I think it’s important to constantly try different Lighting Setups so that you are always adding to your skillets. This means that when you are faced with different/difficult lighting situations, you will always have options.
In the shot above I used two speedlights with a softbox and a snoot. I placed the key light very close so that we have a very quick fall off of light across the face to give that moody look with the shadows. It also means that the background falls into darkness. I then used the second light to subtly light the background to separate the subject from the background.
This is the same shot processed into Black & White. I will always do this to see which best suits the subjects skin tones and complexion.
When it comes to People Photography the most important things are Expression and Gesture. You are trying to capture the real person in a single image and to do that it is critical that they feel relaxed and comfortable. If somebody is stressed out and taken out of their comfort zone while being photographed then that will impact negatively on the final image.
It is for this reason that I was amazed to come across a Wedding Party having their formal portraits taken on the end of a pier in a busy holiday resort on a blustery afternoon.
The bride and bridesmaids are clearly unhappy with the cold wind blowing the hair that they spent a huge amount of time and money getting done a few hours earlier. Also the large group of people shouting and cheering is doing nothing to make them feel less stressed.
Always have a Plan B and be ready to adapt to the changing circumstances you are presented with.
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