Metropolitan New York Library Council Staff Portraits

The Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) needed consistent looking portraits of its staff to replace the haphazard ones on its website and promotional materials. To photograph eight people, it made sense for me to come to their office and spend a morning working with each staff member in 15-minute sessions. METRO has a large conference room that made a perfect studio. I brought a piece of the same seamless background I use in my studio and set up my lights in a way that I could easily replicate if there were future new employees to photograph. This paid off immediately, as the last person in the series above wasn’t able to make it that day, so I photographed him a few days later in my studio.

I made the photograph above as a record of my setup, and I recorded my camera and lighting settings for future sessions. The model stands 5-6 feet in front of the seamless with the softboxes at a 45-degree angle.

Camera: Canon 5D Mark II with 24-105 mm f/4 IS lens at f/5.6. 125th second at ISO 200.

Lights: (Left) Canon Speedlite 430EX II, manual mode at 1/16 power. (Right) Canon 580EX II, manual mode at 1/8 power.

My client was extremely pleased with the results. I presented the individual high-resolution images along with the contact sheet above which showed the consistency among the photos and suggested a tighter crop than the originals I sent. My client returned to me the image below, where he combined my photos with his originals to show the before/after difference.

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