Portrait of a Champion


A friend of mine had an idea for some portraits using his friends “WWE” wrestling belt, and I wanted an excuse to practice using my strobe flashes for portraits. We were fortunate that the sun came out for us, so I could use the light from the sun as a fill light. It was also nice to use the big puffy clouds as a backdrop for our first set of shots. I had him climb up on a ladder and shot front an angle underneath while holding up the wrestling belt to make it look like he had just won a “battle” and was holding up the victory trophy. These turned out semi-decent, but we will be trying them again. We next moved to this beautiful stone wall underneath Lexington Ave. under the bridge that goes over a running path in Como Park. The model put on a puffy jacket and sunglasses to look more like a celebrity and slung the WWE belt over his shoulder. I set up a strobe on a tall light stand just above his head pointed down with a big bounce over the unit to spread light all around. I then pointed a strobe just off camera right directly at his midsection to fill in some highlights off the shiny material on the jacket. I then placed a strobe on the ground pointed up at him on the left to kick some light on the wall and to help define his right side apart from the shadow cast by the other two strobes on his left.

Overall I’m happy with the shots done under the bridge with the nice stone backdrop, and feel great about the lighting experimentation.  Every time I do one of these practice lighting sessions, I learn some new things, and solidify my understanding of using these small compact units. I’ve read the manual many times for the speedlight 430‘s and 580’s, but I’m a very hands on kind of person and don’t fully understand what I’ve read until I’ve physically practiced it in the real world.  Practice makes perfect, right?


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