For me all portraits start with a story and the story I wanted to show in this image was that of a strong, intelligent, trust worthy and professional woman. To do this I positioned her in such a way where I could see her accounting degrees hanging on the wall. I also wanted to get some of the book shelf in there to also add to the image of being intelligent. After all if you have a bookshelf in your photo makes you look intelligent right???
While I want the viewer to see the items in the background I didn’t want them to detract from the main subject, so I chose a setting that would blur them but still have them clear enough so they could be recognised.
Professional Portrait can be as easy as a single light and extra thought into the composition
Next was the lighting. Where she was standing was close to the corner of the room with natural light coming from the right of camera. The problem with the natural light is that while it was soft it was no where near strong enough and completly from the wrong direction…. So with that there was only once choice and that was to use artificical lighing. That way I had complete control.
In this shot instead of using studio lights I whipped out the canon speedlites put them on my camera and pointed them back so they would bounce off the wall behind me and on to the subject. While this lighting is flat and non directional it gave even light across the entire image.
One of the other little secrets with this photo is that she doesn’t normally wear glasses. 🙂 I asked her to put them on to give her that extra “she must be a great accountant/bookkeeper as she wears glasses”.
Another tip: I made sure she positioned her glasses pointing down so that they wouldn’t reflect the flash.