Last year we introduced you to some of Stephanie Diani’s arresting imagery. This year, the awareness campaign Faces of Humanity caught many a photo fans’ eye, and the observant Profoto blog reader also spotted that it was Stephanie providing the dramatic portraits. We had a chat with her to find out how she did the different on-location shoots.
Portraiture photographer Stephanie Diani really has a knack of finding how to tell a tale with her work. In her expressive and vivid portraits she is able to isolate that little something in the poses of her subjects. So when Getty Images asked her to do a shoot for the Canadian Red Cross, highlighting humanitarian field workers, she instantly knew what kind of story she wanted to convey.
“The art director at the Canadian Red Cross and I discussed what we wanted to achieve. Our artistic goal was to create images that engages the viewer and introduced them to the aid workers’ field of expertise. I wanted them to share the feeling of accomplishment that humanitarian work engenders,” says Stephanie.
The photographer explains that in order to achieve the look and feel she was going for, not just light but lighting was essential.
The image of the lady by a water turbine really exemplifies how Stephanie set up an arsenal of lighting gear. She lit her subject with five different light sources. As back she fitted a D1 with a RFi Softbox 3×4’ and two B1’s with OCF Grids, one on each side of the subject. Main light was a D1 with an Umbrella Deep L, coming from the right side facing the subject. The fifth light source was a bouncing light from a Collapsible Reflector L hitting the left side of the subject.
“The Air Remote was crucial. Once the lights were in place, I was able to modify ratios from camera, making dialing in the exposure much easier.”
For the on-location shoot on the field with windmills Stephanie chose to work with the cordless Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flash. One she put a little bit behind the subject, to the left, and fitted with a RFi Softbox 2×2’. To create a color effect she fitted the flash with a yellow gel. As main light she used the B1 with an Umbrella Deep L, and an Umbrella L Diffuser -1.5.
“We definitely went for a moodier look, that highlighted the subject in their environment, but I wanted the subjects to show a sense of calm, satisfaction, and pride.”
Some setups were more Spartan, using only a B1 and a diffused Umbrella Deep L.
“The biggest challenge was the schedule. We generally shot two subjects per day, sometimes in locations that were hours apart. I had about an hour to an hour and a half to set up in each location, then another 30 minutes or so to get the shot.
During these particular circumstances, the on-site producer had to jump in as photography assistant. Something that was largely possible due to the user-friendly design and easy-to-use concept of the Profoto equipment.
“She learned super-fast! We’d race around setting up, tweaking lights, and checking exposure by shooting tethered on my laptop.”
Read more about Faces of Humanity here.
See Stephanie’s portofolio at her webpage.