Sherwood Forest shoot with Marti

Marti is operations director for the Sherwood Forest Summer Camp.  She wanted an updated bio photo for their website.

Thankfully there was a work weekend coming up.  That meant the site would be open and we could shoot on-location. Excellent!

Got on-site at 9am and started scouting for a location where I’d be able to control/modify the light and would be convenient for Marti as she’d only be available for a short time (as this was very close to opening of the Summer Camp and she’d be organizing quite a lot during that day). 

Below are my thoughts and what I did to carry out the shoot.

Como's - ambient lighting only

Como’s – ambient lighting only

While coming in and location scouting on the fly, I noticed about 3 different locations that might fill the bill.  The most convenient one to where the action was happening was Como Ristorante Italiano. The building was creating some good shade and there was enough ambiance with the wooden door and arch to give some feel of faire.

After talking with Marti, this seemed like the best location to shoot.  While she got ready I started to work on my end.  Important: I try to get the location as set-up as possible while the client/talent is getting ready.  It’s important to me to respect their time and maximize what time we have together to get ‘the shot’ and to minimize the amount of fussing with lights.

Location w/ 2 speedlites coming from camera left.

Location w/ 2 speedlites coming from camera left.

Above you see the shade gives a great base to work off of, but without modification it’s pretty flat. I wanted a bit more directionality to the light. So I setup a couple of speedlites to camera left.

I used 2 speedlites because one would handle lighting Marti, the other was to push light into the door in the background so it didn’t go dark.  I wanted that background ambience to show up in the photo and not be a “black hole”.

Add in full CTO gels to warm the light up a bit.

Add in full CTO gels to warm the light up a bit.

Final lighting setup.

Final lighting setup.

Excellent – however I wanted a bit more warmth to the light – something with more of a morning or evening feel to it. So I put Full CTO (color temperature orange) gels onto the Speedlites.

Final lighting setup is shown to the left.  I used an umbrella on the closer light because it would be illuminating Marti.

The light in the rear was just pushing light into the background.  It’s angled away because I didn’t want a bright hot-spot behind the subject.  (Feathering in the light).

Of course, since I was modifying the light and due to the fact that it wasn’t changing,  I shot the non-ambient shots in Manual mode and used my light meter to determine the correct exposure.

With that set I was ready to go.  When she arrived on-set we were able to create some shots of Marti at Sherwood Forest we both liked before she got whisked away by people needing her direction on site setup for the upcoming summer camp.

Thank you Marti for being gracious with your time and permitting me to shoot your portrait!

Marti - environmental portrait

Marti – environmental portrait

Marti - portrait shot

Marti – portrait shot

About vstrick

I’m a photographer who loves photographing renaissance festivals and dance. They are great communities and I enjoy capturing some of those moments and being able to share them with the community. My day job is in IT at The University of Texas at Austin, wrangling the virtual infrastructure – working with VMware vSphere, vCenter Operations, SRM, Cisco Nexus 1000v, and consuming as many SAN resources as I can get. :-)
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