On April 28th I met with the writers of thepennyrose.com to do a portrait for them. The Penny Rose is a fashion/beauty blog based here in Santa Cruz and I have collaborated with them for multiple past and upcoming shoots. Christa Martin and I had discussed the idea of a portrait for a while and ended up doing a sort of Vanity Fair style big group shot of everyone.
Technically it was something kind of new to me since I haven't done many group shots this large but it was a fun challenge and I think for a first attempt it was pretty successful. I generally use pretty soft light in my photos so to get a light source big enough for this many people I clipped together a few sheets of ripstop nylon and hung it on some background stands. A light fired through it was able to roughly approximate a huge softbox. That provided a good amount of light but I still needed more so I used my other flash with my go-to 60" Softlighter. I never get tired of that thing. Great light.
Doing something like this made me realize how much work goes into posing people to look good as a group. At this scale I kind of stopped looking at them as individual people/portraits and more as composition elements that had to be moved around until we got what we wanted. I probably could have kept going and tried to get something better but honestly I'm pretty ok with what we got. It was definitely cool to have gone to the location beforehand and kind of blocked it all out so on the day of the shoot we kind of knew what we were doing.
Anyway, fun shoot and it makes me want to do some more big group stuff. Maybe someday some photos inspired by renaissance paintings with their big groups, beautiful soft light, and mythological themes?
Here are a few behind the scenes photos taken by Mama T: