Recently, I drove up the Illinois River on a sunny, snowy day to Hennepin, IL, where I was assigned by MSP Communications to make a portrait of Terry Judd. Mr. Judd, who serves a board member of North Central Bank, a community (independent) bank in Hennepin, was profiled in the Feb. 2014 issue of Independent Banker, a trade magazine published by MSP. (Like many of my clients, MSP found me via ASMP’s Find-A-Photographer search engine.)
As usual, I arrived early, allowing plenty of time to identify a location(s) for the portrait, setup, and sign model/property releases. There weren’t many choices; the bank is quite small, still had Christmas decor up (which wouldn’t work for a February publication), and was busy serving customers. So, I decided to shoot in an empty, neutral, relatively cramped and poorly lit conference room.
I shot again with one speed light in a 24×24 square softbox, camera-left. I used gaffer’s tape to securely draw the curtains, leaving one corner pulled back just enough to allow ambient light to fall in the dark corner behind Mr. Judd – but without creating any direct hot spots. I shot a series of portraits in only a few minutes: standing, leaning, sitting, arms crossed, fingers on tabletop, in pocket, etc. In each, I left plenty of space to the left, top, and bottom for text.
Next, we wanted to get a few shots of Mr. Judd outside, in front of the bank. I had already chosen the area earlier that morning, but waited until we were actually ready to shoot outside before finalizing my camera settings and setup, since it was a sunny day on which the angle and strength of light shift rapidly. The bank sign, which we wanted visible, was shadowed, and I was shooting into a bright sunny sky. So, I used my light to overpower the sun and shot with enough depth of field for the signage to be sharp.
Not ideal – too many shadows on his face, a hidden sign letter despite my best efforts. In the end, I provided my client with 10 proofs, some inside and some outside, and they must have agreed with my own assessment, because they selected my favorite (below) for publication. Here is the final tear:
Thank you, MSP Communications, North Central Bank, and Mr. Judd for the opportunity! It was a pleasure!