Today I learned a little bit more about taking portraits. My friend Cindy’s daughter Kelly, a student at Arizona State University, is excited to be a finalist for a position as a Phoenix Sun’s Dancer and I volunteered to take the head shots she needs for her interview in a couple of weeks in Arizona. I set up my studio in my sewing room taking advantage of the afternoon light from corner windows. I also had white reflectors everywhere and brought in every available lamp to enhance the lighting. I used my 18-200mm lens and discovered that it was necessary to slow the shutter speed to the point where I had to use the tripod and I attached the Scoop so I could deflect the flash to add even more light.
Kelly brought several changes of clothes and I had several backdrops of different colors and textures that her Mom and I bought at Joann’s yesterday. I downloaded photos to the computer frequently so we could evaluate how we were doing. The photos were good and I managed to get her eyes in perfect focus but something was missing. We tried different colored tops and changed the backgrounds but although the photos were in focus and well exposed, something was missing; I finally realized it was the lack of highlights in her hair. For all the lights and reflectors I had set up, I didn’t have an overhead light to reflect down on her hair. Luckily, Cindy had accompanied her daughter and she spent the rest of the afternoon holding an OTT light over Kelly’s hair. That made all the difference in the world and we finally got the results we were seeking.
In my opinion, it would be hard, if not impossible, to take a bad photograph of Kelly. I’m not sure which of the many usable shots she will pick for her interview. We all liked this photo but she felt it was a little too casual and not quite the “sexy” and “professional” look they were expecting and she preferred several others. But it is my favorite so when I got her permission to use one of the shots for my photo of the day, I informed her that I get to pick this one!
Focal Length 75mm