Tuesday, April 25, 2017


My favorite hight school seniors to photograph are those that are involved in sports or the arts or something where we can introduce, as props, things they can interact with that tell the viewer what they’re passionate about. We’ve also noticed when doing people’s portraits that they are more relaxed when holding something familiar.  Personal objects tend to have a calming effect making them less aware of the camera.

So, when I found out that this young man from Eagle High School (Eagle, Idaho) was a musician and played saxophones in several bands, including their Jazz band, I asked his mother to please bring his instruments to the session!  This was special to me because I played the Alto Saxophone way, way, back in Junior High School and have always loved its sensual sound. 

His mom wanted portraits of him in his tux, so we started in the studio with his Alto sax…
f13.0 @ 1/200 sec., ISO 200
After we did the usual yearbook portraits I changed-up the lighting for this very dramatic lighting of him playing his sax.  I placed my 7-foot main, soft box, 90 degrees to the left of camera and removed my usual white reflector from camera right—if you want drama in the studio remove ALL FILL! The only other lights are the background and hair lights.  

Next we moved outside to a local park with him more casually dressed and toteing his baritone saxophone….

f5.0 @ 1/500 sec., ISO 400; lens @ 200mm
I like the big baritone because it does not get lost in a full figure pose—it has substantial presence!

So, I had to do a close-up to highlight it’s marvelous detail…

 f5.0 @ 1/500 sec., ISO 400; lens @ 200mm
He really liked this particular image! Mom wanted some close-ups without the saxophone so we moved to a spot with a nice backlit background.  By now he was very relaxed with us so we had him sit on a low, split rail, fence while mom coaxed a smile out of him.

Our favorite was this nice neutral look showing his quiet intensity…
f4.5 @ 1/500 sec., ISO 400; Lens @ 200mm
By using f4.5 @ 200mm I always get a nice painterly look in my backgrounds and good Bokeh from the backlight’s specular high lights.

That’s it for this week…have any questions or comments feel free…’Til next week…

Author:  Jerry W. Venz, PPA Master Photographer, Craftsman
Training site:  http://www.LightAtTheEdge.com
Client site:  http://www.TheStorytellersUsa.com

No comments:

Post a Comment