E'toshia McFarland is a licensed esthetician and Makeup Artist based out of Colombia, South Carolina. Her primary goal on this photo session was to upgrade her headshots for her business and social media profile.
Going into this session the objective was to capture a decent a headshot. However, once the goal was accomplished I wanted to push my creative muscle to create a variety of looks the client didn't originally imagine but would walk away loving more than what the original concept. That said, even though I knew I wanted to get a variety of looks it was imperative that I first accomplished the primary goal which was to capture a decent headshot that the client would be happy with. Once that headshot was secured then I knew I could proceed with additional looks.
On the first setup, I used a very large window as my main and only light source for the subject. I sat the subject on the edge of a chair and had the shoulders of the subject positioned away from the camera which created nice elegant lines. I then had the subject position her face towards the light and her eyes to the camera. This simple setup created a variety of images in this first setup and it helped to secure what the primary objective of this session.
Once I secured the headshot I then moved onto the second setup to create a nice high key image using the Aputure 120d light with the 35" Light Dome as my background and the Godox AD200 in a softbox as my main light. Conceptually this was a great idea but my execution created a bit of a challenge. The Aputure 120d light was so bright that it not only made it hard for me to see my subject but it also presented a challenge for the camera to focus. After I took several images that were out of focus, I was able to capture one image that was tack sharp and then I quickly scrapped this setup. That image happens to be the cover for this blog.
In the final setup, I wanted to get a little dramatic by introducing color gels and additional lights. In this setup, I used 3 lights. Two Godox AD200 as the rim lights and those lights were gelled. I then used the Godox AD600 pointing away from the subject against the wall to act as the fill light. The primary subject in this setup was a headpiece E'toshia wears to aid her in examing her client's skin. I wanted to present the headpiece, not in a sterile way which is how it would be used but more polished and heavily stylized, hence the reason for the gels. The images from this setup turned out to be my favorite from the entire set and apparently the client's as well because she is using one of the images from this setup as her profile picture on Facebook and her website.
In conclusion, if a client comes to you for one specific task, be sure that you deliver on that task, but give yourself enough time to experiment with different looks. If the client happens to not like your creative vision on their original task then that is fine because you still have the original look that you nailed to fall back on. That said, if they happen to love your creative vision over what they originally brought to the table then you have accomplished your job as a photographer. Clients come to us, not for all the camera gear we have but they come to us because we are creative, so create for them and don't be an operator on a request line taking orders.
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