Tokyo Portrait Shoot
I traveled into Tokyo earlier this week to do a photo shoot with an interesting and charming group of women. The goal was to create for them some profile photos they could use for their respective websites, blogs, brochures, and books. While the photos we came away with aren't going to win any awards, everyone, including myself, was quite pleased with the results.
It didn't require a great effort to create any of the photos from the shoot (a few of which are posted below). For nearly every photo I used three basic lighting tools: a speedlight, a diffusor, and a reflector. I simply shot the flash through the diffusor (held just outside the camera frame) to create a large and soft light source. I then used a reflector opposite the flash to help fill in some of the shadows. As for the background, I made use of what I had available at the location: a large bank of glass blocks illuminated by the sun. With a few adjustments of the camera settings, I could alter the (over)exposure of the background to make it as white as I wanted it to be.
For the close-up shots, I used a clamshell-like setup and shot the flash through the diffusor which was located in front and just above the camera; the reflector was held just out of frame in front and below the camera. While doing this creates a slightly flatter image, a straight-on flash doesn't emphasize lines and imperfections in the skin as much as would lighting from an angle--something that is usually appreciated by women.
Here is a small sampling of the photos I took during the shoot: