Studio « Jurgen Doom

Portrait photos for profile image on social media

8 September 2011 om 10:06 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Camera,Flashlight,fotografie,photographer,Photography,Portrait,strobist,Studio

I have recently written a blog post about the quality of profile photographs for LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  You can find it here.

Recently I was contacted via the contact page of my website by …. my spouse! She asked me if she could make an appointment for a portrait session in order to get photographs for social media.  Since my wife has access to my calender, she proposed a day and time I was available.  So there was no possible escape for me … !  Photographing people who are close to you is even more difficult than photographing people who are not in your circle of relatives and friends …

Nonetheless, herewith a selection of images, shot on Nikon D3, 85mm 1.4 at f/4, 1/250.  I used 3 flashes (Nikon SB900) using Nikon’s CLS system.

 

Portrait and profile photograph for social network sites
Portrait and profile photo for social media
Portrait and profile photo for social media

 

on how to take a group photograph …

9 March 2011 om 18:03 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,Group photograph,Photography,Portrait,Studio

Remember my previous post? I talked about portrait photography for MBS but also mentioned we photographed a the whole team as a group inside the house in which we photographed the individual portraits.  Well, I didn’t include the making of the group photographt in the previous post as I wanted to keep it for a seperate post.

The group photograph we took of the staff at MBS was done in a living room.  They had seen a group photograph of a father and his 4 sons I did a while ago and they wanted something along those lines for their formal group photograph.  Therefore, we set up a mobile studio containing a background system with white background paper and 3 Elinchrome strobes (RX600).  I used 1 large Chimera softbox on the strobe facing the group and two gridded strobes aimed at the background in order to illuminate the white background (as to render it as white as possible without blowing it out too much).  The grids I used in order to reduce the spill on to the people in the group, coming strait out of the strobes.  This is something I wouldn’t need to do in studio, but on location, where space comes at a premium, this was necessary.

You can see part of the setup in this image, which I took as part of my test images to judge the lighting and position of the people in the group.

group photograph

group photograph

Notice also the white curtain I had to use in order to get the group positioned against a white backdrop.  As the group photograph was to be cleaned-up afterwards in post production, it didn’t bother me too much.

So this is what it finally looked like.  I positioned myself a bit higher up in order to create more depth in the image, which was liked very much by the group (and myself …).  Image photographer on a Nikon D3x.  Flashes triggered with Elinchrome Skyport.

group photograph

group photograph

Group photographs are sometimes a nightmare for photographers, as there are so many things that can go wrong …. but on this one, it was almost plain sailing!

Photography and pregnancy, a match made in heaven!

22 March 2010 om 12:00 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,Portrait,Studio

As a photographer, one of the most beautiful things to photograph is a pregnant womam.  Woman in itself are already beautiful (man too, but that’s a different story alltogether), but a pregnant woman is a pleasure to photograph and to look at.  Most of the times, when pregnancy goes well, these woman are so proud of their little bundle of joy inside their body, that they come accross on photographs in a self-confident way.

It wasn’t any different with this lady, who I photographed in her own house.  Photographing a belly on location, that is in the comfort and cosyness of someone’s own house, holds many advantages.  The pregnant lady doesn’t have to move herself towards a photo studio, but she can stay in a well-known environment, which ultimately helps to gain even more confidence to pose for photographs.  In order to explore the through possibilities of pregnancy photography, often people want photographs of the naked body (which, indeed, shows the changing outlines of the body very well). But as you will see in the photographs below, it doesn’t always have to be naked.

With the help of a black background, which I brought along, and a few of-camera reportage flashes (type Nikon SB900) I created different images.  In order to respect the privacy of everyone involved, I can only show a few images, but they serve to prove my point.  Woman are beautiful, pregnant woman are stunning!

Beautiful shape of a lady's torso.

Beautiful shape of a lady's torso.

Outline of the beautifully shaped belly

Outline of the beautifully shaped belly

Studio photoshoot – Large group portrait

14 September 2009 om 15:59 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Commercial,Portrait,Studio

I was recently contacted by a family  who asked me if they could have their portraits taken, as well as a group photograph, in order to have a beautiful surprise gift for their mums’ 50th birthday.  They would be 5, 4 sons and the father.

They wanted a group photograph in the studio, against a white background and they wanted to dress up for the occasion.

Having a rather small home studio, which has served me well so far, I was a little tense and I was prepared to photograph every family member on his own in order to photoshop them all into one image.  However, always being up for a challange, I tried to photograph them together in one shot.

When they arrived at the studio, they all got dressed into these very smart dresses (some of them had difficulties getting into their trousers, but eventually every one managed to get fully dressed).

I managed to position them in such a way that they looked well, that the image was interesting to look at and that everyone somewhat showed his personality.  Than, the biggest problem with such a group shot lies in lighting them all evenly, which, in a small studio, is not easy.  In order to do so I used only one studio light, placed behind a huge softbox that I created out of translucent material.  The total area of this material is about 4 square meter (roughly 6 foot by 6 foot).  In doing so, I created a large lightsource, which results in an even illumination of the subject whilst still creating enough contrast.

The background was lit by a background reflector, so I used 2 studio lights in total.  This is the result, which finally got printed on canvas at 1m by 1.50m.

Studio shoot

Studio shoot

High key lighting for studio portraits

10 June 2009 om 12:33 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,Portrait,Studio

During a studio session, in which I photograph people, I try to use different kinds of lighting. 

With An, I wanted to create a high key lighting, which means that the photograph consists of mainly whites.  In terms of a portrait, you want to over expose most of the skintones so that it renders mostly white.  Only her hair, her eyes, nose and mouth  as well as the basic outlines of her face and arms are seen, which is enough to create the suggestion of a person.  Ideally, for a high key portrait, you want blond hair, but that’s perhaps asking a bit much from my models ….

Jürgen Doom

Update – Caro asked for the lighting setup.  Well, I used 2 studio lights.  One light was used to evenly illuminate the white background, which is slightly over exposed compared to An.  Therefore, the background is white.  An was lit by one large softbox, which was placed in front of An, about head’s hight, slightly tilted downwards.  At waist level I added a silver reflector in order to reflect a large amount of light coming from above back in to An, thus creating an evenly lit portrait.  The exposure was of course a bit over normal exposure in order to get the desired effect.  Post processing was done in lightroom, mainly adjusting exposure and black clipping.

 

 

anlehouck-27

 

 

anlehouck-28

Studio lighting for portraits

26 May 2009 om 10:40 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,Portrait,Studio

Recently I did a studio portrait session with a pregnant couple.  The lady was about 36 weeks so it was a “now or never” shoot.

A studio session usually takes about an hour.  Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.  During such a session, I use different types of lighting, which means that I can go from very soft, elegant light on a white background to hard, contrasty light on a black background – within minutes.  

A good example to illustrate this are the shots of the aforementioned portrait session of the pregnant couple.  The first image shows a typical example of relatively hard lighting by using 1 strobe (Elinchrom Style 600RX) fitted with a gridded spot.  The spot naturally throws a restricted beam of light and the grid channels it even more.  The result is an image with very directional light, hard shadow, a lot of contrast but also with a lot of emotion and mood.  Also, because of the restricted light, the background doesn’t receive any light and stays black (although a light grey background had been used).

valerietim-195-2

The image has had post-production in Lightroom where I opted for a sepia look.  In my opinion, sepia works very well as skin tones (most of the times better than black and white), hence my choice for sepia.

On the other end of the lighting spectrum we have a lighting setup consisting of 3 Elinchrom strobes.  Two strobes were placed on either side of the couple and were fitted with large Chimera sofboxes.  These softboxes make for large and soft light sources, allowing for the light to wrap around the subject and thus creating soft shadows.  The 3rd strobe was used to illuminate the background, which was exactly the same grey background as in the previous image.  This time, by over exposing the background, it is rendered as pure white.  I balanced the two soft light sources in the front against the background in such a way that the couple was also a little overexposed, in order to get the desired image.  Post production in Lightroom (sepia toning).

 

valerietim-240-2

These two photographs, taken within a few minutes from each other, illustrate the fact that lighting – and not the camera  - does most of the job in a photograph.  It’s the photographers’ task to postion its lighting in such a way that he or she obtains the desired effect.  And this skill is still the reason why photographers exist, because no camera can do this for you.

Jürgen Doom