Tuesday, September 21, 2010

04/52 Dante Lopresti

I've decided Sunday is flex day. If I'm a lazy bum, it still counts as the previous week. If I shoot the coming week on Sunday, I'm just being a go-getter. It's like If I'm scheduled for work at 5pm and show up at 4, no? Either that or it's like I'm scheduled Monday and I show up on Sunday. That's even better, right? You can never be too early. Or at least that's what I'm convincing myself.

This wasn't the shoot I was planning on for this week. I ended up doing this pretty last minute as a favor for two people at the same time. Dante is a co-worker of mine, who is being featured in an ad in Time Out Chicago. The product being featured is represented by a good industry friend, Andy Kaminskas. They needed a quick headshot of Dante for the ad,  and I figured this would be a good opportunity to knock out this week's portrait and to get something published as well. I know all those photo business blog people out there will (should I even be a blip on their radar (I'm not.)) jump all over me for working for free, but both these guys are good friends and this very well could lead to opportunities in the future.

Dante is a fellow bartender at Double A lounge. He's been in the game notably longer than I have, and has been making moves of late. He's recently scored a gig representing a small tequila brand, and this ad sees him featured along side with some really big names in the Chicago scene.

For the shoot, I went with as little ambient as possible. Spooky creepy ambient shot time:

I swear one of these days an ambient exposure shot is going to make sense. I promise. Today is just not that day. You're going to have to deal with it. I'm sorry. Life is hard. So very, very hard.

Guess who remembered to take a setup shot this time? Come on, guess! You have three tries, and the first two don't count.

A simple setup, an umbrella up close and personal, high camera right. Dialed down edge from the back left. The key has 1/2 cto and the edge has 1/4 to give a little color temperature differential.

I did a bit of impromptu fill beside the bottles. Because of the distance from the subject and how close the key is to the subject, it's not doing a ton, but the difference is noticeable. I've done a lot of cocktail photography in the past, and this is a bit of a dumbed down version of how I would approach shooting the bottles alone. Bright field and dark field techniques provide great results, but sometimes you just want to show the product in context, and that requires  you to switch things up a bit.

There were a few takes from this shoot that I quite liked. The official portrait for this week is the one that is being published. Dante and I also did a bit of him shaking and then separating the tins. We used agave nectar to make the dripping all the more drippy, increasing our chances of getting a good take. I also shot a few quick stand-ins, including Andres, who I plan to shoot some other week.

That's it for this week. Super simple. Quick and dirty. However you want to look at it, I'm ahead of the game. I'm not going to lie though, I'm antsy to get down to shooting my next portrait that I have time to conceptualize and plan out. Big things coming!

Strobist Info:
SB-800 through westcott dual-fold umbrella at high camera right with 1/2 CTO
SB-800 at back camera left with 1/4 CTO

Camera Settings:
1/250 f/3.5 at ISO 400
Nikon 35mm f/1.8


  1. Well done Jay! I guess if you show up on Sunday for work on Monday... as long as you don't get restless and leave before your shift you're ok. Bring a washcloth and some deodorant too. But you already would do that ;)


    P.S. Thanks for your help on this. Big time. I see a bottle of booze in your future.

  2. These are very professional. Excellent job my love!