Headshots in The Cigar Factory Basement

Being a professional photographer is not always roses and sunshine. Sometimes we are faced with difficult scenarios, yet expected to produce stellar results!

Photographing an assignment for Lee & Associates, I needed to create headshots for a couple of recent additions to the team. We normally do their shoots in The Cedar Room. This is the big beautiful ballroom in Charleston that’s known for its gorgeous historic brick walls. Instead, they offered us this wall in the bottom floor, which is now a a back service entrance in the basement of the old factory.

I got to work and set up my Nikon D5 with Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 on the Manfrotto 055 carbon fiber tripod. I mounted 2 SB-5000 flashes, both set to Group A, on a Manfrotto light stand with a 60″ Westcott shoot-through umbrella, as my main light. I set 2 SB-5000 flashes, on another light stand with a shoot through umbrella in the back. One of these flashes was set to Group B and directed at the subject to act as a rim/fill light. The other was set to Group C and directed at the wall as a background light. The camera was then tethered to my Lenovo Yoga laptop, which rested comfortably on the trash can in the corner.  Using Adobe Lightroom allowed the client to proof images as I shot, and allowed each individual pick out their favorite shots.

In spite of the conditions, with a little ingenuity, and a dash of creativity, we were able to make this dark hallway look as bright and beautiful as the gorgeous ballroom above!

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