First rule for everything: There has to be plan B.
Some time ago I went to take a portait of singer Susanna Huppunen. Plan A was to use window light like explained in my blog post about shooting portraits at home. The background was supposed to be an interior wall in a big farm house. Unfortunately it was so dark and rainy day that the window light was not enough, and the wall color was boring and variegated in a wrong way, so that it would not make any justice to portraits. The client was waiting so I had to study the environment quickly and make calculations about the light and judgements about the possible backgrounds… nothing good enough seemed to be available.
So, the plan B…
Luckily I brought a portable softbox, a reflector, a stand for speedlight and a remote flash trigger.
“Chance favors the prepared mind” -Louis Pasteur.
We taped a dark blue sheet on the wall to serve as a studio like background and an assistant was holding the reflector.
Second rule: improvise and utilize what you’ve got.
Next to the door there was a large, about meter long thick log. We carried it to serve as a table so that the model could rest her hands on it to get a more natural pose. Then some teasing to get the smile and voila!
Here are couple of photos from the set and also photo of her sister. For the sister photo we changed the background sheet.