This diagram set was adapted from Steven Begleiter's book 50 Lighting Setups for Portrait Photographers, published by Amherst Media. You can read an excerpt from it in the MOC Learning Center.To learn more about Steven Begleiter's books, view his work, and read his blog, visit his website.
Assignment:I was assigned to take a promotional portrait of Darko Butorac, the new conductor of the Missoula Symphony Orchestra (MSO).Pose:For a traditional pose of the conductor, I had him sit on a posing chair and place his arms on an Impact posing table. With his arms crossed, I worked on having him change his expressions from serious to big smiles.The Story:I got a call from a design firm to see if I was interested in photographing the new conductor of the MSO. Marlene Hutchens, the designer, said, "I can't tell you who he is or how much we can pay you until after the shoot." She did say it would be an image that would be published a lot and would be good exposure for me. I trusted Marlene's judgment, so I said yes. (Note: The MSO's search for a new conductor had gone on for three years, and this was their way of keeping the decision a secret until the big announcement.)My assistant and I set up the studio that morning and, literally ten minutes after the announcement, Darko was in my studio. He was exuberant to find out he was selected and it showed in the photo session. The portrait you see here was used for the program and on the website.Tips:It was a bit of a financial risk to take on this assignment but I felt the subject was interesting and it was a chance to get my name out into the community. I negotiated for my website address to appear on all published images and had the MSO put a link on their website to my website. This agreement was all put in writing and signed by both parties. To make it an equitable trade-off, I also asked for two season tickets. They agreed to all the terms and seemed very happy with the results. Bottom line: Think about all the benefits of taking the photograph, not just the monetary ones.