Shooting Graduation Photos!

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of shooting grad-photos for my friend, Sara. She may seem familiar as she is the subject of many of my digital portraits.

For the shoot, I brought along my Canon 6D, 70-200mm f/4, 50mm f/1.8 STM and my Yongnuo 560IV flash/Wescott Rapid Octa Box lighting combo. The weather was partly cloudy, but with bursts of sunshine every now and then. This kept lighting pretty simple, as I could use the Rapid Octa Box to fill in shadows and let the soft, cloudy light do the rest of the work.

Wind was a bigger issue than I was expecting.. Besides messing up hair, it ended up tipping my lightstand over! Luckily, the Yongnuo flash was just left with a few scuffs. I neglected to bring sandbags and used my backpack filled with miscellaneous camera gear and bottle of champagne to weigh the lightstand down. Unfortunately, I had the backpacking weigh down the wrong leg when a strong gust of wind knocked the lighting equipment over.

The 70-200mm f/4 is probably one of my favorite lenses of all time. It's also the only Canon EF mount lens I currently own besides the 50mm. The 70-200mm f/4 contains a lot of great focal lengths found in prime lens such as 85mm, 100mm and 135mm. The white zoom lens packs all of these together with image stabilization.

While editing, I noticed that my strongest images were made with the three-quarters view. Perhaps poses are easier with the three-quarters view because more of the frame is covered, for example, in a typical "hands at your side" pose. There's more space to be filled in the frame by the background if I shot the same pose with a full-profile perspective. I really enjoyed the middle photo in the first set of images above (Sara's back facing the camera), even though that was framed with the full-profile perspective. I think the compression at 175mm and her pose where she's holding the Oxford cap fill the frame quite nicely.