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Monday, March 14, 2016


In my view, portraits like this are priceless. This is my Dad, and this portrait lays everything to bare about who he is at this time in his life. It’s an iconic image for me and my family, and I was blessed to make it. Photography is truly a blessing and I am very thankful it is my profession. It wouldn’t have been possible for me to get to where I am today without the help of many, and my family most importantly. For all of those people I am grateful every day.

If you’d like to book a portrait session or a creative marketing consultation with me please contact me through my website www.portraits.paulbellinger.com.

About this photo: I made this portrait before a documentary film screening my Dad and I attended in downtown Billings. My Dad has been a willing subject as my portraiture has evolved over the last few years. He was one of the first subjects in my VIP series here. For this portrait, having only 15-30 minutes to set up and shoot, I decided to draw inspiration from one of my favorite legendary photographers, David Bailey, who is known for shooting very quickly. He is also known for using a white background and no fuss lighting. It was a very refreshing way to shoot, keeping things simple and getting a great result.

Tips for photographers: This is a very simple one light lighting technique that actually requires two lights. I think of it as a one light technique because there is only one light on the subject, a 22 inch silver beauty dish with white diffusion sock over it. The light is about three or less feet away from the subject and a foot or two higher than the subject’s head camera right. I’ve complicated matters slightly by adding a black flag in between the light and the subject, to block some of the light hitting his left ear (camera right). The flag is a piece of black foam core clamped to a light stand. The second light is on the background to make it a bright white, and some of that light is reflecting back onto the subject, creating a rim light you can see on his right ear (camera left).

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