I’ve worked with the awesome people at CODA (Colac Otway Disability Accommodation inc.) a few times in the past so it was great that they asked me to update their board and management team portraits again this year.
While on the surface projects like this seem extremely straightforward there is a lot of planning that goes into making portraits of regular people (as opposed to models) in cramped spaces with an added ton of time pressure. For these portraits I lit the subjects with a Photek softlighter to give a nice flattering light. I tried shooting with the front diffuser on, but prefered the little bit of extra falloff that I got by using it like a giant umbrella instead.
Using a gelled backlight to give a bit of warmth and texture to a grey backdrop gave a more comfortable and organic tone. Just leaving it grey gave a rather cool and sterile feel and I didn’t have a suitably coloured seamless with me.
Once I had my lighting locked in I was able to work with the subjects to try and produce a relaxed and comfortable expression from each which is easier said than done when working against the clock as the CODA board were only in Colac for a few hours for a meeting.
The outcome, I think, was worth the effort.