Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘strobe’

Many (different) portraits in a nice (dark) room… quickly, please.

One thing I really enjoy about making portraits for a living, is that I am often asked to go to a place I’ve never been, and photograph people I’ve never met. I know… sounds like it should be trouble. But for me it’s like being told “I don’t look good in pictures”. It kinda makes my day.

TWMeyer-20131203-5391

This time, it was especially fun because they were all visually sophisticated and pleasant people, as was my client, Karin Pendley-Koser at KPK and Co.

TWMeyer-20131203-5612

While none of these folks were used to being photographed so deliberately, they were not hostile to the process, which is surprisingly common and always adds a Thin Layer of Interesting to the day.

But here, everyone was totally on board, and patient, too.

TWMeyer-20131203-5492

Plus, we were at Chip Cheatham’s showroom in Atlanta, which was comfortable, and lush with environmental flavor. The context of deliberate interior space needed to be an important element in these portraits, but it needed to be the second element. Or third.
Finding an appropriate background can be more challenging than connecting with the person being photographed, but this place had the opposite problem. Plenty of opportunity, and often, too much. And then there was that black ceiling. And those black walls.

 

TWMeyer-20131203-5466

I didn’t have the time to appreciate the Arnold Newman axiom of Talent<Moving Furniture @ 1/99 ratio.
I had to find existing tableau that lent themselves to the demeanor, palette and structure of each person.

TWMeyer-20131203-5648

What could be forward, and what must recede.
Who would stand where. Where do these lights go. Quickly.

TWMeyer-20131203-5620

I arranged 13 different set ups resulting in 11 final portraits of 6 different people and 3 groupings, in under two hours.

TWMeyer-20131203-5556-2

Then we went to the next location.

Corporate portraits, with creative license

You might think engineers… architectural engineers, would want a fairly conventional portrait for their business website. Well I did. Fortunately for me, they didn’t. Well they did, but they also let me do whatever I wanted, as long as I could get it done during the same day as making the group portrait of eight and a formal portrait of each of the other seven partners. And we did, under five hours from first test pop to packing the gear out the door.

Here are the 7 “casual” portraits, made extemporaneously using a couple of SB’s and various modifiers as Russell Kaye assisted me with the gear and critical/helpful/objective commentary.

Portrait of an artist as a young mother

TWMeyer_20110529_8403

Sarah with her family

After the huge fun that is found by impersonating a giant copy machine, I talked Sarah Emerson into letting me make a portrait of her. It was Memorial day weekend, and she brought her family along to pick up her beautiful paintings. I set up a light and made 18 frames in the big room at my studio… two were something I had hoped for without even knowing what they would be.

Lucky me.