Wednesday, March 7, 2007

That's So (Un)Professional!

Yesterday I was called by a long time client of mine, looking for a portrait. "The one we took with our office digital camera just doesn't look good. Our client saw it in print, and didn't like the way she looked." I said, "You took a picture of a client with an office point and shoot and submitted it to a publication?" Somewhat sheepishly, she said "Yes." Now, this person, who has moved from firm to firm, is someone I like, and respect. Yet, someone convinced someone that doing this was acceptable. And the end result? An unhappy client that could only be satisfied once a professional was brought in.

Enter me. To the right you'll see the standard setup (with my assistant Lauren standing in). Main light, kicker light, reflector, and backdrop illumination. This is such a workhorse setup, and one we do consistently around town that this kit is dedicated to doing so. These lights you'll see in detail and in use on my Flickr pool here, and to get to them directly, visit Rololight. It took about 30 minutes to set lights (leisurely), and in came our subject. Session 1 included her in one jacket/blouse combination, Session 2 with a different one.

The finished lighting setup (again, with my assistant standing in) is to the right. Total time with camera active, about 15 minutes. Another 20 minutes on the laptop making selections, and the client's client, when I asked "Are you happy with these?" Responded -- "Yeah, that's so...professional! I don't look like I am bug-eyed, like in that other one you {pointing to my longtime client/friend} took that ended up in that newspaper!" I responded "I'm glad we could make these work for you. Thanks!"

Often, there is significant value in allowing clients (and clients' clients) to recognize the value we professionals bring to the table. It's not necessary to sell ourselves, rather, it's best to let the quality of the finished product stand on it's own.


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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just a little FYI that I like to share - under Windows, browsers such as IE, FF, Opera do a poor job of scaling images down when you alter the width or height using tag attributes - viewers see jagged lines on (for example) curves. If you scale them down in advance using most software, the image will be resampled and smoothed.

Anonymous said...

cool lights about how much did a whole set run you???

Eric said...

Is it just me, or is the subject lit slightly from below? Why break that particular rule of lighting in this case?

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