April is my February Portrait of the Month?!
I met April last year when she came to one of my Christmas photography workshops at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. She saw my promo video for my Portrait of the Month project and very kindly put herself forward to be featured as February's Portrait. As a keen photographer, April is most often behind the camera so it was an unusual situation for her to be a model. However, she coped with her new role very admirably!
We arranged to meet on 26 January at South Bank at 10:30am. It's one of my favourite places to to take photographs since the graffiti is regularly updated and there's always something new to capture. Typically for this time of year, it poured with rained but fortunately we were in the skateboard park sheltered from the wind and torrential showers.
I only decided what to do with my lights once I'd got there so I created a lighting diagram using the Strobox iPhone app, otherwise I'll eventually forget what I did. I used my favourite, 85mm lens. My camera settings were 1/80, f/2.2, 200 ISO. To give April some separation from the background I placed a bare speedlight at 1/32 power on a stand, approximately 10 feet behind her and slightly to my right.
My main light was another speedlight in a white bounce umbrella at 1/32 power on a stand, approximately 3 feet in front of her, to my right. Since taking my January Portrait of the Month I've learned more about posing and lighting. I've also been following some very talented retouchers on You Tube who have helped me make significant improvements to the way I edit.
This project (Portrait of the Month) came about due to the number of clients who've told me they either don't like having their photos taken or don't think they look good in photos, which got me thinking about ways to light and pose people to make them look and feel amazing. On a typical photoshoot I usually take a sequence of shots, so the purpose of this project is to concentrate on lighting, shooting and editing a single image only.
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