A Different Corporate headshots session.
As professional photographers we always face many challenges, accompanying every new project we work on. This was the case with my latest Corporate headshots photosession with a customer who wanted to have a cream colored (something off white, as he said) background. This request was perfectly fine with me, as myself I was looking to experiment with this color on a background; the best thing in this particular session was my client skin tone, perfectly matching with the background color.
Of course such approach to headshots photography is a bit unorthodox, however in this particular case of great interest is not the colour of the background but the way it was lit. There are many ways to illuminate a background and as photographers one very helpful skill is to be flexible when thinking of light.
Because of the colour selected, I wanted my background to be illuminated evenly without a bright spot in the middle or vignetting on the peripheries of the frame. One thing to mention is that although I offer headshots portrait photography session as a product and part of my services, I actually strive to develop my own visual style and signature (guess this is something I inhered it by photographing portraits in more creative way as seen at Creative portrait photography portfolio) this is why I tend to use lots of strobe lights, which helps me achieve the look I’m after. Most headshot photographers like to keep their photoshoot simple and photograph their clients close to the background, like this they don’t even need separate strobe for the background.
And here you can see the final three images, which my client get as I final product:
The background lighting setup
Part of my lighting setup, when photographing headshot sessions, consist of two polyboards to block and at the same time regulate, if I want, light spread to the rear of my subject (instead of using strip boxes). This is like having back and rim light at the same time.
On this occasion I decided to do something different, instead of crossing my strobes I decided to do something else I haven’t done before. As can be seeing on the image below, I turned my speedlites againts the polyborads and bounced the light into their white surface; spreading the light evenly and smoothly across my backdrop.
Because of certain limitation in the studio I’m using, only white & black backgrounds are available, the background I was using was white and the way I turned it to be cream color was by placing gels on my flashes.
As seeing on the image, basically I flooded the whole area behind the polyboards in the color and light intensity I wanted. This is a very good way to build, even further, more complex background lighting. For example – once we have achieved even lighting across the backdrop, another flash can be placed behind the model, aimed straight at the background to create a bright spot.
Thing to remember is, when applying such method, that the output of your studio strobes or small flashes need to be increased.
Camera settings were as follow: Aperture f/8, Shutter 1/100, ISO 160.
Lens used – Canon EF 70 – 200mm F/4L IS USM
The two Canon Speedlites 580EX used for the background lighting where set at 1/2 power.
Nothing is simple or standard when building new lighting setup, that is why flexible and out of the box thinking is the best skill any photographer should develop.
If you are interested in hiring professional photographer for your next headshots session, feel free to get in touch: