Steven D. Elliott - 1 Flash Portrait Session

Steven D. Elliott - 1 Flash Portrait Session - student project

Hey JP & All,

My Education

I'm a graphic designer by profession but over the last year have really gotten into photography as a way to expand my creative services. I originally wanted to learn photography to help grow my online menswear magazine by shooting my own content photos. It's steadily morphed into a passion for working with the brands that I talk to and offering them media/creative services shooting products, lifestyle images,  or possibly covering events.

Current Situation

I would say that I'm a clearly still a novice at shooting photography (I wouldn't say that I have a huge portfolio of work that would warrant jobs) but I wanted to look into off camera flash because 1) It's more affordable than it's ever been. 2) I've found that shooting portraits in my current space (which is regretfully my bedroom, proves very hard for natural light portraits. I only tend to get 2 hours of some natural light and it's not very good. I thought that using off camera flash would prove a new challenge and also help me get more dramatic portraits for my magazine and personal brand.

Gear:
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 50mm 1.8f STM
Yongnuo 560 IV
Yongnuo YN560-TX
Amazon Shutter Release Hand-held Clicker for Canons
LimoStudio Photo Video Studio Light Kit (I use the light stands with a flash mount and umbrellas.
White Foam Core (Reflectors)

SETUP 1: Portraiture with 1 Light

Camera Settings:
Lense: 50mm 1.8 STM (limited space means getting as much as I can in the short distance)
ISO: 100
F/8.0 sometimes f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/125
Flashpower: 1/8 +0.7

LIGHT DIAGRAM: 

Steven D. Elliott - 1 Flash Portrait Session - image 1 - student project

SHOOT NOTES: Since I've only shot a few time with the flashes indoors, I'm trying to take what I learn from the class and apply it to my portraits. Sometimes the photos look ok, but sometimes they're too dark or I feel like I'm getting shadows behind me on the wall. It may just be a space issue in terms of having the flash too close and me too close to the  wall as well. I've tried adjusting the position of the light and learning what works. The wall behind me is NOT white, though I want it to be as dark as possible.

UNFORTUNATELY, I DON'T HAVE A LIGHT METER. I ALSO WISH I COULD SHOOT TETHERED TO CUT DOWN ON THE TIME IT TAKE TO WALK AROUND THINGS (SEE DIAGRAM), ADJUST AND RESHOOT. I WANTED TO KEEP THE BOARDS IN TO SHOW WHERE I'M TRYING TO REFLECT LIGHT TO A BIT. COLORS ARE BIT OFF WHEN I UPLOADED.

PHOTOS:

Steven D. Elliott - 1 Flash Portrait Session - image 2 - student project

Steven D. Elliott - 1 Flash Portrait Session - image 3 - student project

Steven D. Elliott - 1 Flash Portrait Session - image 4 - student project

Steven D. Elliott - 1 Flash Portrait Session - image 5 - student project

Critique away!

Thanks JP,

Steven D. Elliott
Designer from NYC