I bought a Fuji X100s after what feels like years of research and thinking about what I really was looking for. It is not that I lack cameras. I have a few, but they are all DSLR, and for some reason I almost never use them outside my work as a full-time photographer. My family only gets the iPhone/Instagram treatment, and that is a bit sad. And boring for my kids later on.
My experiences from compact cameras are not the best. I tend to use them a bit and then put them somewhere, never really liking using them or the resulting photos. Most of the time they stay there until I have forgotten that I even own them. The problem is often that I compare them to my Nikon cameras in terms of speed and ease of use.
But now, only after a couple of days with my new Fuji X100s, I am finally happy with a smaller camera. Not that it is that small, but easier to hang on my shoulder and start using whenever I want to.
I am often hired by companies to take photos for their image banks, and many times they more or less request a style that is seen often in stock photos. Clean setups in a bright room, one or two persons having some sort of meeting and a relatively simple background. Photos that are easy to use on the web, in financial reports and newsletters, but with their own people, not generic models.
Using ordinary people to act as models can be tricky, but it can also be very simple. In this case, where they would be having an informal meeting around an iPad, I just told them to play meeting. And that is something most people can to, and even find amusing. As soon as they start having their fake meeting, I start shooting, giving them as little directions as I can. Sooner or later it looks almost natural.
Lighting this kind of photo is mostly done by adding light in a fashion that makes the image bright and clean. I try to imagine how the light would be if they where in an office with very large windows.
Last year, I posted a test shot from this photo session with a Swedish author, and now I can show the real portrait. Her book is out, so there is no restrictions anymore.
This is from the studio were we tried a couple of different setups, one of them with a green background and ring flash. My main light was a beauty dish, but the ring flash did its part too by adding fill from the camera angle, on-axis as they say.
This portrait showcasing make-up from a Swedish company was one of the last photo sessions I did before I started my paternity leave, just before Christmas 2012. Not the kind of portraits I do often, but very rewarding to work with talented people creating something beautiful.
We worked a couple of hours in the studio and the result was six portrait with two different make-ups and styling. I will get back with a more detailed blog post showing how I set up the lights and all that.