How I Got That Shot: Pye Jirsa

27 September, 2017

Written by: Rangefinder Magazine

Pye Jirsa keeps it light with the Profoto B2.

Our overall esthetic is best described as “modern dramatic imagery.” Our brand, Lin and Jirsa Photography, is known for our dramatic environmental portraits and our techniques for creating artistic modern wedding photojournalism. Throughout the year I do a lot of stylized personal shoots. It’s my chance to play, test new gear and techniques, and shoot the way I want to shoot. 

This past February, in Palm Springs, California, I shot a concept on the theme, “What would it look like if the great James Dean was getting married today?” We wanted to create a really fun set of wedding portraits with that James Dean edge to them. We began the process by putting together a mood board to define the look and feel of the images we wanted to capture. Using the mood board, we lined up our models, Heath and Raeshae, and assembled the rest of our team.

The day of the shoot, we made drive out to Palm Springs. Makeup and wardrobe started right away and I began driving around the area scouting the perfect spot for the shoot. I finally settled on a spot just off of the freeway. 

We placed the subjects’ backs to the sun for a nice rim and hair-light effect. For virtually every image, I was able to compose my subjects against that darker background of the mountain, which really helped the rim light of the sun to pop.

For this particular shot, we added the Profoto B2 with the 2’ Silver OCF Beauty Dish just off to camera right at enough of an angle to give Raeshae a nice bit of Rembrandt lighting, while also broad lighting Heath as he focused on controlling the bike. 

While I normally love using neutral-density filters to cut down my shutter speed, for this shoot my goal was to get the most possible detail out of the image. I switched over to High Speed Sync on the Profoto B2, and shot at a higher shutter speed without using an ND filter. I balanced my exposure to have a little more of a dramatic feel for this particular image. We were firing at 1/3200 of a second, f/2 and ISO 50 with the Profoto B2 firing at full power in HSS mode. 

The biggest rule I have when it comes to lighting is start with one light. It doesn’t matter if that first light is the sun or a strobe. Position your subject to get the right pose, background and feel within the frame. Then decide if you need to add additional light. When adding light, always add one at a time. Take a test shot and get the light perfectly dialed in, then add another. Nothing will slow you down and mess you up more than setting up three lights, turning them all on, and trying to figure out what you want to do with the scene.

To see more of Lin & Jirsa’s work and video tutorials with Off-Camera Flash, visit www.linandjirsa.com.

Written by: Rangefinder Magazine