This spring I've been shooting portraits of all the department chairs at the Corcoran College of Art + Design. Last week I photographed Andy Grundberg, the Chair of Photography and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Outside his work at the Corcoran, Andy is most known for his writing and criticism about photography.
The Corcoran is updating the portraits of their faculty, and we're making matching pictures of each individual. For each person, one portrait is shot against a white seamless with a three light setup. I also make a second portrait that is more personal and relates to them or the department they chair.
For these portraits, I often set up in an empty classroom at The Corcoran. The below image is of all the lighting equipment I brought with me for my portrait of Andy. It includes a three light Speedotron kit, a Bowens mono-block, and various umbrellas, soft boxes, and reflectors.
All my lighting gear on a cart while I was unloading
Below you can see about half of the setup that I have been using for the basic white seamless photos. The black square in the top right of the frame is a soft box on a boom angeled down at Andy. The umbrella on the left is positioned so that most of its light illuminates the backdrop, but some of it also adds a cross light to the subject. Not visible in the image is another umbrella on the right side that is angled the same way.
I pulled back the camera to show the first lighting set-up.Final image on a white backdrop
This final image is from my second setup for Andy. He's standing directly in front of a medium soft box with a silver reflector just to the left of the camera to reflect light back onto his face. He's holding a ColorChecker Passport which is quickly proving itself to be invaluable.
Andy posing with my colorchecker card