This weekend I had the privilege of working with Allison and Chris at the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis. The Lemp house has tons of character and I enjoyed the dark and moody atmosphere. I wanted some of the portraits to reflect that.
We found a beautiful, if somewhat rickety, love seat in the hallway just outside Alison’s changing room. The hallway was dark. I mean dark dark. But it allowed me to almost completely control the light. This is becoming my new standard setup. Pull a flash, gel it for color control, and hold it to the side for dramatic lighting. To create the feeling of a vintage painting and capture the feel of the location I left it very dark and moody, only lighting Allison while allowing the rest to fade away into nothing.
Looking at recent blog posts it would seem that I’m putting more concentration on the staged portraits lately, but in reality the staged portion of the day represents only 10-15% of the total coverage. The vast majority of photos are much more documentary in style capturing real moments unobtrusively. However, I’ve been upping my game in the lighting department lately and creating more dramatic staged shots to compliment the candid coverage.