I’m at number 15, people who have come at my studio to pose for the professions project. All people I have photographed are un-easy with posing, and it has been a challenge to make them feel comfortable enough to get a good portrait and a nice depiction of their professional occupation.
Last I had a directors assistant and I would like to show you a bit of the shoot in evolution. I always ask people to bring something related to their job, and to be creative in what they bring (otherwise everybody brings a computer nowadays). She had brought a small calculator and a cellphone, because she does a lot of pricing calculations and she is on the phone half of her working time.
First of all I do a shot to verify my light setup, a quick close portrait will do to check on the detail in the highlights and the shadows.
First we tried with the calculator and a portable home phone I have here at hand. Phone in left hand, phone in right hand, didn’t work out to my feeling.
Ok then, let’s try only the calculator, maybe we’re going to get somewhere, … duhhhh, nope, nothing ‘directors assistant’ alike.
Maybe when we use only the phone, the pose will be less ‘forced’ and more natural, try putting a hand on your hip, nice, but not so ‘verymuchbusywithalotofthingsatthesametime’. This looks more like a well dressed woman calling her friend.
Now what do you really do in your job, I asked Ellen, …
Well, I’m often occupied with a lot of papers, trying to fix a date for an appointment in my bosses agenda, whilst running from here to there, …
Oh, okay, let’s find you some papers, an agenda, a pen, and hold that calculator and phone while I go find what we need.
I gave her some invoices strolling on my desk (she gave them back after the shoot 🙁 an agenda, a pen, …) and I quickly grabbed my camera.
While she was struggling to get all those things comfortably in her hands, I took a shot, MY SHOT! We did some less panic’y shots for her too, but I had my shot! The directors assistant, getting thrown ten things at the same time to her head, and trying to deal with all of them.
I have no proper background system yet, so I need to do some retouching on the background, painting some areas black, next I do some local adjustments for some extra exposure to the hands, the shadow side of the face, the shadow side of the dress, I add some more exposure to the orange tones and that’s it for my final image.
After that, I took a picture of Ellen and her husband Bart, as a bonus, because I made her work so hard. Thank you Ellen, thank you Bart!