Portrait « Jurgen Doom

Roger

30 August 2012 om 13:50 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Commercial,fotografie,Portrait

These are the shots I finally made after I used my brother as a stand-in for a few tests shots (see previous post).  Roger is such a shy person and I was only allowed to photograph him whilst he was reading his newspaper ….

 

Roger

 

Roger

Kirstin H.

1 August 2012 om 15:14 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Camera,Photography,Portrait

It has taken us roughly 8 years to see each other again.  We studied photography together in South Africa and kept in touch via mail, Skype, etc … but we hadn’t seen each other until I recently had to go to Schotland, where Kirstin happened to stay exactly 10km from where I was staying … such a great coïncidence.

Anyhow, we finally met and had loads to talk about. It was just great to see how one can connect instantly with a soulmate, even after 8 years of not seeing each other.

Of course I had to take the obligatory snap with my camera ….

I profoundly hope it won’t take another 8 years before we see each other again, my dear!

Kirstin H. (on FujiX10)

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

 

Portrait photography – profile photos for social media

2 August 2011 om 15:00 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,Photography,Portrait,Uncategorized

It comes to no surprise that choosing the right profile photo for social media – such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook – can be fairly important.

OK, it’s a different story for when you want to post something via a private Facebook account.  But that story changes a bit when you look for a profile photo to use for your company Facebook profile, your Twitter stream or – most important of all – your professional LinkedIn profile.

The people at INXCO were well aware of this and asked me to make portraits of their employees and specifically to use with social media.

INXCO is a young and dynamic company, active in the field of communication and innovation for companies.

They wanted tight headshots against a fairle dark background and the images needed to be used in a square format (which is the format of profile photos in social media).

All the images were made in their kitchen, against a grey wall.  I used two different lighting setups by using Nikon SB900 Speedlights and Nikon’s CLS system.  As for the camera, I used the Nikon D3s with an 85mm Tilt Shift lens (manual focus).  All images are cropped in the square format, but I left one image in it’s original format in order to see how it also could be used for other purposes (print media, etc …).

 

portretfoto voor profielfoto's op sociale media
Portrait photograph for social media

 

portretfoto voor profielfoto's op sociale media
Portrait photograph for social media
portretfoto voor profielfoto's op sociale media
Portrait photograph for social media

 

portretfoto voor profielfoto's op sociale media
Portrait photograph for social media
portretfoto voor profielfoto's op sociale media
Portrait photograph for social media
portretfoto voor profielfoto's op sociale media
Portrait photograph for social media

(more…)

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!

Corporate portrait photography for MBS

7 March 2011 om 14:52 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie advertising,Commercial,Flashlight,Gear,Photography,Portrait

As a corporate photographer, operating in Belgium and in particular in the Brussels area, I’m often confronted with different types of locations and surrounding in which I have to come up with images.  For the Manpower Business Solutions shoot, this was also the case.  We had agreed to meet up with the “models” – the staff at MBS – in a house near Overijse in order to create corporate portraits of them that were to be used on their brochures, flyers and advertising material.  I would bring all the necessary elements such as backdrops, studio lighting and gear to create the photographs and had asked my make-up artist Ans Brugmans to do the make-up on the models.

But what I hadn’t “budgeted” for was my health. The night before the shoot I became ill, even in such a way that in the morning – the photo shoot was planned in the afternoon – I phoned my colleague Evi and asked her if she could assist me and perhaps take on the shoot herself (with me directing a bit).

Luckily, during the course of the day I recovered somewhat so that I eventually managed to do all the photography myself, but I was more than happy to having Evi, my last-minute assistant, to lug around with gear and stuff …. Hey, that’s called “emancipation” ….

So what we did was basically a few corporate portraits, a group photograph and an outdoor group photograph of the whole team.  For the image I took inside, I set up a white studio background and used my studio lighting (Elinchrome RX600) with 2 softboxes and a gridded backlight. For the image outside I only used my Nikon SB900 strobes, triggered by Pocket Wizards.  The portraits were photographed on a Nikon D3s, the group shot on a Nikon D3x.

Despite me not being 100% – although I gave it all – we came up with some interesting photographs and I have just been sent the pdf’s of the publication in which the photographs are being used.

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

The outside group shot looked like this.  Because of in-house decisions, the images had to be delivered in black and white (as with the above images).

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Corporate photography – or how to make photos to meet your clients needs

4 March 2011 om 14:47 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie advertising,Commercial,corporate photography,Flashlight,photographer,Photography

As a corporate photographer, specialising in business to business photography, you need to be able to produce photographs that meet your clients needs.

In this particular case, the people at bakker asked me to come up with a series of photos for their new website.  They had photographs on their old website, but those were stock images bought from an image bank.  They wanted the same look and feel of what they had on their old site, but instead of “generic” photos of models, they wanted to use their own people (in fact, the staff and partners).

So what the client basically wanted was to have images that were fairly evenly lit, with relatively clean backgrounds that breath professionalism.  All the shots were to be made at their offices in Antwerp.

I had Ans Brugmans with me as my make-up artist and Jasmijn assisted me with the photography and lighting.

During the course of the day, we did about 8 completely different setups, having to change the lighting each and every time. Within each setup there was often room to move around and play with different compositions.

I used my studio lighting (Elinchrom RX600) in conjunction with my small portable Nikon SB900 strobes in order to create the look we wanted.  All images are photographed on a Nikon D3s.  During the day I only used 2 prime lenses.  One was a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens and the other was a Nikon 85mm f/1.4 lens).  I prefer to work with prime lenses over zoom lenses because it is sharper, has a higher contrast and is generally much lighter than have zooms.  On an assignement like this there is no need to work with zoom lenses as you have both your lighting and setup under control.  Framing the image is just a matter of moving forwards or backwards in order to compose your image.

Of course, all images were photographer in the RAW format and post processed through Adobe Lightroom.

The images are now used on their site, which looks like this (at www.bakker.be) and which looks stunning (see screenshots below).  Website made by Van Katoen (Damien Dubois).

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Model photography – shoot with Sylviane Alliet – last setup

3 February 2011 om 10:54 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,fotografie,photographer,Photography,Portrait

To end the shoot with Sylviane Alliet, a TFCD project in which we took a number of types of pictures we wanted to make  but that we can not always do so when working for an assignment, we we decided to end the day with some images that had a rougher look.

Therefore we went to the “basement” – yes, I can say that I spent some time in the basement with Sylviane – to find a background that matched the character role that Sylviane was playing.

The “industrial background” is illuminated with a Nikon SB900 flash with a CTB filter (to get a cooler atmosphere), while Sylviane was lit by a Nikon SB900 through an umbrella.  If I’m not mistaken, I even made it a little warmer with a quarter CTO. Sylviane is also lit from behind, to create some backlight. The result is shown below.

What have we finally learned from this and previous shoots.

1. that it is possible to use a backpack of equipment (Nikon D3s, 4 SB900 flashes, stands, umbrellas and gels) at a location and still get different setups that are fundamentally different

2. that working with a professional model is just fantastic

3.that  you do not need much material to make different kind of images

4. that occasionally doing a TFCD is great fun in order to try a few things with or without great results

At the end of the day both Sylviane and I were ready for the scrap heap, but we were pretty happy with the cooperation and results. There are now plans to do something similar, but in an outdoor location …. and I am already looking forward to it!

model photography
model fotografie – shoot met Sylviane
model fotografie - shoot met Sylviane
model fotografie – shoot met Sylviane
model fotografie - shoot met Sylviane

model fotografie - shoot met Sylviane
model fotografie – shoot met Sylviane

A cover by surprise

2 February 2011 om 12:13 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,fotografie,Photography,Portrait

Usually you know in advance that you can go shoot a cover. The editor would typically call with the question that photographers really love: “would you like to photograph  X, Y or Z, preferably in a vertical format, as it is for the cover”.

Er, yes, even love to. I will even say more, you can call me every day with these kind of questions!

No, all joking aside, when I get this kind of questions I’m actually really happy, as it is an added bonus and a way of appreciation for the photographer.

When shooting the portrait below, however, I was not told that it would end up on the first page of the magazine. Not that it would have made any difference in the shooting, but I would certainly have been a little more nervous had I known that the photograph would have been for the cover.

And look, apparently the picture was good enough – to my great surprise and joy – to feature on the cover page!

Nevertheless, the picture was taken on a dark and rainy Wednesday night in a tiny house. The person is highlighted with a “flash through umbrella”, while the background is illuminated with a flash with CTO filter (you get the impression that there is a small lamp- light. There is also a light there, but that would never light enough on the photograph. hence the flash). D3s Nikon, Nikkor 85mm. Controlled flash with the Nikon CLS system.

portret fotografie - cover voor OKRA
portret fotografie – cover voor OKRA

At the inside of the magazine, another shot out of that series was also used.

portret fotografie - cover voor OKRA
portret fotografie – cover voor OKRA

And lastly, there was a shot of a farmer, which I took during a snow storm.  I put him inside, in a tiny cold room, in order to get some of the texture of the wood.

portret fotografie - cover voor OKRA
portret fotografie – cover voor OKRA

Model photography – shooting with Sylviane Alliet part 3

1 February 2011 om 11:10 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,fotografie,Gear,Photography,Portrait

Being able to shoot a professional model such as Sylviane is always a lot of fun for a photographer. By working with someone who knows how photography works and how to behave in front of the lens, the photographer shouldn’t ecnounter too many difficulties any more in order to make good images.

This is of course partly true, because for the setup for our third part of the shooting session I was still a looking for atmosphere, lighting, composition and artistic interpretation. The “Yogaposes” that we had in mind were not so simple to implement, and many artistic and technical constraints made this - certainly for me - the hardest of the four setups that we’ve done.

The images were created with 3 or 4 flashes (in Sylviane’s living room), which in our first series of images were positioned so that I wanted to create a a dark and intimate atmosphere. But as Roeland on his blog a while back so well put it, the result was ultimately not entirely as I wanted and I did not immediately see many solutions to  quickly improve things. Frustrating!

yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn

Therefore we decided to change the whole look and feel of the image by turning everything around (angle, orientation, lightin, mood, etc  ….).  Hey, it’s our party and we cry if we want to!

yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn

The result was much more pleasing and we ultimately got some interesting and good shots out of it.

But watch this space, for our last series of shots we’ll go “down and dirty”!

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