Portrait 8/52 - Kevin

This week’s portrait subject was my oldest brother, Kevin. He is a voracious reader so I wanted to get some shots of him as a reader. My favorite of the reading themed photos is this one:

Kevin is a lover of cats. He wanted to include his cat Loki in some of the pictures. Unfortunately Loki isn’t too comfortable with my son running around (more on that later) so we didn’t get too many cat pictures. I did like this one though:

Kevin has always been the one in the family most prone to striking an interesting pose during family photo sessions so he provided me with a great variety of expressions and postures. Here are a few of my favorites from throughout the shoot:


My son Andrew thought the whole process of photographing “Uncle Kevin” quite entertaining and took it upon himself to perpetrate quite a few photobombs. I definitely had to include one here!


Technical Details

I shot this against the green painted wall in the entryway of my parents’ house. There was some window light coming through large two-story windows behind and to the left of the camera but it wasn’t enough to really effect the exposure or add much to the lighting. The main light was a 24” soft box set to 1/2 power. It started at camera left but I moved it to camera right shortly into the shoot primarily to better simulate the light coming from the glowing globe on the table. The rim/hair light was my gridded 8x36 strip box to camera right and set to 1/4 power. I angled the strip so that the bottom portion would catch the globe to help simulate internal illumination. I also put an orange gel on to warm up the light a bit. The final light was a bare flash set to 1/8 power directly behind Kevin to illuminate the background. Camera settings were ISO 100, 1/160s, and varied aperture from f5.0 to f7.1.



I really enjoyed this shoot. We had a nice laid back atmosphere and Kevin was doing some interesting things with almost no direction. Andrew kept things interesting by photobombing and trying to engage Kevin in their usual wrestling. My mom also had some conversation with Kevin while I was shooting. This helped to keep his expressions engaged and focused rather than vacant even when he was not looking at the camera. 

I purposely shot wide with the intent to crop later. I wanted to maintain the quality of the light so the soft boxes were kept quite close in. This meant that I often had soft boxes encroaching into the frame. There were also some light switches and a cord from a picture light on the background wall. All of this added to my work on post processing. It would have been much better to have been able to maintain a clean background and push the lights back a bit, but you have to work with what you have.

I also ended up with two lights on one side and none on the other. I did add a silver reflector about halfway through, but I didn’t have it on a voice activated light stand (held be a person) so it wasn’t as effective as I wanted. I probably should have left the main light on the left but I got some interesting shots due to the more dramatic lighting.

All in all, I’m really pleased with the results. 

I’m always interested in connecting with my visitors. Leave a comment below or connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

« The Resting Explorer | Main | Art Speaks »

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>