Thursday, August 07, 2014

Time for Senior pictures

Nikon D4Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/250—Two Alienbees B1600 mixed with daylight [diagram below]
It is that time of year that I get requests for doing Senior photos. I have not marketed myself to this market, but friends through church and work call and ask if I will photograph their Senior.


Today's Senior pictures are much different than when I had mine made back in 1980.  Today we are seeing more and more photos of Seniors in their favorite activity.

Last night I captured Grant Newsom at the pool where he is on the swim team and also a lifeguard.

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/250—Two Alienbees B1600 mixed with daylight
When we first met to start the shoot I was told that Grant's employer scheduled him to work right at the same time and didn't tell him about the change in schedule. He didn't want to let down his employer and was really concerned this was going to take a long time.

We did all these photos in one hour. Three locations and one of those required us to drive a small distance. This means taking huge soft box and setting up and taking down in three locations. It also meant that he had some outfit changes to do.

Well after to first few minutes Grant relaxed realizing we were getting great images and moving quickly.

This is why you practice over and over doing these type of photos so you are ready to go when you have to "Get Er Done." I have done this so many times through my career I was able to quickly move and set up and get some pretty good images of Grant. I will let you be the judge of the images.

I used two Alienbees B1600 flashes being powered by Paul Buff Vagabond battery packs. The reason I used two at the pool was I knew that when you do the butterfly stroke you are looking down most of the time and the light just isn't there most of the time. I filled the shadows with the flashes.

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/250—One Alienbees B1600 with a large softbox off to the right to be mixed with daylight
We had a lot of fun capturing these photos. The main reason I feel like you get great photos in this situation is the Senior is doing what they love the most. They are in their world of comfort and I am there to join them.

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/250—One Alienbees B1600 with large soft box and mixed with daylight
For the most part I wanted to capture the competitor in the pool, thus less smiles here. We did get some, but I like the fierce look.

Nikon D4, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/250—Large 30" x 60" foldable softbox with Alienbees B1600 mixed with daylight, also one Alienbees B1600 directly behind the model
We just changed shirts and locations pretty quickly to keep on schedule for the Senior to run to work.

Nikon D4, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/250—Large 30" x 60" foldable soft box with Alienbees B1600 on the left and then mixed with daylight [lighting diagram below]
Keeping it simple I am using one large 30" x 60" Paul C Buff foldable soft box as the main light and then letting the available sunlight light the rest of the photo. The flash is about one stop brighter than the rest of the scene. I exposed for the softbox light and used an ExpoDisc to get a custom white balance before shooting the photos.

Nikon D4, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/250—Large 30" x 60" foldable soft box with Alienbees B1600 on the left and then mixed with daylight
When you look for a photographer for Senior pictures some of the best will be former newspaper photographers. They have shot everything, so it will be rare that your child has a favorite hobby that they haven't shot before.

I covered the 1996 Olympics and specifically covered the swimming and diving. I was ready for Grant in the pool.

Remember these Senior pictures we will cherish the rest of our lives and for generations later as they look back. Next year is my 35th high school reunion. It feels like yesterday and we are all pulling out those photos from back in 1980.

By the way we finished in time for Grant to go to work and have a date that night.

2 comments:

gary s chapman said...

Really nice swim shots. The lighting is well done Stanley!

Stanley Leary said...

Thanks Gary!