Last week I got a call to shoot a portrait of Tom Anderson, the CEO of Novint, for the London Financial Times. For those of you are probably not familiar with Novint, they created a pretty cool new joystick for video games. It's a very unique design and totally cool. So, anyways, CEO portraits are not really a specialty of mine, in fact, I hardly do them. Which made this kind of a fun assignment.
I got the call Thursday afternoon and the shoot was scheduled that Friday afternoon, so luckily it gave me some time to do some research and look up Novint and Tom Anderson to get a feel for the company and perhaps some ideas for some shots. The only real stipulation for the shoot was that Novint's new joystick must be in the photo with Tom, which is pretty standard when your doing an editorial portrait. What's also pretty standard is we ended up shooting in a conference room. I generally try and find a unique location or setting to take the photo, but sometimes that just doesn't fly to well. So below is my set up shot from the conference room.
You can see it is a pretty standard conference table, so not a whole lot to work with. As for lighting, I used two Alien Bee lights, one with a photoflex medium softbox w/ a grid to the left, and the other has a 20 degree grid for a rim light. Although, it may not look like the room was very bright, there are two big windows behind me letting in a lot of light. I knew I wanted to drop out the ambient light so that my lights where the only thing lighting Tom. So, I pumped up the power and made the light more direct hence the grids on both lights. Doing this allowed for me to drop out the ambient and be more in control of the light in the room. Below is my favorite shot from the shoot.