Harold was a fabulous sitter for many reasons; he had a good idea about what he wanted to achieve but was also genuinely interested in the process and what was needed to get the shot that I was aiming to create. A student at The University of Bristol, Harold was looking for some headshots for his already impressive online presence.

The sitting has resulted in a number of images with different backgrounds and subtly different expressions. Unusually though asking the sitter not to smile was a departure; actually I have been in a similar situation once before with my own daughter who got the giggles. A naturally ‘smily’ person Harold responded well to direction and was also patient enough to allow me to get the lighting ‘just right’.

Hi Andrew,

Really happy we did this (it also put in motion a number of overdue updates haha!). And I enjoyed the experience. Simple, quick and professional. The end product looks fantastic … should’ve done this a long time ago.

Low Key Lighting Setup

I guess one might call this a low key lighting setup, I always find labels a bit off-putting.

The light setup consisted of a Bowens Esprit 1000 (high rear left of image) with snoot to provide a slight rim light and add definition to the shoulders. The key-light was a Bowens Gemini Pro (on axis above the sitter) with a Softlite fitted with its dedicated Grid Diffuser. There was a fill (to the left of image), another Bowens Gemini with a 60-80 softbox. A medium Lastolite TriGrip added some fill and definition to the chin. There was no actual lighting on the right of the picture though the studio walls will have reflected a little back.

I am using the Bowens Softlite more and more now and love the light that it provides with the dedicated grid diffuser.

This image was all about subtlety of lighting though and all of the elements needed to work together to achieve my vision.

The image was shot in RAW on the Nikon D800e and converted to mono in Lightroom.