This past weekend I volunteered with Salt N' Light Youth Ministry at their ZETEO event. As the event photographer I spent most of my time photographing the various speakers, worship nights, and a five-hour mega drama. But on the first day we needed to advertise some of the event merchandise so I brought in my strobe and flashes to set up a small studio! After some looking around the convention center we decided on this simple cream colored wall.
In the photos above I started looking around different spots throughout the convention center. I was initially attracted to an outside balcony connecting the parking garage but it was snowing out and quite cold. We then moved to the seminar rooms but the lighting was pretty poor and I was looking for a clean and simple look. The brushed metal could have been an interesting change-up but I was still just looking for simplicity.
I find it helpful to give myself fewer degrees of freedom when shooting for a specific look. For this shoot the images were to be displayed on vertically-aligned 70" TVs beside the merchandise shop for the entirety of the weekend. Because of this I ended up wanting to limit distracting backgrounds from the images. I also knew I wanted to shoot with a depth of field narrow enough to keep both the subject's eyes in focus when shooting closeups, but wide enough to have the focus melt away and blur out the background as much as possible. I also wanted to shoot with a long enough focal length to remove any distortion from the edges of the frame to represent real fits of these articles of clothing. I used my strobe as the key light and a simple manual speedlight to illuminate the cream wall into a brighter white. So I ended up shooting at f/2.8 with my 85mm lens, having to stick to ISO 400 to compensate for the lack of high speed sync on my old manual flash to light up the backdrop.