Photography: Keep it Simple!
My First Portrait

My First Portrait

You’ve seen the title of this article: Keep it Simple. Well, I’ve always been one to keep it as simple as possible. Not just in photography, but in life. Well, let’s add: making complexity and sophistication look simple is the greatest compliment. I mean, how often do you see people look at amazement at a woman walking the red carpet and how amazing she looks. How the gown, makeup, hairstyle all fit so perfectly and effortlessly on her. But in reality, it took weeks of planning and hours of finally putting it all together.

One of my first favorite images couldn’t get be any simpler. On the surface at least. It was a simple environmental portrait shoot and was my first attempt at one. Really, just me and my camera. I didn’t even know my camera had a flash! I’m glad I didn’t know because I would’ve been tempted to use it and ruin this absolutely lovely portrait. All I can say is that I was blessed with fantastic natural light.

Great Model, Great MUAH, Great Light

Great Model, Great MUAH, Great Light

The next image was another first. The model, makeup artist were a first and I had been shooting for only a few months. I usually used a 3′ octodome by Photoflex. But this time, I thought I would try a 5′ Profoto Octa and Lighting strobe. Also a first using this gear.

Yes the model and MUAH¬†did a fantastic job. Absolutely. I love the makeup and hairstyle was perfect for the model. And the dress was cute. But on my end, it was using great light. My model is 5′ tall so the Profoto modifier wrapped around her perfectly. I must say, there is something special about Profoto modifiers.

Last but not least is this one. This model and I had been trying to work together for a while but the universe just didn’t align up for us. But when it did, I was so incredibly happy!

Night Photography at a Post Office

Night Photography at a Post Office

We were going to do a downtown type of shoot and the wardrobe she brought couldn’t have been any better. Makeup was spot-on. It was a night shoot which introduces it’s own certain challenges. But he architecture in the area was fantastic. I walked around a bit before the shoot to confirm locations. And this one in the hallway of a post office turned out absolutely fantastic.

Here, I used my trusty 3′ Photoflex Octodome with a Canon speedlite 560EXii on a Manfrotto light stand. The modifier was at least 6′ above me as I was standing beneath it and pointing directly at the model. As the ambient light and speedlite were different tones, it actually worked out in providing separation of the model and background and not look funky. And people just love the pose. It was her idea!

I guess we can say the brain-surgery is a piece of cake if you’d done it a thousand times. I say these were simple shots because I just used one light. But there are plenty of photographers spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on classes, seminars and equipment trying to get ‘that’ image. So maybe I don’t give myself and everyone else who works on these images with me enough credit.

Keep it simple!

About the author

Ricardo Gomez is a Fashion Photographer based in New York City.

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