Nothing makes me more excited about my photography work than when I’m asked to undertake unique portraiture.
Most recently, I have been busy working on conceptual photography. I was super excited when close friends of mine expressed they were wanting to have their daughter’s portraits taken because she was turning fifteen. My teen client wanted portraits of herself that would be “different and fun”. Images that she could look back on and remember herself at this age. An age when a young lady is developing her self identity. So, I didn’t have to give it much thought and turned to the concept of the butterfly effect and the metamorphosis into womanhood.
With conceptual photography, color is very important to the depiction of an image and it’s message. I asked her to wear a red and black simple dress and had her wear butterfly wings with the same color combination. Red is a color of strength, power, determination, passion and love. Black is the unknown (ones future). It’s also concealing, thus it represents a form of protection. Moreover, many people wear it because of it’s simple elegance. Also, the red rose plant is a symbol of love, sincerity and respect. It’s the change that occurs within time that makes one a beautiful individual during our constant growth, as we embrace life and all it has to offer. Indeed, a simple portrait can convey a much deeper meaning.
To seize the right expression of my clients, I tend to keep the setup simple as to not have the environment feel overwhelming. I use combination lighting because it has been my finding that my clients are more at ease when there is not a lot of gear and lights that are surrounding them. Instead, I use a simple combination lighting that consists of my Quantum Qflash Trio and natural window lighting.
My setup is simple and easy to assemble. I start with a 10‘x9‘x20’ cloth background on stands and have the natural window light on the right hand side of the subject. The Qflash and a shoot-through umbrella is placed on the left side of the subject to the right and in front of the camera at a 45 degree angle towards the subject’s face. I may use reflectors at times to bounce the light for different shoots. Pocket wizards are used to alleviate the usage of any cords which can be messy and intrusive in a session. The Quantum Qflash works with a Turbo 3 battery pack and provides excellent recycling times. Having dependable, friendly to use lighting equipment allows me to put my focus on the creative part of portraiture.