As well as a wealth of technical, creative, and workflow ideas, it demonstrates the value of forming good relationships and even friendships with your clients.
Amongst other things, Mark talks about the benefits of shooting tethered to both a laptop and an iPad so that he and the lighting tech or art director can see the images as they’re coming in and check for details that can be easily missed on the small LCD on the back of the camera.
Lighting setups are always something I’m drawn to, too. You can mostly tell from looking at the image on the iPad above that there’s a fairly big soft light source above right of the camera due to the shadow showing below the subject’s nose.
You can also see that there’s a pair of rim lights, flanking him, and there’s probably some fill light in there, too.
Finally, you’re going to need to light up that background so that it’s pure white, and while you only see it for brief moments, the complete white seamless portrait lighting setup is shown.
It’s interesting to see that he’s using a pair of shoot through umbrellas to perform two jobs simultaneously, acting both as reflectors to light the background and to provide a rim light on the subject, with a pair of black flags (one is slightly hidden from view) to prevent those umbrellas from flaring into the camera’s lens.
A big octabox key light and a smaller softbox acting as a fill completes the look.
While I don’t shoot race teams, I can definitely relate to this bit.
That’s the one part where it’s actually a job, when you have to do the standard boring cookie cutter type shots that every race team needs for their marketing materials.
But I just kind of push through that and I know that once we’ve finished the standard stuff that we get to go and have fun and be creative.
I know that having enough time to play after getting the “safe shots” is often great fun and can result in some fantastic images. Don’t do the creative stuff first, and then try to rush the standard stuff at the end. You’ll only stress yourself and your subject.
But once the play begins, out comes the smoke machine. I also found it interesting to see how far he gets back from his subject, shooting with what appears in other shots to be a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II. This will help to minimize perspective distortions that could affect the apparent proportions of the car.
Also in the video are interviews with a couple of the drivers that were photographed, giving their thoughts from a subject’s point of view, and this kind of stuff is gold.
If you’re newer to shooting portraits, finding out what makes typical subjects happy on a photo shoot will help you to make your own subjects feel more at ease, and allow you to provide them with a much better overall experience.
That level of comfort in your subjects definitely makes a difference in the final images you create, too.
Now all I need to do is find a huge warehouse and a race team.