One Light Corporate Image – Photography Tutorial

– [Jay P. Morgan] It’s not too late for
the Vanguard Giveaway. Check out the end of the video. ♪ [music] ♪ Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan.
Today I’m shooting a corporate image for Pilot Freight Services
of someone in the Call Center. This is going to be a one light corporate
image. I have done these images for years and their success hangs on getting
the right person to be the talent, and to make the image feel open and
inviting. The image represents the face of the company. This is the person
that you’re going to be talking to when you call in to place your order. Here’s a couple of things to know
when preparing the talent. If you’re using an employee from the
company, this is very critical that you go over these things with them.
If you’re using a paid talent, it’s still pretty important to go over these things,
because they may not know it. Number one. Bring, or have them bring,
several options of clothing. They always show up with one t-shirt
and it’s just not the right thing. Number two. Make sure the clothing
is pressed and clean. You’re going to have to have an option
to accomplish this with you on set. An iron and an ironing board are pretty
darn critical. Or a really good steamer. Number three. Make sure they’re
well-groomed from head to toe. Number four. Some companies like beards
and that’s great. Just make a conscious decision with the client about the beard
and its length. Don’t just fall into it. Like they show up with a big beard
and won’t cut it off. Number five. Have them bring all
personal grooming supplies. Their razors, their toothbrush, anything
they need, male or female, to be able to groom themselves if they need to on set.
These are just some hints to help you make sure the person is prepared so that
things go smoothly the day of the shoot. This type of shot demands
a few things from the talent. Number one. They need to look
right into the camera. That’s critical. Number two. They need to have
a comfortable smile. If they feel comfortable, then the viewer
will feel comfortable. Number three. To accomplish this,
as you direct them, ask them questions. Talk about their life. Talk about their
kids. Get a dialogue going with them, so that as you talk, they’re going to feel
more and more comfortable, and you can start taking pictures in that process.
You’ll find you’ll kind of move yourself into a very easy, comfortable look. Number four. Tell them how well they’re
doing, even if they’re not doing very well. You have to keep telling them how
great it’s going and how wonderful it is. Just keep reinforcing them.
As you do that, they’re going to feel more and more comfortable and things will
look better. Those are just a few tips on directing your talent. Let’s get to
how we lit a shot. We have two different places in this
image. We’ve got the person up front, and then we’ve got the group of people
in the background. The people in the background will be lit by the
window light, and also the artificial light overhead. I’m going
to expose for them, and a correct exposure for them will become the basis for
my photograph. Here’s the image with only the light from the window. The background
looked great, but he’s underexposed and really doesn’t work up front.
If I open up enough to expose him, the people in the background are
going to be way too bright. I’m going to add a Photoflex Small
OctoDome from camera left on a Dynalite head and pack to mimic that
window light. It’s an OctoDome with a grid that gives us nice control, because it
keeps it really pooled on his face. I did struggle with seeing the reflection
of the camera and myself in the window, and had to put up blacks so it’d get rid
of the camera reflection in that window. That was more work than the lighting was.
We got ready to shoot in about 30 minutes, and then had about 20 to 30 minutes
to photograph him. Here’s our final image. Take a look
at this image compared to the image we shot in the very beginning.
We spent a lot of time organizing the people in the background so it
looked busy and it looked good, but not cluttered. Backgrounds are
just as important as foregrounds, so don’t throw them away. Spend time
organizing them so they look good. The room was very small, so we had
the client outside on a computer looking at the images as we went,
it went very well. Things came together and we got our shot
very quickly, but it was because of the prep work we did ahead of time.
We made sure that we had the right talent, that they brought the right clothing,
that we had everything organized, so that the minute we got there,
we could shoot very quickly. Remember, keep those cameras rolling,
keep on clicking. ♪ [music] ♪ October’s only half over, and the
Vanguard giveaway is still going on. Go to, where you
can win one of these wonderful tripods or get one of these amazing bags.
Go to Sign up today. ♪ [music] ♪ Don’t forget to subscribe to
The Slanted Lens and like us on Facebook, and check us out on Twitter. And I even
put one image on Instagram. Only one.

27 Replies to “One Light Corporate Image – Photography Tutorial

  1. Neat work and good tips. I see what you guys did to avoid "cluttering" in background and completely agree with you 😀

  2. Thanks! Informative video, indeed. I've done a few of these shoots, too – and sometimes struggle with white balance in the background. Especially when there is less daylight available, and the office lights add their ugly, greenish cast to it all. I can always add a few of my own lights back there to secure correct color temp, but it's time consuming and sometimes hard to get a natural, soft look to it all – I don't want it to look and feel like a studio set back there. I could of course gel my main light, but the background will almost always need color adjustment anyway, as the gel rarely equals out everything I want to get rid of. So most of the time I leave it to my own post processing, brushing in a cooler tone. That takes time as well, and isn't always optimal either. What would you do in a shoot like the one in the video, if you couldn't rely on daylight?

  3. JP, you're one of the best photog presences, your energy, as well as knowledge, are top notch! Thanks for another great video!

  4. Cannot express how helpful these videos are. The production value, the energy, and the knowledge are just so well done. Thank you for giving us the great tips!

  5. Excellent video. I like how you focused first and foremost on working with the talent, more than the details of lighting. Many people get the apple cart in front of the horse in this regard.

  6. Great Video, love how you mixed up the bag and the tripod at the end, not sure anyone else's catched on 🙂


  7. It`s helpful to see, how much work and planning is needed to get such great and easy looking results – great job !!

  8. WHy do you keep the music going when you're talking…it's such a distraction it ruins the video. Would you have birds flying thru a portrait? 

  9. Hi friends…. If you want to add some 'flash' to your photos, then this tutorial is for you!

  10. hes gotta have a comfortable smile but you gotta have comfortable eyes!! relax your lids man!!! just joshing, great vid… but relax your eyes though.. you made me nervous o_0

  11. Hello Sir thank you for your content very helpful. I want to ask if there is an actual difference on the images before the covering for reflections and after you placed the black papers. Personally I cannot see much difference..

  12. I just could not understand why the equipment has to be soo complex like that…so many lighting …remote control etc…my wife is a professional photographer..and her system is "keep simple" she only bring 2 camera bodies, 3 lenses and 1 flash..the result: WAAAAAYYYY better than this… and one more thing..She works ALONE …. 😳

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