Being corporate

My next assignment for my photography course covers corporate headshots and environmental photography.

I was lucky enough to secure some willing models from work to help me practice.

The theory for this seems straightforward but adding the complexity of light, flash, modifiers and posed subjects is quite a bit to take in.

Thankfully my models were patient with me and enabled me to fiddle around with the equipment to get the kind of portraits I was after.

One of the guys had to try and remain still for long periods before shots as the camera was pausing before taking the photo.  This annoyed and frustrated me but I eventually realised the camera was set for time lapse!

Despite the delay with the camera shutter, I like the candid feel of this photo

I have lots more practice to get this right. Plus I understand every portrait session will be different. However, I can already see the difference in the placement of the light vs the subject and the background.

Above the light is quite high above the subject and a little further away from his head, aimed toward the right side of his face. This causes the biggest amount of light to fall on one side of his face which causes shadow to cast on the other.

He’s also a bit further away from the wall which means the light casts the background as grey.

Softer closer light plus reflector vs. Stronger light above subject

In this example both subjects are shot in the same spot however the flash is set at different strengths and angles.
On the left the flash is on a mid setting above the subject. This give a fairly even spread of light but still some shadow.

On the right the speed light is set very high and on top of the subject causing the background to be exposed as white. It also casts a very strong light on one side of the face.

The even out the light in the left hand photo, I used a gold reflector on the opposite side of the face. This helped bounce a warmer light back onto his face and the gold light help with his natural skin tone.

Softer light on left, closer to the subject (above head). Silver reflector on opposite side.
Softer light on left, closer to the subject (above head). Silver reflector on opposite side.

Above I moved in closer with the light and use a silver reflector opposite.  This helped to fill in the light across the face to give an even complexion and to help even out the shadows.  The addition of the reflected light also helped more light to be reflected onto the models dark hair.

It’s important to ensure the subject is comfortable and at ease with the shoot. I had no such problem with any of the models featured here as I know them all fairly well.

However, having some of them together in the studio proved to be rather lively.  This posed new challenges as they were laughing and joking around which meant the camera and the flash had to be sped up to allow for the extra movement.

It paid off though.   There are some photos with blur at the edges where the subject moves a fraction in the time between the flash firing and the shutter closing. However I was left with other shots which were sharp and relaxed.

I am very pleased with how all of these photos have turned out for various reasons.

Given my experience, my equipment and the setting I am very proud of what I have achieved on this first proper test of my kit and set up.

I’m especially happy with the image above which brings out the energy and fun of the subject.

I’d like to thank all my models for taking the time out of their day (we did this in our lunch break!) as this session was invaluable.

I have learnt an awful lot from this shoot and it will help me achieve what I want from my shoot for the assignment.

You can view more of my photos in my portfolio.

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