How You Shot It: “StudioFun” Kids Portrait by Jan Bon Jr.
How You Shot It is a series where you show us how you shot an image. Many who use our presets love to share their special processing recipes. You can join the SLR Lounge Textures and Presets group on Facebook and share your favorite images and recipes as well! For our wedding and portrait photographers, please join the SLR Lounge Wedding and Portrait Photographers group.
Today’s post comes from Jan Bon Jr. a photographer in Belgium, whose shot of his adorable daughter Fien, caught our eye. When told we wanted to feature his image, Fien stated, ‘Whoa, even people from America think I’m cute!’
It was a very bright and sunny day when I got my brand new studio flash. My kids were playing in the garden for the first time this year, so I had a nice opportunity to move all the furniture out of the way, and install a huge black background in the living room. Time for some fun studio shots!
How I Shot It
I called in my daughter Fien for a few quick testshots. Below are the results from that practice. My girl was very uncomfortable with the huge softbox that was flashing in her face, and you can really see the anxiety in her eyes. Also the shadows on her hair made her dissolve seamlessly into the black background. This was the part where I called in Laurence, my other daughter and my SB-800.
The SB-800 solved the problem with the dark hair and Laurence boosted the confidence of my little model. I asked both girls to stand in front of the camera while looking at the background. When I counted to three, they had to quickly look straight into the camera. The two girls really had lots of fun, and soon they started to giggle and forget all about the camera. We made quite a few shots this way. Unfortunately, it was really difficult to get them synced and both looking good at the same time.
For the technical part, I must confess that I didn’t use any metering. I turned all the knobs just to my liking. Bit more light here, bit less there. I believe in the end, I had both flashes at 1/4 of full power. The SB-800 didn’t had any sort of light modifier, but it was zoomed in to 50mm. The connection between my D800 and the studio flash was done with a very simple affordable radio trigger and I had the SB-800 on SU-4 mode. This way, the SB-800 acts as a simple slave flash. Handy! I love anything that makes my life easier.
- Nikon D800
- Nikkor 50mm f1.4
- Jinbei Digital Pioneer II-300 with 60cm x 90cm softbox
- Nikon SB-800
- Large Black Cloth Background
- Jinbei 5-in-1 Reflector 150x200cm – white side
- Manual Mode ISO 100
- 1/180 sec at f 8.0
- Jinbei at 1/4 Power
- SB-800 at 1/4 Power
My life even got a lot easier when I got the SLR Lounge Preset System. It took me a while to get used to working with it, but now I couldn’t do without it anymore. I used these presets:
- 01-12a Supersoft – Skin Desat
- 02-24d Vintage – Warm Cross
- 04-01c Orange/Teal
I really love the Vintage Warm Cross Curve in combination with the Orange/Teal Split Toning. That gave me this picture:
The Final Image
Add a little dodge and burn, a clone stamp and the amazing brush presets 24 Eye Brightener and preset 25 Iris Enhancer and you get the final result. For kids portraits, I’m not a big fan of using a skin softener, so I skipped that part.
This was my first experience with a softbox and it was really satisfying to get such nice looks. The SLR lounge Preset System gave me the opportunity to get professionally looking images with a consistent look to the entire series which you can find here: STUDIOFUN
About the “How to Shoot It” Series
This educational series highlights amazing images from our writers as well as our community. The goal is to not only feature inspirational work but to provide valuable education for our photography community. If you would like to submit your work, please click here for more info on writing for SLR Lounge.