If you’re stuck on ideas for creative portrait sessions, have you ever tried incorporating water? This short video by Adorama TV features studio lighting guru Gavin Hoey taking us through an introduction to wet portraits in the studio.
Hoey highlights a key concept in using flash duration to freeze motion using flash. The flash sync speed of most cameras is too slow for freezing motion, but by lowering the power of the flash, and therefore shortening the flash duration, rapidly moving objects such as a stream of water can be successfully captured without any motion blur. The second advantage of using a low flash power is that the flash recycles very quickly, enabling one to capture a rapid burst of photos to increase the chances of getting the perfect shot.
Hoey demonstrates a simple setup for lighting these types of portraits and prefers the light to be positioned slightly behind the subject. Having both an assistant and a waterproof tarp close by can come in handy for this type of creative shoot.
So the next time you’re taking corporate headshots, tell your subject to close their eyes and hit them with some water. Trust me, it’s much better when carried out as a surprise.