Just before the summer I shot Carsten. He initially approached me after reading my blog about climbing down into the 7th Hole. I also use the blog to post about people I meet and adventures that I go on. Carsten is an extremely talented wake boarder, loves going on adventures, and getting outdoors, but was in need of a corporate head shot for a new business venture and some profile images that he could use for modelling and Facebook.
At first it didn't make sense to me. Why did he want me to do a set of corporate and lifestyle shots based on my blog post about caving? It occurred to me that Carsten had connected more so with the passion projects on my blog rather than the portfolio on my website. Being passionate about exploring and adventure instantly granted me access to him as a person and we naturally had something in common. It was an interesting idea bouncing around in my head- in the end it wasn't what I knew about photography, but rather what I was doing with it.
I have done quite a few portraits as a photographer, and from my experience it's always good to keep asking questions. I found out that Carsten grew up in Berlin, loves playing guitar, doing yoga, traveling and a great place to start was where he was most comfortable- at home. Firstly I wanted to get the corporate shot out the way. I made use of his white walls and some sunlight coming in. I used a 24-70mm on my 6D, a canon 530exii off camera flash with a phottix soft box modifier, a reflector positioned in front of him and a smaller canon 430ex flash on the floor behind him to separate him from the background. We both agreed on a black and white shot.
After the corporate shot he was changing out of his suit and I asked him to pick up the guitar and we had an impromptu modelling shoot. I used natural sunlight from his windows for most of the shots and also made use of the large world map behind him. I always try and ask a whole bunch of questions followed by snooping around the house to find interesting things, props and little areas that might look good with the natural light.
We then decided we should head outdoors at least to try and see what shots we could get with the remaining sunlight. We walked around by the beach and then I got him in the water and we just had a laugh, really causal. It was really cool how relaxed he was and got some nice shots of Carsten being himself.
I really enjoy working one on one with clients. I always say as long as you have fun that's what matters; and I hope the next time I shoot him it will be some where really adventurous!