London headshot photographer – Financial Times
Headshot session for Financial Times
We were recently commissioned to shoot a series of portraits of Tara Lajumokeby for the London Financial Times. Tara has recently been appointed the managing director of ‘FT Strategies’ – a new boutique consulting firm. The paper commissioned us to shoot a set of portraits to accompany the article, announcing Tamara’s appointment.
As London corporate photographers, we are often commissioned to shoot within the financial sector. Thankfully we generally have creative input within these sessions, which takes the pictures away from a formulaic approach and more into the realms of creative portraiture.
After discussing the style and feel of the shots required with the client, the shoot was booked for a Friday afternoon in our studio in Torrens Street, Angel Islington. A makeup artist was on hand to prepare Tamara, and also stepped in with some subtle touching-up during intervals during the shoot.
We chose a charcoal grey background which renders well in both colour and black & white – more subtle than black and less stark than pure white. In terms of composition, we were mindful to leave room around the subject, so the Financial Time’s designers could crop and make the image work within the restrictions of the article’s layout. When shooting editorial work, the final picture is often cropped and used in a differently context to how the image was originally composed.
A little bit about the lighting, for the photographers amongst us. Tara wears glasses which can sometimes present a problem when shooting with studio lights. Often reflections appear in the glasses when the subject is facing more towards the key (main) light but less so when angled away (from the key light). On this session we used a reasonably straight forward 2 light set up. Our key light was an Elinchrom 15 inch Rotalux Octabox, with additional white diffusion material attached to the outer skin, for further softening. We often used ‘feathered’ lighting, which results in a more subtle final result, with richer colours and tonal range. The key light was partially bounced out of a gold reflector, softening further the main light with the gold warming up the colour temperature. Our second light was positioned to the subjects right side. Again an Elichrom flash head was used, but this time with a spill kill and a grid for greater control. This light was bounced off the studio’s white wall, softening the light, in the direction of the right side of Tara’s face and shoulder. This second light was set to a ratio of 1.5 – 2 stops below the key light, resulting in a subtle fill light, separating Tara’s face and shoulder form the background and giving a little definition to her cheek bone.
The pictures were well received and the chosen image appeared in the Financial Times online edition on 3 March 2020, see here: