Beard and Tattoo Portraits

Originally Published March 19, 2013

I recently spent a week in Pennsylvania and had the chance to photograph these two crazy looking guys. Meet Richard and Jake. Don’t let their looks fool you. These guys are incredibly nice and were wonderful to work with. We got some great shots and had some good laughs along the way.
The plan was to get some shots outside before the sun went down followed up by shooting portraits indoors. With everyone’s schedules, we were on a bit of a time crunch and the outdoor shots were looking like they weren’t going to happen. Luckily, we arrived at our location just before the sun slipped completely away and nailed the shots in a matter of minutes. To make things happen smoothly, I worked with one Einstein paired with a Cyber Commander. The Cyber Commander was a huge time saver for adjusting the light’s output. A big thanks to Richard and Jake too for helping move the gear quickly in between shots and ask cars approached us while shooting on the road (not exactly the safest thing to do at night).

We then moved everything inside but first took a few minutes to warm up. It was freezing outside once the sun completely disappeared. I scoped out the inside location to see where we could shoot. There were windows everywhere. I was wanting to shoot the portraits on a blank wall, so the hunt was on. Eventually, I found a small section of the house that would do the trick. Move some furniture, take some art off the wall, and bingo…backdrop magic!

For the inside shots, I used a similar setup with one major change. Instead of using a sock on the beauty dish, I used a grid. The grid helped focus the light on these bearded beauties while also giving a nice fall-off effect on the background. I had whoever wasn’t being photographed at the time hold a reflector to bounce light back up into the forearms of whoever I was photographing. This kept the underside of their arms from being nothing but shadow. This made it a whole team effort, and they were excited to be able to help out.

We all had a great time, and the guys are thrilled with the final results. We’ve already started talking about the possibility of getting together again with the addition of a couple more beards.

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