BPR Photo of the Day: Kennedy, Senior Portrait

Happy Monday, everybody. Today’s BrianRicePhoto Pic of the Day features Kennedy from her senior portrait session back in November 2012. This is a favorite of mine because I was able to make the off-camera flash look natural on Kennedy.

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This is not always easy to do when you’re trying to use a hot shoe flash or a strobe outdoors. Even using a soft box or umbrella to soften the light can still look “flashtastic” if you don’t balance the ambient light with the off-camera lighting. But here, I got it just right. The way the light hits her is very subtle and natural, without shouting “flash!”.

The set up was simple: I had a Nikon flash mounted to a stand with a Lastolite 24″ x 24″ EZYBox with both the baffle and cover on. My assistant Lindsey was holding it off to the side. I think she had even climbed up on an old cement block for the angle. Now I was helped by the fact it was a mostly overcast day at dusk, so I didn’t have to “fight” the sun. I used the Nikon 85mm 1.8G mounted on a Nikon D700 (both of which I’ve since upgraded from). With a little good timing from a pleasant fall breeze to catch her hair, the look is complete.

Another thing I really like about this photo is the unusual location. This is just off the Missouri River on the north edge of Kansas City’s River Market district, along the Riverfront Heritage Trail that leads to the Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park. I have to thank my assistant Lindsey for, frankly, twisting my arm to shoot here. She is one of those “urban explorer” types who likes to explore old dilapidated places, so she was familiar with this area. This was a spot I noticed while we were actually heading to Lindsey’s original idea, which was some train tracks (which we did shoot at, too, but this is the photo that stands out for me).

It’s always good to be able to shoot in new and unusual locations to give a portrait a unique feel.

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