My good friend Vanessa is the office manager at a medical practice in Berkeley. A while back, she and her colleagues were nice enough to host an exhibition of my portraits in their very nice office. Recently, she called me because the medical practice was updating its website, and they needed a good group portrait of the doctors and of the whole office staff. They wanted something natural, photographed outdoors.
After some discussion about the project, we put a date on the calendar. Then I took some time on a day off the week before the shoot to search the area around their office for a suitable environment. I found an ideal location with a long bench, located only a block away.
On the day of the photo shoot, everyone was on time and followed the wardrobe guidelines–cool blue and gray tones to contrast against the warm earth tones at the location. They also brought their smiles and camaraderie, which made my job easier.
My lighting for this shot was pretty simple. I planned for a time of day when the building we were using as our backdrop shaded my subjects from direct sun, but provided nice diffuse bounced light from a building across the street. I brought a battery-powered flash, and set it up on a stand with an umbrella at camera left. Power was set to equal the ambient light, so the flash gave just a hint of contrast, filled shadows, and gave nice shape to everyone’s faces.
Here were the results, aided by a subtle wind-machine effect created by the natural breeze:
If you are in the East Bay and are looking for a great naturopathic doctor, contact the ladies at Berkeley Naturopathic.