- Sony a7R II
- Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM
- Strobepro X60S (Godox TT685S) TTL Wireless Speedlite (4 total)
- Strobepro XPro 600W HSS w/24" x 35" Rapid Pro Softbox
- Strobepro XTS (Godox X1T-S) Radio Trigger Controller for Sony
- Camera Settings: 1/125, f/11, ISO 100
Editor's Note: In our continuing series of behind-the-scenes looks at epic portrait photography shoots, our friend Kat Armendariz from HushXpose in Las Vegas, offers her expert tips for making the most of a photo shoot with a client.
Creating a beautiful, eye-catching portrait requires much more than a beautiful subject.
Instead, the preparation and execution of the photo shoot requires tons of time and energy to get things just right.
Here's Kat's discussion of how the photo shoot that resulted in the image above came together.
It's All About the Client
As Kat mentioned in one of our earlier features in this series, you can plan all you want, but, ultimately, how the portrait shoot turns out depends on what the client's wishes are.
Sometimes, a client will have very strong opinions about how their portraits should be crafted. But most of the time, they have no idea what they want.
That's where you come in...
For this shoot, Kat's model was Janessa, a cosmetologist and one of her studio artists.
"Janessa wanted to capture her creativity with her birthday and her success at being a cosmetologist for her first full year. Because she wanted to use bold colored body paint, I decided to use and grayscale artistic background to let the colors pop."
So, essentially, Kat used her knowledge about her client to create a shot that emphasized the client's personality.
The combination of the bright body paint and the muted grayscale background created a ton of visual appeal in the photo.
It's All About the Lighting Too...
Of course, getting to know your clients isn't the only step in creating a gorgeous portrait.
Lighting, above all, is key to portraits that have impact and are flattering for the model.
"I used warm tone colored gels on two speedlight on the bottom left and two cool tone colors on the upper right. I used my STROBEPRO XPRO 600W HSS w/24” x 36” Rapid Pro Softbox to light her face."
Utilizing this lighting scheme paid off - there's gorgeous depth to the photo thanks to the subtle shadows and highlights created by the arrangement of the lights and the use of the colored gels.
Gear Used for This Image
Kat Armendariz is a published studio photographer in Las Vegas. She has a passion to create out-of-the-box portraiture and to give women an experience that will be a stepping stone to new found confidence.
Her photo studio sits in the heart of Las Vegas where she gets to work with incredible clients from all over the globe. Her studio, hushXpose, is a compilation of her two studio names: Hush Hush Shoot (boudoir photography), and Pose Las Vegas (glamour photography).
hushXpose offers an all-inclusive Hollywood experience where Kat and her all-female team work with clients one-on-one to create custom sets and scenes tailored to their clients.
Kat and her husband, Ephraim Armendariz, also own the US District for Click Props Backdrops, which specializes in professional-grade heavy-duty vinyl studio backdrops. Click Props Backdrops let you choose from an extensive and exclusive range of multi-award-winning backgrounds and floorgrounds to give you the opportunity of offering clients a multi-set portrait experience.