On the evening of Labor Day, Caylean Jewett, a senior at Cornish College of the Arts, stopped by the studio so I could play with lighting and try things I wouldn’t normally do in paid shoot. I mean, if they’re paying you to do their portrait, experimenting with lighting is probably not the best idea.


This shot is interesting as it's based off of an article appearing in the blog of David Hobby, also known as the Strobist. Sadly, I can't find that article, but the idea was pretty simple. Use two lights, the first being camera left and behind the subject and dial down the light so it creates a subtle high light off the hair and expose for this light so you can just make out the details of the hair. Camera right was the fill light on a 7' stand with a silver fill umbrella.

I tried to tell her this was a serious shoot and that we're not allowed to have fun here. For some reason, she didn't believe me.

I really like this shot. Let me be up front about that right now, but it doesn't work for some people. Camera right is a pretty standard light with a silver fill umbrella. Directly behind Caylean is another flash, pointed up into her hair. The reason it doesn't work for some people is the tension created by the eyes, which we're naturally drawn to, and the halo of light that originates to the left of her chin. That tension is what I like about it.

For someonw who was experimenting, I sure did like having that camera right fill light. However, what makes this picture for me is the bare bulb flash just to the right of the camera and below it. Casting the shadow of the monster onto the wall behind her.

As a thank you, I told Caylean to bring any kind of outfit she wanted and I'd shoot it for her. She went with went with an adventuress and aviator feel from dime pulp of a past that never was. As a side benefit, I did learn a new pick up line for steampunks. "Hey baby, do you wanna use my respirator?" Okay, maybe not,

"How big was it? The rotter's leg was..."