Portrait of voiceover artist Jonathan Storey

One of my favorite types of assignment is when someone contacts me to do an environmental portrait in a somewhat challenging environment.

That was the case recently when journalist and voiceover artist Jonathan Storey contacted me. Jonathan needed some promotional shots for his soon to launch website www.wordtailors.net.

We had the use of a professional recording studio for 45 minutes in which to make the photos. I'd never been to a professional recording studio before but I couldn't imagine that it would be ideal for photography with regard to both the lighting and the available working space. In this case I was correct. The studio was lit with rather dim tungsten spotlights in the ceiling which certainly gave the place a nice warm ambience but wasn't exactly a flattering light for photos.

After a quick clean up of the set I got Jonathan sat comfortably at the main desk. Just out of shot, camera left I swiftly rigged up a 28" softbox with a Canon 580EX II inside. I fired off a few test shots to get both the flash and camera exposure dialed in correctly. However things were a little too contrasty for my liking with the left side of Jonathans face almost hidden in shadow.

Not to worry, I had just enough room camera right to set up a reflector to add some fill light.

Overall time to get this shot including a quick set clean, set up of lights etc - around 15 minutes. This gave us more than enough time to get some simple headshots in another part of the studio giving Jonathan the maximum number of options from the location within our allotted time slot.

If you want to learn how small flashes can really open up your options on portrait shoots head over to my workshop site to get more info. Dates for next years workshops should be on the site around Christmas.