soft light « Jurgen Doom

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

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

Cover shoot for Brico Magazine

12 August 2009 om 19:20 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Commercial,Portrait

As a freelance photographer you need to be able to do all kind of assignments.  This time I had to shoot a cover for a magazine for a Leuven based advertising agency (Head Office).

They wanted a shot that showed a wendy house in the back, a lovely woman in the front and ample space around it for the header as well as for the text on the cover page.

Although it was a very bright day I used a Nikon SB900 with a 1/2 CTO gel, shot through an umbrella and triggered by pocket wizards.  By doing so I was able to put a

bit of extra warmth into the subject as well as give a catchlight in her glasses, which adds a bit of a spark to the image.  We shot her in different setups using mainly a long lens (70 – 210). This particular shot I used a 125mm focal length at 1/125 at f/8.

covershot of a magazine, photography

covershot of a magazine, photography

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