As a London portrait photographer I was delighted recently to have the opportunity to shoot fellow photographer Jonathan Langran. Here’s a series of portrait images taken recently shot at Nassau Street studios, in London’s creative Fitzrovia district. Having shot studio and location portraits for over 25 years, one inevitably develops some familiar shooting scenarios. I acknowledge my fondness for the work of Avedon, Penn, Karsh and Diane Arbus (amongst many others photographers) and feel the thread of influence in my own work. When commissioned for a portrait session I start with a sketch of an idea, but also allow for some improvised moments during the shoot, as subject and photographer move closer together towards a creative alliance.
I started this session with the North facing window light that we have at the studio. I sometimes use flat, even lighting with a bit of contrast in the catch lights of the eyes. We had grey January skies on the day of the shoot which was an ideal starting point, especially with the end results being black & white images. After 30 minutes or so of various compositions and different hand positions we had a break; I then used a simple one light setup, with an Elinchrom head with a grid to localise the light. Although shooting against a white background, I knew the background would render mid-grey at my f5.6 shooting aperture. These later shots had more contrast between the lighter and darker sides of the face, giving a slightly more dramatic effect. It was an enjoyable shoot, which gave the client a range of images to choose from – the daylight images having a distinctly different feel to the studio flash shots.
More of our portraits can be found here. Jonathan is also a London portrait photographer, take a look at his work: http://jonathanlangran.co.uk/