portfolio shoot

Model Portfolio Headshot Shoot in Albuquerque New Mexico with Trevor

Model Portfolio Headshot Shoot in Albuquerque New Mexico with Trevor

Trevor contacted me about headshots and liked the idea of coming to my home photo studio setup in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  He had looked through my dozens of headshots posted on my business website and showed me three styles that he wanted for his own headshots.  Also, he wanted some for his modeling work and also to use for business on Linkedin, etc.  The headshot above was similar to one I created for one of my last clients back in Florida.  

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Model Portfolio Headshot Shoot in Cape Coral Florida with Lauren

Model Portfolio Headshot Shoot in Cape Coral Florida with Lauren

Model Portfolio Creative Headshot in Cape Coral Florida - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm f/7.1 ISO 200 1/100th - Strobist: SB-800 and SB-600 each in 42" brollyTuesday afternoon I met Lauren to make modelportfolio headshots for her right in her home in Cape CoralFlorida!  All these photographs were made on location in her home allowing Lauren to make easy wardrobe changes.  All shots were made on a white background and in editing color backgrounds were added digitally, as well as adding a pure white background for maximum impact.

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Ballet Dancer Model Portfolio Shoot Wesley Chapel Florida Photography

Ballet dancer Katie in her own home studio for this model portfolio shoot in Wesley Chapel Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/250th - Strobist: SB-800 & SB-600 each in own 43" brollyKatie is a new friend I have made in my brief time in Wesley Chapel Florida.  For many years she was a professional dancer and on stage around the country.  Now in her Wesley Chapel home she has her own dance studio.  I went over on a Sunday evening to make some ballet dancer model portfolio shots in that studio and found out the real challenge of shooting in a room with a wall of mirrors!  It took me quite a few different setup tries to eliminate or reduce lights and myself ending up in the background of shots.  Katie also had the hard task of repeating physical ballet moves like the one above!

Katie on her ballet bar in her home studio during our model portfolio shoot in Wesley Chapel Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/250th - Strobist: SB-800 & SB-600 each in their own 43" brollyIn this shot Katie takes a break from jumps and relaxes with a leg up.  I tried out the bar myself and took two tries before I could swing my leg up on its own (no hand help) even though I am three inches taller than Katie!  Range of motion is something I know I need to keep working on.  

Katie on point during our ballet model portfolio shoot in Wesley Chapel Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/250th - Strobist: SB-800 & SB-600 each in their own 43" brollyNot suprisingly, being on tip toes is not the most comfortable thing to do in the world.  I realized quickly that my usual lens I like to use for model shoots, my Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D was not going to be practical in such a space, and switched to my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens which was used for all the shots seen here.

Katie showing the flexibility of a ballet dancer during our model portfolio shoot in Wesley Chapel - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/250th - Strobist: SB-800 & SB-600 each in their own 43" brolly - background added digitally

Katie also uses her dance studio as a fitness and workout center.  It was not possible to remove all things from the room, and they were too hard to remove digitally on their own, so in the above shot I just cut out Katie herself and put her on that digital background, which is actually a portion of a photograph I made at a car event (see the second photo from the bottom) that had cool red lighting.  

Katie touching the sky during our ballet model portfolio shoot in Wesley Chapel Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/250th - Strobist: SB-800 & SB-600 each in their own 43" brollyWe shot for quite sometime and Katie was great about repeating each jump & pose as long as needed to get just the right shot in terms of lighting, limb placement and composition.  I got to learn just how challenging it is to shoot in a hall of mirrors and to be a ballet dancer!

Photography Tip - use harsh sunlight to backlight your subject

Photography Tip - incorporating harsh sunlight as a part of your photographIn Florida especially, there is often harsh sunlight to deal with when making outdoor portraits.  In the above example, I was working with a model on a portfolio shoot close to sunset time.  Having such an abudnance of light, I decided to make it an element of the photograph.  Putting the sun partially or entirely behind the subject can create a very strong, backlit effect.  Depending on your lens and position, some lens flare may be visible and add yet another element to the image.  I still used a speedlight off camera to frame right to help get enough exposure on the model then let the sun do the rest in the background.

Instead of fighting against the sun, try working with it to create unusual lighting effects in your portraits.  

Couples Model Portfolio Shoot in downtown St. Petersburg Florida

Couples model portfolio shoot in St. Petersburg Florida - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/100th - Strobist: SB-800 @ 1/2 power in 43" brolly foreground & SB-600 @ 1/2 power in collapsed shoot through umbrella in background

This shoot was with returning client Mark, but was by far the biggest contrast between photography services with the same client.  In November 2012 he reserved a car photography shoot for his Mustang Cobra and as you can see this time it was a model portfolio shoot, involving himself and his girlfriend too no less!  He saw some of my previous modeling shots at a brick wall and vintage door location and asked if we could use that same downtown St. Petersburg Florida spot.  

Using my favorite brick wall background in downtown St. Petersburg Florida model portfolio shoot - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/100th - Strobist: SB-800 @ 1/2 power in 43" brolly foreground & SB-600 @ 1/2 power in collapsed shoot through umbrella in backgroundFor the shoot Mark wanted some individual shots of himself, individuals of his girlfriend, and then also shots of them together as a couple switching between the brick wall background and the vintage door.  They also did a wardrobe change.  For the above shot I used the pinhole filter in Silver Efex Pro to create that shadowy black & white look.

Dynamic model portfolio shoot in St. Petersburg Florida - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/160th - Strobist: SB-800 @ 1/2 power in 43" brolly foreground & SB-600 @ 1/2 power in collapsed shoot through umbrella in backgroundNot being professional models I suggested various ideas in addition to the ones they wanted to try too.  I always like to try and get a dynamic look shot, so I suggested a hair toss.  It took several tries and different starting points and remembering to smile even though she was flicking her head back, but in the end I got the result I envisioned for the shot.  

Urban model portfolio shoot in St. Petersburg Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/100th - Strobist: SB-800 @ 1/2 power in 43" brolly to frame right & SB-600 @ 1/2 power in 43" shoot through umbrella to frame leftFor their first model portfolio shoot they both did great and I am of course always happy to work with a previous client again.  I look forward to whatever type of shoot Marks wants to do next be it model, car or something else!

Vintage Door Model Portfolio Shoot St. Petersburg Florida with Rita

Framing the model, Rita, with detailed architecture and a vintage door - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/9 ISO 200 1/100th - Strobist: SB-800 @ 1/4 power in 43" brolly to frame left

For my model portfolio shoot with Rita in downtown St. Petersburg, I finally had a chance to use a very small part of a building I had been wanting to feature in a photo shoot for a long time.  Many times I walked past this spot while teaching 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lessons and kept making mental notes to use the features of the spot (long brick wall, medieval looking door) in a shoot someday.  Finally, that day was yesterday evening with model, Rita (her official website).

Featuring a brick wall in this panorama model headshot - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/60th - Strobist: SB-800 @ 1/4 power in 43" brolly to frame right & SB-600 @ 1/16th power with diffuser cap pointed at the wallThough we only shot in a space of about 10 feet, we were able to produce a variety of different shots by featuring the brick wall or the metallic door as the background as well as close-ups and wide shots.  I also switched between using a 2-strobe setup like the one above, and a single strobe setup like the lead image.  

Model positioning her arm as a triangle to be symmetric with the door handle - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/60th Strobist: SB-800 @ 1/4 power in 43" brolly to frame leftRita's style of changing poses after each time I pushed the shutter made for a flow that I had not experienced with a model before.  I really liked it as it kept the shoot moving giving the process a dynamic feel.  

Bokeh made by traffic lights - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/60th Strobist: SB-800 @ 1/4 power in 43" brolly to frame right & SB-600 @ 1/16th power to frame leftI liked being able to make soft looking images, like the one above, along with gritty images in the same shoot as no matter how long or short of a shoot, I do like to create a variety of looks for the model.  For the above shot, I thought the straight perpendicular composition looked too rigid, so I tilted my camera to remove the boundary feeling of the 90-degree angle framing.

This images features a vertical line theme - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/9 ISO 200 1/100th Strobist: SB-800 @ 1/4 power in 43" brolly to frame leftI was again impressed with the lighting job my 43" brolly did.  I will feature it in a proper gear review soon.  As you can see it does not take a lot of lighting equipment to make an effective portrait.  The above shot features a single speedlight off camera in the brolly.  All I did was place it about 45 degrees to the left of the model on a light stand using inexpensive Yongnuo radio triggers (to be reviewed soon also).  Of course it also helps to have a beautiful and talented model like Rita to work with!