For many photogs, it’s all about new faces, especially in the fashion world. I got it. New “It” young people, a hot new look, completely new designs. All is good.
Me, I enjoy working with people I know and love. Tried and correct. Find a new angle in a comeback. Build trust. Tackling behind the camera with a great person in front of the camera. Wonderful.
i went to Bedford’s Cameras PhotoCon in 2017, and met Darrin Davis, an experienced cop and a really nice soul. He’s doing security for the conference, and when I walk in, my head spins, and I think, “I’m not leaving without a picture of that man.”
Contrary to the formidable look he shows in the photo above (which I trained him into) Darrin is one of the warmest, friendliest people I’ve ever met. And the camera sees him as majestic. We did this shot in a hotel lobby, surrounded by classrooms, turning the exterior doors blue through incandescent WB, lighting in, etc. Simple.
Fast-forward to 2022, and he’s prepared for another portrait! We’re in the layer this time, on a black background, and used some gel and extra light to create the underneath. The lighting grid for below is two Profoto B10X Plus flashed, blown, shot through RFI softbox 1 × 3 strips, behind Darrin, to the sides. The front light is a Profoto A2, equipped with one of their ingenious Pro-Clic softboxes, with a front fabric mesh diffuser. Square format on a Nikon Z 9 with one 50mm f1.2
Switch back to vertical FX format on Z 9, with 24-70mm f2.8 at f/8, we tried a different pose. Additional DOF required for feed branch. Same light grid, with the addition of an A2 that shoots down to the floor and bounces off silver halo reflection, lay flat on the ground. A small amount of this fill light will slightly open up his face and shed some light under the brim of his hat.
Then I asked Darrin to give me a look as if he had pulled me back, and he had caught me before, and he knew me, and here I am, in trouble again. You know, the “Seriously?” look.
We ended our session with Eric Williams, one of Bedford Camera’s curators, posing at his best of a Crazy Eddie ad from the ’70s, seen as a banner. Eric is tall, so I was lucky to have a box of apples on set!