DSLR Photography Lesson with Stuart in his Safety Harbor salon

Practicing off camera flash (strobist) with Jackie as Stuart's model in his Safety Harbor salon

Stuart was interested in a very specific DSLR photography lesson -- how to take "before & after" headshots of his customers in his salon (website).  This very specific photographic need actually makes the lesson easier for me to teach in a way because the student and I can concentrate on just the settings needed for the type of shot he wants.  Since he has his own salon with consistent lighting, it was just a matter of finding a spot with a clean background and getting our off camera flash settings dialed in.

Right now Stuart just has a Canon XT with the standard 18-55mm kit lens.  In the photo above I set him up with my Nikon SB-800 Speedlight, light stand and Yongnuo radio remote triggers (which allows a Canon camera to use a Nikon speedlight).  However, we started out just doing natural light, then his built-in pop-up flash, then simulating the speedlight being hotshoe mounted, and then finally true strobist style.  Of course the best results were produced using the strobist (off camera flash) method.  

For the lesson Stuart's pal Jackie was our willing model.  In addition to teaching Stuart strobist techniques, I also helped him to pose the model (Jackie) for best impact and lighting, as well on how to best frame a shot in the limited shooting space of the salon.  I recommended a tight composition to eliminate the need to later crop the image and to eliminate what I call intruders (like those brushes on the wall) messing up the clean background.

It was nice to have a lesson in air conditioning and fun to meet Jackie and Stuart.  Once Stuart gets his own speedlight, we will meet again for another lesson.   

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