The archives on Profoto's blog are loaded with great stories about artists dealing with a wide variety of challenges. There are hundreds of examples with some terrific "how-to" explanations, including lighting diagrams.
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New York-based photographer Victoria Will faced a challenge. She was in a small room with noting but floral wallpaper, a huge table and some chairs. In a few minutes time Brad Pitt would enter the room to have his portrait taken. Here is how she did it.
It was 2013 and Brad Pitt was in New York City to promote his new movie World War Z. Journalists and photographers had been invited to a press junket at local hotel. One of them was celebrity photographer Victoria Will. “These kinds of shoots are always a challenge,” says Victoria. “They don’t tell me what kind of room we’ll shoot in, what clothes the subject will wear or how much time we’ll have.
When Victoria opened the door to the room she had been assigned to, she discovered a box-like space with floral wallpaper and no furniture except for a huge table with chairs. Something had to be done – fast. She pushed the furniture against the wall. She searched the adjacent rooms, found a chaise lounge and placed it where the light was coming in through the window. She quickly unpacked her D1 monolights and her Light Shaping Tools. When the famous actor walked into the room a few minutes later, Victoria was good to go.
“I guess I was on my game that day,” she laughs.
Victoria asked the actor to relax in the chaise lounge. The sun was shining through the window on camera left, but it was not quite enough. Victoria added a bareheaded D1 monolight and angled it upwards, so that its light bounced off the white ceiling and wrapped itself softly around the actor. Finally, she had her assistant standing behind and to the right of the chaise lounge, holding a silver-sided Collapsible Reflector to create a little bit of edge light. A couple of minutes later, she got her shot.
Below are a few more of Victoria’s stunning portraits. You can, of course, see even more at her website.