Headshots for DHG

When Dixon Hughes Goodman, one of the largest accounting firms in the country, hires new associates, I have the privilege of going in and photographing their head-shots. It was a pleasure meeting and photographing some of the latest additions to their amazing team yesterday!!!

Head-shots for Southern Current

“The Southern Current mission is to spread environmental awareness by promoting renewable energy solutions.”

Two of South Carolina’s premier solar development companies — Sustainable Energy Solutions and Solbridge Energy — have merged to create Southern Current. With hundreds of residential and commercial solar projects installed across 7 states and over 500 MW of utility-scale solar projects in different stages, Southern Current is one of the most accomplished and largest developers in the Southeast.

Yesterday I had the honor of photographing head-shots, team photos, and business portraits for their brand new up-and-coming website and marketing portfolio. This was my 4th assignment for Southern Current. They are an AMAZING company, staffed with men and women of integrity. If you’re interested in going solar, I HIGHLY recommend contacting these fine folks!!!

1 Camera, 9 Flashes

Last night I had the oportunity to photograph the Charleston Legislative Group before their first meeting of 2017.

With limited time, a confined space, and heavy foot traffic through the area, I elected to use an all wireless setup. This was a simple bank of windows in the study area of the Lowcountry Graduate Center. The last thing I needed was students tripping over power chords as they hurried past me on the way to classes and meetings!

For a soft bank of main lights, I mounted 2 SB-800 flashes on a Manfrotto stand with a 60″ Westcott shoot-through umbrella to camera right, and the same to camera left. These were set as Group A. For a kicker or rim light, I mounted a bare SB-800 on a tall Manfrotto stand and set it up high in the left corner, aimed back towards the group’s heads. The same setup was repeated on the back right corner. These were set to Group B. To add a little color to an otherwise drab background, I placed blue gels on 3 SB-800 flashes, and mounting them to one of my triple-threat brackets, atop another Manfrotto light. These were set as Group C and placed outside the building, aiming back at the blinds from behind. All stands were sand-bagged with BoaBags for safety.

The image was shot on a Nikon D4 on a Manfrotto tripod, tethered to a Lenovo Yoga laptop. All flashes were triggered by an SB-5000 on the camera, via RadioPopper Px radio transmitters. The final shot was cropped for 16×20 output, with space for graphics left at the top of the frame.

Charleston Trident Association of Realtors

The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors is an AMAZING organization that I’ve had the priviledge of working with over the last few years. This week I got to photograph their Installation Luncheon of their new inductees!

Student Transportation Inc at Francis Marion Hotel

I had the pleasure of photographing this AMAZING event at the Francis Marion Hotel for a wonderful organization named Student Transportation Inc.

Unlike some of the other school bus services around the country, these guys really care about the safety of their kids! One of the ways I know that, is by the mere fact that they have this fantastic Awards Banquet to honor their top drivers! These folks are true heroes!!! We’re talking records like “driving for 30 years without a single preventable accident” or “never ever ever having missed a day of work to drive their appointed route”.

It was a humbling experience being a part of this incredible occasion. I salute all the award recipients! And I want to send a HUGE shout out to the amazing folks at Student Transportation Inc. Keep up the great work!!!

Buss Family at Waterfront Park

Thanksgiving time is a time for family!

This morning it was such a pleasure to meet up with the Buss family at Waterfront Park with that beautiful rising sun, to photograph a fun session together! Here on vacation for the Thanksgiving holiday, it was so much fun showing off our gorgeous city to them. We had a BLAST exploring the beautiful backdrops of the park, the harbor, and the surrounding French Quarter.

Thanks for the good times, Erin, Steve, Audrey, and Owen. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you all!!!

Taylor’s Modeling Portfolio

Last night our friend Robin brought her beautiful daughter, Taylor, to model for me and a few of my crazy fun photographer friends!

All images were shot with a Nikon D4 and Nikkor 70-200 f2.8. I used a Nikon SB-5000 as a Master flash to trigger 3 SB-800 Remote flashes. Two SB-800 flashes were ganged together as Group A in a 24″ EZY Box as the main light. One bare-bulb SB-800 in Group A was used as a kicker/rim light. All flashes were triggered with the RadioPopper Px system. After sunset, I placed full CTO gels on each flash and switched the cameras White-Balance to tungsten, giving the sky that electric blue tone.

Many thanks to David for the use of his classic Porsche, and to Michelle for hosting the event and finding this incredible location. But most importantly, a huge thank you to Taylor for braving the mosquitoes and looking absolutely FABULOUS!!! 🙂

Head-shots for ATI

Advanced Technology International (www.ati.org) is an organization that builds and leads technology development collaborations. They help team members reach consensus, establish priorities and produce technology solutions.

Working with their marketing department was a real pleasure. And everyone I photographed was super nice and fun to work with! We set up and photographed head-shots all morning, as well as a team photos and group shots.  Many thanks to Rebecca for all her help coordinating everything!

Being a technology solutions company, ATI wanted a clean and modern style to their shots. We accomplished this using six Nikon SB-800 remote flashes, a Nikon D4, and a Nikkor 70-200 f2.8.   All the wireless off-camera flashes were controlled by an SB-5000 using RadioPoppers for communication.  Everything was tethered to a laptop so individuals could view their images immediately after their shoot.

If you, or an organization you know, is in need of new head-shots or executive portraits for marketing and promotional material, we’d love to hear from you!

Nikon SB-5000 does Head-shots for Clawson & Staubes

After receiving the new Nikon SB-5000 a few days ago, I put it through all the rigorous paces to make sure everything was working perfectly, and that I knew what every button and menu item did. This is Nikon’s latest, most advanced speedlight…and it has a few new tricks over previous models. I’ll get into those in a later post! 🙂

Yesterday was my first assignment with the new flashes, and they worked BEAUTIFULLY!!! I was photographing environmental head-shots of new attorneys for one of my favorite clients, Clawson & Staubes.

The images were made with a Nikon D4, Nikkor 70-200 VRII, an SB-5000 on the camera, running as the Master in CLS mode, and two SB-800 flashes as remotes, firing through a 24″ softbox. Everything ran beautifully! The new flash recycles extremely fast…the size is smaller…and the design of the button layout is even more user-friendly than all previous generations I’ve worked with.  The best part is, it’s completely backwards compatible with all other Creative Lighting System flashes!

Next, I’ll be working with the new Advanced Wireless Lighting (AWL) radio mode. Stay tuned…

Graham & Clint with the Nikon D500

Graham and Clint are two of the TOP body builders in the entire state! Next weekend they’ll be competing in the IFBB NBC South Carolina Grand Prix. That means they are now in peak form. So I jumped at the chance to photograph them!!!

Even though they’ve been in Charleston a long time, one of their “summer bucket list” items was to finally visit the historic and picturesque Morris Island Inlet on Folly Beach. Since that’s one of my favorite areas to shoot in, we decided to meet there for their photo shoot. The late evening light was gorgeous, we got some KILLER images, and Graham and Clint were able to check one of their bucket-list items off the list!!!

To be the best of the best, Graham & Clint have to push their bodies to extreme limits. I thought, what better way to put the new Nikon D500 to the test, than to use it for this shoot? The snappy 10 fps allowed me to capture micro bursts of peak action. The beautiful 21MP sensor delivered excellent dynamic range. And the lighter weight body made it a lot less tiring to hand-hold.

But what most impressed me was the AF sensor’s ability to focus in extreme back-light situations. For the photos where the sunset is behind Graham and Clint, the subject is completely black and you have to squint really hard into the sun just to see their shadowy outline. Previous to this camera, I would have to take a couple steps to the side and acquire focus with the sun out of the frame…then step back into position to re-compose and shoot. With the D500, it effortlessly locked focused on the shadow-side of their faces without any trouble!

All images were photographed hand-held with the Nikon D500 and Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VRII. Natural light was augmented with 3 Nikon SB-800 flashes on my home-made triple-threat mount, attached to a Manfrotto 3333 light-stand off-camera. The setup was triggered via a Nikon SB-800 master flash on-camera, using a RadioPopper Px transmitter to communicate to the others.

I owe a HUGE Thank You to Graham & Clint for suffering through the humidity and bugs on a muggy Charleston evening! But we had a BLAST, and they were AMAZING to work with!!! You can follow their crazy life at #clintstagraham, where you’re sure to be inspired to better fitness. 🙂

Hotel Room Head-shots

While photographing the Withit Women’s Conference at the historic Francis Marion Hotel this week, part of my assignment included creating head-shots for the professional ladies attending the program.

The motivational conference was held in the elegant Gold Ballroom. So as not to distract from the speakers, and to give each lady the time and privacy they deserved for their photo session, I was asked to setup in one of the hotel rooms down the hall. The point of this post is to show that with a little knowledge, a smart selection of compact lighting tools, and some beautiful subjects to work with, professional portraits can be created just about anywhere!!!

My entire portable studio setup included 6 Nikon SB-800 speedlights, 4 Manfrotto light stands, 2 60″ Westcott shoot-through umbrellas, and a white pop-up style background. Utilizing the given space to suite my purpose, I arranged everything around using the white doors as a reflector for extra fill. A couple of the flashes were used as background lights to create the modern high-key look I wanted. A couple flashes were used to evenly disperse light through one umbrella as the main light source. And the last two were used similarly through the other umbrella as a fill light. This entire lighting kit fits into a large Manfrotto tripod bag for compact portability!

All the flashes were triggered through RadioPoppers, using a Nikon SB910 as the Master flash. The images were photographed with a Nikon D4, and a Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VRII, tethered to my laptop. After each client’s portrait session, we reviewed the images together to make sure there was something in there that they LOVED!!!  🙂

Off-Camera Flash in Daytime

I get a lot of funny looks and silly questions when by-standers and tourists see me using my off-camera light-stand, especially when I’m on the beach, and in broad daylight!

So I decided to take a before-and-after to show what a difference it makes. I’m using four Nikon SB-800 flashes, attached to my home-made Quad-Bracket, mounted on top of a Bogen light-stand. Each is triggered by a RadioPopper Px receiver, and controlled by an SB-910 mounted to my Nikon D4. All flashes were in Group A and manually dialed in at 1/4 power. Camera settings were f5.6 at 1/250th and ISO 50. The stand is placed 30-degrees to camera right.

Many thanks to the Clark family for another AWESOME annual family photo shoot!!! 🙂