A cover photograph, aka the Christmas cover « Jurgen Doom

A cover photograph, aka the Christmas cover

7 December 2010 om 13:02 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie advertising,Flashlight,Photography,Portrait

As a photographer, freelancing for magazines and art-directors, you have to be both very adaptable and flexible.  Take this cover photograph for OKRA as an example.  The art-director wanted a photograph for the december issue, which had to have a connection with Christmas, but the image shouldn’t be an obvious christmas photograph either (tree, lights & presents). Fine with me.

In addition to that, they suggested a photograph of a mother with baby (you see the Christmas link here) in a Christmas atmosphere.  So, they said, the photograph should have some connection with the time of the year, yet don’t go all the way ….

OK, fine, I’m up for a challenge.  Photography in itself is a challenge, so why not make it more challenging.  Anyway, I set out with my gear, but I had additionally taken some christmas lights as well, hoping to incorporate it somehow in the photograph to have a visual link with Christmas.

The location where we set up the photograph was a simple home living.  I asked to close a dark brown curtain (wouldn’t you want more light, sir? No, thanks), which I would use as my background.  With the help of a few clams I attached the christmas lights to the curtain and switched them on.

Then I had to position the mother and baby in such a way that they were nicely framed by the curtain and Christmas lights, in order to have a balanced photograph.

Next thing I did was to set up 2 Nikon SB900 speedlights, main light coming from camera left and softened by an umbrella, and one coming from behind mother and baby, directly aimed at them (for separation).

The most difficult part of this whole exercise however was to balance the flash light with the Christmas lights.  Too much flaslight would kill all ambiant light, including the Christmas lights at the back.  Too little light would have meant that the ambiant light would overpower the strobes, whereby the dark background would have become light.

So after this execirse, I could freely photography my subject, with this as a result.  The image looks like it was lit through a big window (which it was not).

Thanks to the people at OKRA for such a wonderful response to this image!

OKRA Christmas cover photograph

OKRA Christmas cover photograph.

1 Comment »

  1. [...] week after i worked out my setup photographer jurgen doom wrote a blogpost on the same setup. he had the same idea and for a christmas-themed photograph and ran into the same [...]

    Pingback by new year’s greeting card « compose – focus – create — 30 December 2010 @ 11:10

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