Gown and Gun Senior Shoot

High School Senior portraits do not have to be boring. In this case we have Ben. A young man graduating 2018 here in South Carolina.

Shooting outdoors on-location always presents challenges and this day in late April was no different. The very open location was selected due to the genre and our client’s passion for hunting with his Browning shotgun. The last week or so I had scouted on many days a nice “fiery red” skyline here during the magic hour. Perfect! Red would work for hunting. Great for the hunting ambience that I wanted to create.

The day of he shoot it was overcast and the clouds never moved out so I knew things would not be going as planned. I took along my 500 watt strobes. I also had a speed light with a 24″ Hexi Box.  My camera body choice was my Canon Mark II with a 28-70 Canon “L” lens attached. The portraits with the cap and gown I simply captured out in the open field (an active cotton field) with my subject Ben sitting on a stool. I used my Hexi 24″ soft box modifier with my speedlight inside. My great assistant “Margie” was my grip. I went to manual on the flash and most images were shot near full power. (Note: I only had a 430 EX II inside). On some of the creative lighting with Ben and his shotgun I placed a soft strip box (love that modifier) with a directional grid and 500 watt strobe, camera right. Since it was overcast and getting darker by the minute, I asked Ben to turn more towards the strip box in order to illuminate his face a little better. Portrait composition near the truck was different.

Shooting the truck and Ben was difficult simply because the truck was so large and the black color really absorbed the light. Here I utilized my 500 watt strobe and my 47″ deep parabolic. This gave me a large key light to work with. I simply had to experiment here and would move the large parabolic around to camera left. Most of the time I shot around or near f5.6, 250th, and ISO 100. Needless to say I was pumping out some strobe power but oddly enough stayed around 1/2 power. Thanks to Ben for allowing me to share these images and we are already discussing a second and entirely hunting genre-themed photo shoot.

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