Hello everybody!!

It is 2019, and I cannot believe it!!

I am so happy to be starting a new year, and I am even more happy to kick it off with photoshoots!!

Within my first week of being in my new office space, I had two photoshoots to test it out. My first shoot was with my friend Alexis here in the office. My second shoot was with Epic Print Solutions, my parent's company, in downtown Phoenix to provide them with new imagery for their 2019 rebrand. Here's a quick peek at that shoot.

Today, I am going to focus on my office shoot with Alexis.

I invited Alexis to my new office before I even had a desk inside of it. It was bare bones with equipment strewn about it. I wanted to try out the space to see if I could shoot headshots and portraits inside because I couldn't afford a larger place with an actual space for studio shooting. I had also just received my own copy of "The Dramatic Portrait" by Chris Knight for Christmas, so I was very inspired and itching to shoot some portraits.

I wanted to challenge myself by creating more dramatic, and shadow heavy lighting for this shoot. I decided it would be best to just start with a single light using my Flashpoint XPLOR 600 and a 20" octobox overhead. Once I started shooting, I wasn't happy with the flat look to the images, so I took out a second Flashpoint and attached a reflector hood as an edge light behind Alexis. By using the reflector hood, I could slightly control my light by broadening it but still allowing that light to be harsher than my main light.

Once I found my lighting, all we had to do was have fun with it! Alexis has a great jawline, so I wanted to compliment that with the heavy shadows on her right side. She also does a great face that has a lot of attitude when she raises her left eyebrow and purses her lips (last image on the right). This contrasted light really added to her facial features, and we were having a blast with it.

I really wanted to take advantage of the edge light so I could make her pop out more from my background. By having that thin light gently touch the back of her hair or the side of her face, it felt as if she was jumping from the image.

As we continued to shoot, the sun was going down and was beaming through my bare south facing windows. At first I was extremely annoyed, and made a mental note to add "window curtains" to my "New Office" Amazon list, but then Alexis took a small step forward into the sun and we found our next lighting scenario.

The sun was coming through the window at such an angle, it was almost too perfect. I turned off my overhead light and used the natural sunlight as my main source. I left my edge light on and simply added more power to compete with the raging sunlight.

Because of this one small step forward, I was inspired by the Sun's natural beauty to create these VERY dramatic portraits.

I felt so inspired by such a small change that made all the difference in my images. I began to think about how easy it would be to replicate this light again using my strobes, and how I want to create a series using this lighting style.

At the end of the shoot, Alexis and I left with gigantic smiles on our faces as we felt we created such amazing art. I am proud to say I feel really great about these images. A lot of the time, I don't like to talk highly about my work, but I felt very proud of myself after that day.

Sometimes as a creative individual, you don't want to talk too highly about your work or worse, you beat yourself down. I battle myself a lot when it comes to my art, and It's something I want to work on in 2019; accepting my own art. So it felt great to start 2019 with a successful and extremely fun photoshoot.

Now, if you don't mind, I need to plan more shoots like this one and absorb more of Chris Knight's knowledge.

See you next time!

- Wyatt Rutt