How I Got The Shot: Bryana


This image almost never happened. I shot this photograph while I was a student at the Hallmark Institute of Photography. I was in Phase 3 (kind of like 3rd semester) at the time. We (us students) were all stressed out with the short deadlines and high standards which needed to be met to graduate. At this point we were working on our Phase 3 Electives. These images could be anything related to our main emphasis of our final portfolio (of which mine was portraiture). I was set to work with model Bryana (a student and model attending the University of Massachusetts) an evening after my classes were done. She needed a ride so I offered to pick her up at her home. My Garmin didn’t take me anywhere near where she lived, and her home was missing any clear distinctions that it was the proper address, so it took several phone calls to finally get to her home. Once I got her back to the studio the shoot when amazingly. I had borrowed the floppy hat from another student earlier that day. I used four lights to lit Bryana. The first key (or main) light lit her face. Two others were rim lights separating her from the background and bringing out the textures in the hat. The last light was a subtle background light adding further separation between Bryana and the background. The key light and rim lights were modified with strip boxes (tall narrow softboxes). All the lights were Profoto strobes. In post I did some dodging and burning as well as turning the image black and white. I also added a slight split toning in Lightroom which makes the darks in the image have a slight brown tone. I intentionally do this on most of my work to make the images more warm and inviting. I even use a similar technique on my color images.

Shot using a Mamiya 645 AFD with Leaf Aptus 22 Digital Back and 150mm lens. Lit with four profoto strobes, three of which with strip box modifiers, one with a grid with a diffuser. ISO 50 150mm f/8 1/60 of a second shutter speed.

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