A week ago at work (South Texas College) I was assigned to photograph the college president. The school president’s schedule is always very tight. I got lucky that she was already going to be taking photos with The Monitor Newspaper in the morning so I was able to piggy-back on that. She was scheduled to be interviewed and photographed on a Monday so the Friday before I did some location scouting and light testing.
I asked a colleague to sit in and recommend locations since she is the facility manager. I was only going to have about 5-10mins with the president so I had to have a simple setup. The lighting equipment I used was the Canon Speedlite 600EX‑RT Flash, mounted and controlled by PocketWizards FlexTT5 Transceivers and diffused by a Westcott Rapid 26″ Octa Softbox. The camera I used was the Canon 5D MK III with a 70-200mm 2.8 Sigma lens.
Of all the locations we tested out we only used two. When you are photographing high profile subjects you want to make them travel the least possible and make them feel as comfortable as possible. My colleague joined me Monday to assist me with lighting and hair for the president. Make sure to take assistants with you when doing these type of portraits. Of the two locations used only one photo was selected and published. View the shot below.
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A few months back I tested the eVOLV 200 in straight 12:00pm daylight with and without a diffuser to see if it can be used during high-noon and these are the results from that product test photo shoot. Special thanks to my coworker and friend Dimitra for modeling for this product test. I have also conducted an indoor studio style test with light that can be seen by clicking on this link –> https://benbriones.com/2019/01/10/flashpoint-evolv-200-studio-head-shot-test-ben-briones-studios
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Photography Lesson: Composition
A while back I met up with my good friend Edna, who is an amazing photographer, to do a photography lesson on composition. To be honest I don’t know why she does lessons with me because her work is amazing already but I’ll take any moment to teach anyone who’s passionate about photography and getting better with a camera.
Photograph by Edna
Photograph One – Edna V.
Photograph One – Edna V. – BREAKDOWN
The photo is really well balanced from the top and from the bottom. This is important in when composing a shot because you never know when your client may want to purchase a print. I always teach my photographers to shoot for print and this shot was perfectly shot with that in mind. The pose / body also forms a triangle and that is important to note because the human eye is attracted to simple shapes and if you can create those simple shapes through human poses you have won the eye. I also encouraged her to shoot from an angle so we can get the leading lines formed by the bridge and rails. This helps the viewer follow the lines to your subject.
Photograph Two – Edna V. – BREAKDOWN
Photograph Two – Edna V.
Often you find yourself near a set a stairs and want to pose your subject on the steps, which is what we did here. If it’s a long stairway I always suggest to sit the model 3 to 4 steps up from the bottom to allow some space above the head. In the photo above my student Edna gave enough space to frame the subject in the stairway. This setting was perfect for applying repetition, which is another important tool to use in composition. I was able to help see the shape in the body and the repetition of the stairs for the composition.
Kudos to my student Edna, as mentioned before, she’s already an amazing photographer and sharpening up her composition skills will just make her better. You can view here work her at this link: swankyfoto
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