In The Field: Scouting Light

When you go to a portrait shoot, do you look around for possible environmental spots, or do you take photos a reference?

I do a little of both. And both are helpful.

You certainly don’t want to go into a location cold, but if you can’t pre-scout it, at least get their much earlier than your talent and see what may work.

I did that last week when I had to do some corporate headshots, but outside, not against a seamless.

I got there about 45 minutes before the subject. It was going to be at 8:30 a.m., so I wanted to see where the light may be, and if there was anything interesting I could find.

Again, this was a pretty basic corporate headshot – I couldn’t go to wild.

But, I shot this scout photo.

And it’s probably my favorite photo of the day.

Yes, it’s a bit underexposed.

But I love the pockets of light…on the red sofa to the left of the frame…that spot right in the middle…and especially that swatch of light on the right side of the frame.

If I had any guts, I would have put my subject in one, or all, of those three spots…after, of course, I got the shots I needed to get.

But, alas, I didn’t. We did what we needed to do outside, I shot a dozen more frames inside the office building in two different locations…and we were done.

But that light….oh, that light.

Follow the light, folks.

Follow the light.


© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021

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