This family is leaving Germany this summer too. What a great way to create some Germany memories, a family photo shoot at Kusel Castle.
Katie’s family finally made it out to Germany to visit a couple months before it was time for them to head back to Arizona. I was privileged with taking their family photos.
Had a super fun family photo session at Kusel Castle. This was one of my last castle family shoots since we are headed to Virginia in a month. I love how the kids personalities start to really come out towards the end of the shoot!
Last week I caught a little bit of Peter Hurley on Creative Live and of course I was feeling quite inspired. I’ve been shooting headshots for awhile now, mostly on dark grey muslin backdrops, but I really wanted to try to get something a little brighter and full of light. I’ve had a white muslin for a couple years but the photos taken with it always looked a little flat and blah. And although I hope to one day soon acquire some great continuous lights like the ones Hurley uses, for now I only have my one strobe and a speedlight. So how did I get this look with just my two lights and a dull offwhite muslin backdrop?
The main idea is to adequately light the background without having light spill onto the front of the subject. To pull this off I had my Nikon SB-700 speedlight setup with a reflective umbrella pointed at the background behind her on the right. This left the left side of the background looking too dark still, and if I turned the umbrella too much light would spill onto the subjects face in a not so flattering way. So I busted out my 32 inch reflector turned to the silver side and put it on the left to reflect the light from the speedlight. Big improvement. Then I had my subject lit from the front left with an Einstein E640 in a large 47 in Octobox. The speedlight power was set to 1/8, almost full power, while the strobe was set at the lowest setting. Camera settings, ISO 64 f/2.5 1/100 with my 50mm 1.4. Here’s my setup, though the umbrella had a speedlight, not a strobe.
The shot wasn’t perfect right out of camera, I did have to do a bit of post-processing to get that background to really glow. Also, I learned that when putting a subject on white, I need to push the skin tones more to the cooler side, or the contrast between the white and the skin tone will make it look too yellow/orangey. The opposite is true for the darker background. I was able to push the skintones to the warmer side and it looked great.
Well thanks for reading and following me along in my journey into studio headshot photography. I’m not and expert but when I learn something new I get excited and want to share. And although I love shooting families in the beautiful outdoors, studio headshots is something my heart is drawn to. I just love the challenge and all the technical details that goes into it.
After four wonderful years in Germany, we’ve officially gotten an assignment to head to Northern Virginia. Chantilly Virginia, to be precise, though we aren’t sure we’ll be getting a house in that area. This will be a great adventure for us since we’ve never lived so far east, well except for Germany of course. And I’m REALLY looking forward to getting my photography up and running over there and meeting all the new wonderful clients. I’m hoping to find ways to reach out to other creatives in the area, connecting with makeup artists and fellow photographers. As a huge added bonus to finally be going back to the states, I can have my new photography gear shipped right to my door and won’t have to wait weeks for it arrive via military mail.
On the other hand, I’m really going to miss all of the beautiful shooting locations around Germany. Not to mention the group support from fellow photographers here is unlike anywhere else and will also be on my list of yearnings. But overall, it is definitely time to return to the homeland.
So lookout Northern Virginia, here we come! I’ll be offering:
-Family Portrait Sessions
-High School Senior Portraiture