Ursula Graham manages counseling services at Create U. We worked together to create images for a social media campaign that would promote self-love and self-acceptance.
I lit these portraits using a relatively simple set-up: One Orlit 610TTL camera-right into a Cheetah 48" Deep Parabolic gridded round softbox and a Canon 600EXII speedlight camera-left into a 40" shoot-thru umbrella for fill. The double diffusion of the softbox created smooth, hotspot-free light. The grid allowed me to focus the softbox's smooth light on Ursula's face and upper body. The speedlight into the umbrella camera put catchlights in Ursula's eyes and allowed me to gently fill shadows caused by the relatively narrow beam of light from the softbox.
I used a Canon 6D with a Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens for the closely-cropped headshot and a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens for everything else. Manual settings were ISO 100 | f/7.1-8.0 | 160th.
Those are the technical details. Nearly as important was the rapport building. Before we were able to make what I believe are a successful series of portraits, Ursula and I spent a lot of time talking about our backgrounds, experiences, interests, and – most importantly – why these portraits mattered to her.