Gravitating to Gray

Although most of my headshots are shot on white seamless backdrops, it is fun to mix it up to achieve a different look. Changing the background to gray or black gives a completely different feel to the image and can be better suited to complement certain expressions by toning down the overall mood of the image. Check out how the gray matches the quiet confidence expressed in this headshot of writer/director Jess Carson:


Now compare that image to the headshot below and you can see how the white background is more suited for her expression of playful exuberance:


Another item to note is the use of fill lighting in the two images. Although both images used essentially the same angle on the main light, the amount of fill light was reduced in the first image to further enhance the drama by deepening the shadows on her face. Stay tuned for more behind the scenes commentary in future blog posts!

The Firefly in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Located on Bastimentos island in Bocas del Toro is the Eco bed and breakfast called The Firefly. Lauren and Ryan, the owners of The Firefly, turned what was originally just a single home nestled in the jungle just steps from the Caribbean into one of a kind accommodations that now includes a bar and restaurant, bungalows, an infinity pool, and a yoga studio. The goal of the shoot was to provide The Firefly with images of the rooms, bar and restaurant, and a hero twilight shot of the new pool and bungalow. 


The twilight photograph of the bungalow shown above was the shot I had in mind before even arriving in Panama. The light painting method used for shooting this twilight image I learned from a Los Angeles photographer named Mike Kelley ( Light painting entails using any form of light to illuminate a scene with the quantity and quality of light that is desired. In the video below, I'm shown individually lighting the scene with a handheld flash. Post-capture, all the images are brought into photoshop where masks are used to reveal the desired lighting. It is a very labor intensive and time-consuming method but the results are worth the effort.