In 1999, Don Blair and I published Don Blair's Guide to Lighting and Posing Body Parts. That's 19 years ago, and the information we shared in this book will never go out of date. The whole idea for a book like this started during one of Don's programs when somebody sitting near me said, "This is great stuff - there should be a book on this!"
Well, the sweetheart of Don's life, his wonderful wife Donna, had passed away a year or so earlier and the project started with a dual purpose - to help photographers improve their portraiture and to give Don something to help take his mind off the pain of a broken heart. I remember being on the road with him several times, and he'd always buy a rose and put it on the pillow next to him as his own tribute to Donna.
We did all the photography for the book in Las Vegas with models from the area because we wanted to introduce the book at WPPI the following year with a program that included the same models. Tony Corbell, Terry Deglau joined us as we storyboarded each page on the wall of the hotel room where we were shooting. Remember, there was no digital imaging then - every shot for the book was first captured on a Polaroid proof. Bambi Cantrell later added the finishing touch with the author's portrait for the back page on the right.
The fun of today's post has two parts. First, so many of you need to understand the basic principles of good lighting, and it doesn't get any easier than to share Don's examples, complete with diagrams. Second, what a kick to take this walk down Memory Lane. Even though I've shared some of the backstories about Body Parts before, "Big Daddy" was one of the most loved photographers in the industry. I think about our adventures together all the time. It's a great reminder why the memories we help people capture are so important!
If you need help in improving your portrait technique, technology has changed a lot, and Marathon Press can still print the book, but no longer have it in stock. If you've got an interest let me know in the comment section and I'll pass on the information.
Happy Throwback Thursday!