A few weeks before Christmas 2014 I was contacted by Fleur from House of Fleurice, a choreography and dance production company, to take some actors headshots for an upcoming production called ‘The Music Box Home for Christmas’ taking places just before Christmas in the Waterfront. The show is over and I can put the images online now.
The plan was to get 40 plus actors headshots and several large group photos taken during a rehearsal session for use in the programme for the show. The show consisted of children and adults and would be taken with a black background in all the photos for consistency. We had a few hours set aside to complete the photography but it could still be tight as there were a lot of actors and actresses. I arrived at the rehearsal space which thankfully was a large hall giving me plenty of space to set up the lights. This was a fairly straight forward job so I’ll just go over some of the technical aspects of it.
I used Bowens studio heads for these shots. I normally use small portable Nikon speedlights (flashguns) for things like this but it can sometimes take a while for them recharge as the batteries drain and I wasn’t sure how many shots I’d be taking so I used the big mains powered lights just to keep everything running quickly. I set up the black background as far back from the subjects as I could to minimise the light spilling onto it. I used three lights in total, one at the front, near the camera with a small beauty dish and a few layers of diffuser over it. I had two in the background acting as rim lights with narrow reflectors on them as well as a small white/gold reflector under the models faces just to bounce some light back up towards them.
Pretty much all the photos from the evening were taken with an 85mm lens for those curious as it’s a good length for people photos. Everything ran smoothly thankfully and other than adjusting the lights in height/power for different people I was able to use the same setup for everyone. Having everyone on hand and ready to go really sped things up and meant we could get all the photos completed in the time allocated. I’ve added a few extras below, click to view them bigger.