I took this image of the company owner near the end of a long day shooting in his printing factory. He was ready to walk out the door when I decided the project I was working on would benefit by having him visually represented in it. We were traveling lite that day, shooting everything with a single camera, one of three lenses and one light.
The light was a small, Lowell Pro Light, which is a little, focusable, tungsten fixture with a four way barn door set on it. My favorite modifier at the time was a crusty, old, shoot-thru umbrella that had, at one time or another, been bright white but had mellowed into a soft, subtle yellow. I plugged it in pulled the assemblage toward the desk, eyeballing the relative exposure differences between the available light and the light on my subject from the hot light.
I asked his secretary to hold a piece of cardboard as a "gobo" to shield the bottom part of the light in order to pull some of the brightness off his hands, papers and shirt. Her body also blocked some of the light from my fixture that would have overlit the area behind my subject.
I leaned in and took a quick meter reading and then focused my 100mm Planar lens on the front of a weathered 500 series Hasselblad and pulled the dark slide. We shot through one 12 exposure roll of film and then unplugged and moved on. We spent maybe twenty minutes on the shot although nothing was particularly hurried.
We didn't overthink the shot. We didn't make the situation any more dramatic than it should have been. No army of assistants. No make up person. No executive entourage. Just a brief, "How is it going? Are you getting what you need?" from the owner and a quick, "Things are going well. But we need you too. Can you just stay behind the desk and work while I set up a light?" And done.
I was packing today to do a portrait and a brief interview tomorrow. I've got a rolling Tenba case full of LED panels, a case of microphones, mixers and audio recorders, a rolling stand case with five or six light stands, a tripod and some modifiers, and, of course, a camera bag filled to the brim ----- just in case. It's all too much. After seeing this image I have the strongest urge to stick an old 28-85mm lens on one body, grab one panel and one pop-up reflector and be done with it. Oh, and a microphone. And a stand for the microphone. And a mixer. And some headphones. And.........