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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

When There's No Space, No One Can Hear You Scream....

Before embarking upon any shoot, the photographer’s mind goes into a creative prep mode. Lighting, composition...you know the deal. There is a part of you that says “I am doing to rock this shoot. I am going to make this something I am really proud of”. You salivate over the potential results and make your way to the location.

Legal firms are not necessarily known for their large open studio spaces. So doing location corporate portraits in such a place suddenly presents a reality that needs to be dealt with. All of your lighting techniques and aspirations suddenly become smaller, simpler and very real indeed. No excuses can be made. No complaints. You just have to do what you have to do.

You cannot expect your client to know what you need, or even to be able to provide it if he did know. The essential reality is that you have to create the images, doing so to the best of your ability in the given circumstances. This was recently the case with a shoot I was asked to do.

Work is work. For most of us, this is the simple truth.  Relationships need to be maintained. Images need to be created. Invoices need to be drawn up. So you do what you need to do. So, when offered a room smaller than most suburban bedrooms for your ‘studio’ you have to simply smile, assure your client and do the work.

There are few options for creative lighting in a space like this. But you do what you do, keeping it simple and
creating the images your client needs. 

For this particular assignment, I had room for one light, and one light is fine. Add a reflector and you’re ok. Yes, there were more grandiose lighting plans among my hopes for this shoot, but in the end creativity must bow to necessity.

So the Photek Softlighter was placed on a stand and quite near the subject, simply because there was no room for any other option. There was one place to stand, and the subject had one place to sit. In the end, what more do you need?


One light is the light of masters. You know - Rembrandt, and all of those dudes. So one light can work and work well. In this case, it was necessary, but keeping it simple is rarely a bad thing.

-Shelton Muller



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The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

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