From Studio to WSJ

June 29, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

It was a hot day in late June 2015 and we met in the studio for a photo shoot, primarily for a great shot for the cover of her upcoming book. The client had her own ideas of the photo she envisioned for the cover too. This was wonderful because it eased the pressure off of me, but I'd come prepared with a few ideas for shots of my own. We proceeded to do them all.

We did the first series of photos using 2 Alien Bee lights, an umbrella and a rectangular modifier against white seamless paper. But in another area of the studio,  I'd also set up a 6 foot ladder above a floor drop that looked as close to a basketball court as I could find. It was vinyl and only 6x6 feet. We eventually moved over to the floor drop and I posed my client in a squat. She protested a bit that this was not an easy position with 3" heels. I said I'd be quick. I got off only 7 shots. One was pretty good.

Oh, but there were problems.

Original

1. Floor drop size. I loved the shot, but it needed help -- it needed to have more floor at the top of the image. The floor needed to look natural and the perspective needed to be maintained. I began to build the floor at the top of the image using Photoshop. I grabbed pieces of floor in small slices and began the process of building the floor, angling the slices to maintain perspective. An intermediate stage of the photo is below.

Building Up Floor

2. Tailor pins. My client had trimmed down and all the outfits she brought had pins in them, ready to be tailored. In this shot, puckers appeared down the back of the suit jacket. It's also amazing she didn't get stuck by pins in this position....

Removing Pins and then Glare

3. Face glare. I rushed to move the lights over to the second set. It was getting warm in the studio and we'd been going at it for a while. In my rush, the lighting was slightly off, resulting in glare spots on her face. I used a technique of frequency separation to keep the skin texture natural and change the glare. The technique I used is illustrated in this video: https://youtu.be/ldhG9fmgC7o

 

Final

This isn't the photo selected for the cover of the book -- that one was against the white seamless -- but the client liked this one as well.

And then, almost a year to the day from our photo shoot, this photo appeared in the Wall Street Journal, accompanying a story on how employees communicate with their bosses. 

Yeah. Nice to have photo credit in the WSJ!!!

 


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