Emerald Travel; almost a naturally lit photo shoot

Emerald Stay; almost a naturally lit photo shoot


2 males sat in a hotel lobby


The brief: 2 headshots and a group shot, well, 2 guys.

The location turned out to work quite well. I was even worried I would have no excuse to use all the lighting I had brought with me.

I had even dug out the really big octagonal softbox because I was in the mood to make a meal of this shoot.

That is a good sign.  I am determined not to auto-pilot the whole shoot and am in the mood to experiment.

Also, I think the fact that I have not been doing so much film stuff recently, apart from writing scripts, has led to the craving to experiment.

The great thing about photography is how agile it is; filmmaking can be tortuous and slow and you have to deal with people,l and people almost always make life more complicated.

But as I said today I was feeling good and the space at the Paxton Hotel worked well; as soon as I entered I got that little buzz which means ‘I see creative options here.’

The people there seemed very amenable and gave us access to the informal coworking spot they have. We did scare away at least one guy. He kind of passive-aggressively relocated to somewhere where we could still see him; had to be a coder.

So… lots of windows and lots of almost direct natural lighting.

I stood one of them in the space to see what it looked like. The very first test shoot would have worked as a final shoot.

This always freaks me out. 

However, I discovered that the oversized light I had set up, fitted with a grid, added a great dramatic rim light.

Excellent. Fee justified.

The idea was 1 hour; 2 headsets and a group shot. We ended up doing more like 3 group shots and the last one worked the best.

The guys were easy to photograph apart from some posture issues and the obvious work you need to do on ‘rictus-smiles.’

The group shots were more challenging, I was not convinced the same location as the headshots worked so well.

After trying a few things we settled on some seats and this worked the best.

I even got to break out another flash unit that needed to be set up in a plant pot… result.



 Maxine founder of Emerald StayLaurent founder of Emerald Stay