CLAY COOK | PHOTOGRAPHY

ONE HOT LIGHT

When I first saw Theresa’s face, I knew I had to capture it. Fast forward to a week later and she was sitting in my studio. That Friday was a long day, I had shot for 8 hours for Louisville Magazine and raced to my studio to find Theresa and my team, consisting of makeup artist Casey Ritchie and stylist Jamie Hubbard, ready to rock. The hard work of the day was well worth it. The concept concentrated on androgyny, blending the lines of male and female fashion. I won’t dive into the logistics of the shoot or any pre-production, but rather the technical aspects. 

The first set, I lit Theresa with one stobe pulled back 10 feet and raised 12 feet to mimic hard sunlight. The lighting diagram can be seen below and is explained in this Fstoppers post here.

The second set, we got creative. I wanted to do something very dramatic with my new Oliphant backdrop, but I also wanted to shoot at a very shallow depth of field, almost like a celebrity portrait. I fired off strobes and tried several lighting techniques, but I just wasn’t getting what I wanted, I made a quick executive decision to lock in my 50mm prime lens and open up my aperture to f/1.2. Then, I proceeded to only use the modeling light on the strobe. The light was harder than I wanted, so I clamped a Westcott Diffusion Panel to the Paul C Buff Octobox and what came of it was a beautiful triple diffused light source. White balance was though to lock in, but once I had it, the results floored me.

A first time for everything; it was the first time I had done anything like that in the studio and it was all a big experimentation, but an experimentation that paid off.