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Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops
  
 
leethecam
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops


I'm shooting for Linkedin quite a bit nowadays. These shoots require speedy photography with only 2-3 mins with each person.

This means simple lighting and dependable results without time for light positioning or much adjustment.

My current solution is softbox butterfly lighting, two softboxes on a white background and two hairlights for a very slight lift.

The beauty with this is that it can be quite forgiving, (compared to perhaps a black background which requires more careful and pronounced hairlight technique).

But I've never liked white backgrounds much. They tend to wash some skin tones (but I'm not talking about flare or background "wrap" from over exposed white bkds). It's more of an aesthetic thing - I find skin tones can look better against darker backgrounds.

(And after tweaking 150 of these, too much white background is hurting my eyes...! )

So I'm after opinions on good background colours / tones / patterns which can offer the same speed.

I'm tempted by light / mid blues to offset against skin tones, but again, I need good separation but without extra time to refine hairlight positioning / exposure.





Jan 30, 2017 at 05:00 PM
Paulthelefty
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops


You could let the white BG go gray...

Paul



Jan 31, 2017 at 05:26 AM
Michael White
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops


I would use a 50% grey that way you can light it for white and darken the ambient and make it black or shoot it grey


Jan 31, 2017 at 07:27 AM
glort
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops



Let it go gray or Throw a gel on the BG for a bit of spot colour to liven things up.

That said, You may not like the white BG but it is probably the most practical and professional for where the shots are going to be used.



Feb 01, 2017 at 10:47 AM
leethecam
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops


I've just purchased a Lastolite Washington knitted curtain cloth, (opened box so a good deal).

It's a slightly mottled storm grey surface and I'll be doing some tests with it.

It will look great of course and I'll be tempted to cool it down with a 1/4 or 1/2 CTB gel. Question is how much will I rely on hairlights for decent separation and how generic can I make the hairlighting to still look good?

(With white backgrounds I can have just a hint to liven up long hair or give a slight edge to faces with shorter hair, but because of all that white I can run them quite subtly whereas for a darker bkd, they'll need to play a bigger part, (and potential adjustment) - which may effect my speed of shooting.

I'll see when I test.



Feb 02, 2017 at 08:34 PM
Michael White
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops


Shoot and see


Feb 03, 2017 at 02:21 AM
jlafferty
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops


If you tether in C1, look to keep the aggregate RGB readout of the background to 230-240 and it should be great. Jerry Aveniam had a blog entry years ago about Metering the reflected light from the background at the subject's back that was great. I think the rule of thumb was so long as it is no more than 1.5 stops under the Key (metered from the subject's face), you should be gold.

Edit: Hah, it's just one stop: http://blog.avenaim.com/2009/12/10/photography-lighting-white/



Feb 04, 2017 at 04:26 AM
leethecam
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops


jlafferty wrote:
If you tether in C1, look to keep the aggregate RGB readout of the background to 230-240 and it should be great. Jerry Aveniam had a blog entry years ago about Metering the reflected light from the background at the subject's back that was great. I think the rule of thumb was so long as it is no more than 1.5 stops under the Key (metered from the subject's face), you should be gold.

Edit: Hah, it's just one stop: http://blog.avenaim.com/2009/12/10/photography-lighting-white/


With respect to white backgrounds I use a rather wonderful fleece style cloth which takes light very well but doesn't bounce it back. I expose it +2/3 stop which gets it virtually 100% white. A quick tweak with a curve in C-1 (applied to all shots as a preset), and maybe a very fast extra local adjustment brush gets it there. (I can push it to 1 full stop over and have no bounce back but I like to be safe).

The Lastolite background had a very pronounced mottle effect which took me back to the 1980's. I've got another muslin with a gentle mottle effect and a quick spray with water gets the creases out very speedily, but not a background that I've fallen in love with - so hard to get a modern contemporary feel with some of these.

In the end I'm back with charcoal grey paper (cut down to 2.3m so I can fit it in the car), and a 1/4 CTB pointed at the base to give a gentle graduated quality.

Clean, modern looking with a hint of interest - and the client loves it.

(Ah, but now I've seen this lovely earthy green / brown mottle muslin... I'm feeling a love affair coming on... Note to self - must get out more).



Feb 07, 2017 at 11:18 PM
 

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echelonphoto
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops


I use a botero med gray collapsible...do an average of 20 shots per hour at this facility...all portable flashes...godox, canon, yongnuo...key light is shot thru umbrella, very forgiving







Jul 17, 2017 at 02:56 AM
leethecam
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops


My last mass headshot shoot was with a charcoal grey paper, lit with 1/2 CTB and graduated by feathering the light.

Worked a treat. Easier on my eyes for a full day of shooting and the client preferred it to the white.

White does remain the favourite among most clients, due to its versatility of use.



Jul 18, 2017 at 10:21 PM
glort
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops



When I wanted a gray background, I just set a white one back and didn't light it.
Fall off did the rest. You can feather Highlights and fall off with the light position.
Can't say shooting on white ever really bothered me. Modeling lamps aren't that bright and you can turn them down anyway and the BG never made much difference with the flash.

What I did find hard was shooting with a friend who bought those new Big bulb fluro Lights in softboxes. Bugger me, those things are like trying to burn your retina's out.
I was shooting the whole time in sunglasses. They don't actually put out that much light but geez they are hard to work around.
Next time she says, Don't worry, I'll set up my lights and you can use them, I'll politely and quickly decline!



Jul 18, 2017 at 11:54 PM
leethecam
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops


I should have said, easier on the eyes for a day of post production after a day's worth of shooting.

All that white in my face on a screen drives me mad after 8 hrs or retouching. (I tend to shoot landscape and crop to 10x8 for my portraiture so there's a little extra white than if I deliver portrait format).



Jul 19, 2017 at 06:42 AM
ShotByTom
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops


Our largest group is 1700 people, we do 100-200 in a day to get them done. The rest of the groups we do are up to 200 or so people and are shot on location. We use a medium-dark blue backgound and don't light it. We use a main light with a 2nd light for fill, with a large umbrella. The only editing we do is cropping, unless there is something unusual that requires attention.

The lighting is very forgiving and not lighting the backgound keeps the editing very easy and gives good separation.



Jul 20, 2017 at 10:28 AM
markd61
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops


I actually shoot a lot of white BGs.
When I shoot gray I let the white go gray or I use a middle gray BG.
I use a gridded strobe on the BG to add a gradient. A hairlight is essential IMO.

Gray or white BGs look contemporary. Blue looks like 80's bankers or undertakers.



Jul 22, 2017 at 11:56 PM
leethecam
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Corporate portraits at speed and backdrops


Actually, I've found that a smooth & clean, 1/2 or 1/4 daylight blue with a slight graduation looks quite contemporary.


Jul 23, 2017 at 12:55 AM







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