Xavier - Making The Image

This was a busy day where we shot 2 completely different looks - The first batch of images are still under wraps for editorial purposes which I cannot wait to share, stay tuned for that!

This is the second look of the day - and I cant think of anyone better to pull off and awesome biker jacket than Xavier!

Here's how we did it...


We shot natural light for this set, using a reflector to bounce the light back from the window. I know I wanted a very even lighting for these shots with no hard dark shadows on the face. In order to achieve this I had to think ahead - I had to be careful not to blow out the highlights, I did this by shooting slightly underexposed (about half a stop) and then I'm happy to bring the image back to life later with the RAW file in Lightroom by lifting the shadows and dropping the highlights completely - The effect is even lighting when the subject is facing away from the main light source. 
Then all that was left to do was dodging & burning to emphasise the eyes and level out luminosity in skin tones, then colour grading and adding a little warmth to the final images.
I always also add a few rounds go local sharpening and grain to give the finished look.


Equipment wise was simple - shot with my 5D mkII, using my 50mm & 85mm primes, both ideal for intimate portraits.
I used my trusted Wallimex Pro rolling reflector to fill the shadows.

Settings - I shot all these images at f/1.8 - This is my sweet spot for nice soft portraits while keeping the face sharp. I kept my ISO 400 or under depending on the brightness of the room - Then using my shutter speed to ensure I was underexposing by half a stop as mentioned above, critical to getting nice even light.

Anyway enough of the technical - The main aspect was getting the mood right to suit a jacket like this, and I thing Xavier nailed it...

Full set below - Click the images to view larger.

Matt Marcus - Photographer