Environmental portraiture really appeals to me. It gives you more material with which to tell your client’s story. The minute I walked into Zantedeshia’s workspace and met her, I knew what that story was, and how I wanted to tell it. We talked about all the options anyway, but were were pretty much on the same page from the get go.

Zantedeschia Robini designs and makes jewelry with simple, elegant forms up in a funky little space in Dunedin’s Queens building. The look we decided upon was way more lounge than workshop, so called for some mood lighting to show off her bench but not draw too much attention to it. After all, she’s the star of the shot, not her tools.

Sophisticated, strong and confident were our watchwords, so we mixed up some seated and standing poses, but I kept her lighting scheme pretty much the same: a nice sculpting key light with some flattering fill, and a sprinkle of accent light for her hair.

The best bit? I got to talk through my process in detail with her since she’s not just my portrait client, she also happens to be a student of the photography paper I teach.

That old saying: “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach”?

I say do both.

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