time to play a little, but our existing light was fading fast.  That wasn't a problem, in fact we were now looking for spots based entirely on the look we wanted to create.  The challenge is that we would have to use our own lighting for main and fill sources, that's why we carry so much expensive gear.

I like this location and image best of the several spots we photographed Mark

I decided that the "hard light" gave me great shadows and the effect I wanted.  The main light is a Quadra with standard reflector, high and camera right.  The rear accent light, a gridded Dynalite providing great separation and contrast.  I like this a lot!  I did think I could improve on it a little in post by using my favorite filter in Nik Software, vignette blur.  This time I modified it, something I typically don't do.  It was a bit of experiment in adjusting opacity of the filter gradually as it worked in.  I think it works really well and makes this an even better portrait.

So, these are my favorite shots.  I said initially they needed them the next day, and this is what they received.  I also gave them a DVD with every shot I took, right out of the camera.  Interestingly enough, they didn't pick all the same shots I did, here is the a link to the Hermitage Hills staff page so you can see the actual use of our portraits.  Our job as a photographer is deliver great files.  Sometimes because of the needs of the clients, we don't have the luxury of days in post production.  Plus, remember that every minute, hour or day you spend in front of your computer drastically affects your profit margin in a negative way.  My good friend Will Crockett taught me years ago to "kill it and bill it!"  That means, shoot it right in the camera, deliver it to the client, collect the check!

 

 


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