A few weeks ago, Michael Asino, an artist, commissioned me to take his portrait to be used in his social networking accounts. Michael, being a very busy person, is just available at night. We did the shoot in my place in Santa Rosa at around 9:00pm.
Mike, wanted his photo to look a bit casual but still presentable as he is being contacted by his clients mostly in social networking accounts, particularly in facebook. We sat for a few minutes and talked about the "feel" he wanted for the final photo. We both agreed to make the photo, black and white to have that "classic" feel. I told him that the photo should also feel "light" and not stiff for him to look very cordial.
I wanted the photo to look as if it was taken during a sunny day. I sat Mike near a window and placed one of my speedlights behind him to make it look like as if the sun is just gleaming through the window. To light his face, I placed a reflector near him to bounce the light from the speedlight to his face.
Mike is not used to having his photos taken and looked very stiff so I started a conversation while I was taking his photo. I wanted to capture a very natural smile so I started asking things about his daughter. Right away, Mike, thinking about his daughter, let out a very warm smile and I was able to capture it. Here's the final photo and a simple diagram of my lighting set up.
speedlight: TTL +1.0