So yesterday was the first portrait shoot in the new Prahran studio.

My Models Mem and Belle were fantastic.

I set out with 3 shots in mind.

  • A high key shot with the background blown out to white with a speed light.
  • A dark green background shot with more of a natural light look
  • And finally a shot against the window with the yellow and green tree leaves blurred out via a shallow depth of field. Being on the 3rd floor here we are set amongst the tree tops which is great.

The shoot went well even though I had been nursing a cold for a few days that was making my head spin.

Mem and Belle were a little nervous at first. I usually put on a bottle of champagne at my shoots. The reason I do this is to try to relax the subject so that I can achieve more relaxed and real facial expressions. The same reason I always have music playing.

But both of the models didn’t drink so that was out.

So we got stuck into it.

<img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-773" alt="Bell7" src="×1024.jpg" width="632" height="1024" srcset="×1024.jpg 632w,×300.jpg 185w, http://www.ausdigitalmedia price of 927w” sizes=”(max-width: 632px) 100vw, 632px” />

After dialing in the light for the skin type of the model we started to hit “the zone” after about 25 minutes of shooting.

The lighting configuration was a 600 EX RT speedlight shooting back into an umbrella as a key light, A silver reflector bouncing the key light onto the other side of the face as a fill light, A silver reflector under the chin to fill in the under shin shadows. A constant LED video light on a mono pod as a hair light and another speed light behind the model blasting the back ground to blow it out.

The great thing about using the radio controlled speed light as a key light is that I am able to set it on manual power and then dial in the strength to suit the skin type right from the camera.


It’s funny how sometimes you know what image will look good as black and white and what as color.

My workflow for this is to shoot in color then in post production preview in black and white to see which format looks better.

With Mem (above) I knew as soon as I was shooting that his images would look better in black and white. But with Belle I wasn’t sure until I got the images into post. I previewed Belle’s images in B&W but with her rosy skin color and red hair she definitely looked better in color.


At the end of the editing process I had about 12 images of each model that I was happy with.

The shots done in high key fashion and against the window with the trees were my favorites and will probably be my signature style in the future 🙂



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