I can’t believe it has been over two weeks since my last post. It has been an insanely busy summer of shooting, and I have so much to write about (travel, street, portrait sessions, etc). Today I’d like to share photos from a session with a musician, discuss things that go through my mind during a portrait session, and, of course, share a lot of pictures.
As always, each image can be clicked to view in larger resolution.
Not many people know this, but before my creative life shifted to photography I was a professional musician, playing the usual circuit of pubs, weddings, corporate events, etc. I love music, love the guitar, and loved every minute of being on stage. Being able to bring these two worlds together (music and photography) on this shoot was a rewarding experience for me.
This was also an opportunity to continue working with several items I am reviewing for Fuji Canada right now, namely the new Fuji X-T10 camera body, and two of the pro level zooms Fuji offers: The Fujinon 16-55mm f/2.8 and the Fujinon 50-140mm f/2.8.
Let’s get started:
Whenever I am discussing a shoot with a client I always ask what they are looking for. In this case Clint wanted some portraits for his website that showed him as open and collaborative. He then uttered that phrase that all creatives love to here:
“Other than that, go nuts with whatever you want to do. I am putty in your hands.”
We shot on location, and in studio, to capture some of the following images:
What you see in the above 4 photographs is really want you get with Clint. He is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, and a lover of all things music. It is impossible not to see his passion for it.
Although focused on getting the above images, we also took the time to be a little more creative. Moving the light to the side and shooting profile got us something like this:
I love this kind of thing. A clean background, contrasting outfit, side lit… simple and beautiful.
The last thing we did in studio was to bring in 2 small flashes up high on each side, crank the aperture down to get a starburst effect from them, and placed a gridded flash just on Clint’s face. Oh, and we added a leather jacket of course. It is rock’n’roll after all.
That gave us this:
It’s cliche, but I love this kind of thing.
In previous blog posts I have said that I love working with actors, dancers, and athletes because they understand their physicality, and usually aren’t shy about putting themselves out there. You can definitely add musicians to that list. We put on some tunes and Clint just jammed along while I shot:
The final shot of the evening was the one at the beginning of this post:
Where we also shot this:
What an awesome way to end the evening.
You don’t need a lot to shoot compelling portraits. These were shot in two places only: My living room, and an industrial park. I used one camera, 2 lenses, and a light or two. That’s it.
That’s just the technical though. Portraits are about so much more. Portraits are about the person you are photographing. Once you have your technical down you need to forget about the camera, make a connection with your client, and build a level of trust where they can relax and enjoy the photoshoot.
For example: Clint is in his comfort zone on stage. He owns it:
That definitely made my job easier, but a portrait session is still different. It is just the two of you, maybe an assistant or two on a bigger job. It is more intimate, and capturing emotion in a still frame is always more difficult than feeling it during a live show. As photographers this is where our focus needs to be during a portrait session, and something I am constantly striving to get better at.
p.s. Readers of this blog will know I am a prime lens shooter through and through. I cannot tell you, however, how amazing the Fujinon 50-140mm f/2.8 lens is. My full review is coming at the end of August, but this is an incredible lens to work with.